Divorce happens. Too often. It is painful. It should be avoided in most cases. Hindsight often offers clues and insights as to why a marriage did not work. The following is offered in hopes that by reading what divorced people say as to what caused the demise of their marriage, you, Respected Reader, may glean wisdom pertinent to your marriage to be, present relationship, or how to avoid another divorce.
Huffington Post divorce editor, Brittany Wong, asked readers to submit the real reasons why their marriage ended in divorce. The following answers resulted. I add my commentary.
- WE DIDN’T SPEAK THE SAME LOVE LANGUAGE: “We are both so different that we didn’t speak each other’s love languages.”(Laura) “Opposites attract”. Yes, to a point, but there needs to be sufficient connecting points that bring a couple together so that their “love language” unites, not separates. What is important to one person may not be very important to the other.
- MY EX DIDN’T PRIORITIZE OUR MARRIAGE: “He never made our relationship the most important thing in his life.” (Bren) If I have learned anything over the years doing marriage counseling is that both persons need to make the other number one. This is your life partner. Kids, other people, jobs, etc… are transitory and move on.
- A LACK OF TRUST LED TO LACK OF INTIMACY: “We had an ‘open marriage’ and lost that incredibly special foundation of trust and intimacy with each other. We became more like roommates than intimate partners.”(Amy) Trust and respect are the bedrocks for a sold marriage.
- WE DIDN’T DISCUSS BIG LIFE DECISIONS WITH EACH OTHER: “We didn’t have the ability to communicate well. … I made independent decisions … .” (Chris) Marriage is a partnership and both persons need to be able to communicate openly, honestly, and respectfully in order to arrive at mutually agreeable decisions.
- THERE WAS NO FRIENDSHIP: “We weren’t friends. Everyone and everything was always more important.” (Tamara) A basic core friendship is an enduring need in a relationship that can survive the various challenges that present themselves over the course of time.
- I GOT LAZY: “I could have been better. I could have found a way to keep us on track. I could have done more.” (Al). You cannot half ass a marriage. Be prepared to be your best self and give it your best shot – or don’t bother, cuz it ain’t going to work!
- MAY SPOUSE LET ME DO ALL THE WORK: “There was no dependability or attention. … I didn’t want to be the diligent strong woman all the time.” (Susan) Here again, marriage is a partnership where each person does his or her fair share after each agreeing as to what the responsibilities are.
- THERE WAS NO SENSE OF ADVENTURE: “We never really did anything. The same things got old, and since that is what our marriage consisted of, sadly our marriage started to feel old.” (Chelsie) A couple needs a sense of adventure, something to look forward, something new. This need not be expensive per se, but does have to have some creative, look forward to, energy. Stale and “old” just doesn’t get it.
- WE WERE TOO STUBBORN: “Our marriage became a staring contest and neither one of us was blinking. We were locked in stubbornness.”(Bill) Being flexible and able to give in are important traits for staying aligned and not in separate stubborn corners.
- WE MARRIED TOO YOUNG: “We were the poster children for marrying too young – the lack of maturity resulted in a tumultuous marriage. … We lacked the tolerance, patience, and understanding that is critical for all healthy adult relationships … .” (Nicole) Age at time of marriage is a very real factor for the durability of a marriage. Lust and fun together at a young age are not enough of a foundation for an enduring marriage.
- WE DIDN’T ENVISION THE SAME FUTURE: “One of the biggest qualities that was missing from my marriage was the desire to mutually grow. … Without a shared vision, the journey failed.” (Bill) Here, again, maturity, compatability, good communication, and awareness of needs/wants are basic qualities needed to determine a shared vision for the future.
Well, Respected Reader, what impact do these voices of the divorced have on you? These are not the only reasons but in my experience they are “right on” to explain the divorce of so many. “If the shoe fits”!
The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates
Dr. Stathas can be reached at 706-473-1780. Email: email@example.com. Web site: drstathas.googlepages.com. Blog: drstathas.com