Divorce, does it have to be?
Divorce is a very difficult time for everyone involved, especially when children are also included.
If you are having problems and feel that you want to try to keep your marriage together, visit the Relationship Problems pages first which will give you some ideas of how to approach this.
So what causes two people who at one point loved each other enough to marry, to later decide that they've had enough? There are numerous reasons why people divorce but there are some common elements in many cases.
These can include:
- The reality of being married doesn't meet the expectations of one or both partners
- Lack of compatibility, you don't agree on lifestyle choices, you don't share the same dreams and aspirations
- One or both partners is unfaithful
- The marriage becomes dull, you don't do things together any more
- There's poor communication, especially about important issues in the marriage
- Lack of sex and romance
- Domestic violence
- Feelings have changed, you don't feel any love for your partner
- Financial matters
It probably isn't if you are not prepared to accommodate each others differences, which is easier said than done.
Consider these differences:
- One loves to go out and the other loves to stay in
- One loves staying up late the other likes going to bed early
- One wants children the other doesn't want any
- One likes clutter the other likes minimalism
- One likes to be frugal the other loves to spend
- One is ambitious, the other isn't
- One's a workaholic, the other is lazy
- One dreams of living in the country, the other dreams of backpacking round the world
- One thinks children should be smacked occasionally, the other thinks smacking is never an option
- One has a high sex drive, the other a low sex drive
And so on!
Too many major differences can be a hazard!!! The old adage "opposites attract" might sound feasible, but in reality common ground is much easier to negotiate. While two people will probably never agree on everything, it can help to make a partnership more interesting, but if they have different viewpoints on a lot of things, it can cause conflicts of interest in too many areas.
Is there any hope?
Isn't marriage about sharing? Is it possible to share your life successfully with another person if you want totally different things, whether it be what style of decor you prefer, or whether you should both work full time if you have children?
Another common mistake is the notion that someone will readily change for the better.
In reality this is unlikely. Aspects of their personality may improve but the essence of a person doesn't change easily. Therefore it's more realistic to think they may not change, in fact anything you don't like could probably get worse!.
Divorce statistics indicate that women are more likely to initiate divorce than men. In fact, according to one marital therapist, men are more reluctant than women to file for divorce and often don't even realise that there's a problem.
For many men it comes as a surprise when their wife tells them she wants out and by then it is usually too late to save the marriage because the woman can't be persuaded to change her mind.
Many men don't even realise that there is any serious problem until it's too late!
But on reflection, it's more likely that the signs were there but the man just didn't notice. Sometimes women hide their true feelings to "keep the peace", but bottling everything up isn't the answer because eventually it all spills out.
Women like to feel loved and valued. It's not enough to assume she's okay, talk to her!!!
Never assume that because a woman isn't complaining or giving you a hard time then everything must be fine, it might not be. Throwing a bunch of flowers or chocolates her way will not make up for being taken for granted or being neglected.
Another thing to be aware of is assuming 'she' wants the same things as you. If a man is making all the decisions he can get carried away and assume that because it's his choice his wife will automatically agree. He then ploughs on regardless or dismisses any objections. Don't! Remember there's two of you so you should respect her opinion and she should respect yours.
Men can shy away from discussing relationship issues, but ignoring it doesn't make it go away. You must learn to listen and address any problems as they happen.
Men need to realise that their wives have needs and desires that musn't be neglected.
Men who suffer from a lack of self confidence can be particularly demanding, often looking for reassurance which makes their partner feel that they must constantly prove their feelings.
This puts a woman under a lot of pressure.
She wants you to know that she loves you, but this makes her feel that if she doesn't go along with all your wishes, it's a sign that her feelings aren't genuine, which can be frustrating as well as stifling!