Divorce is a powerful word, loaded with different meanings to different people. It usually triggers all sorts of emotions, including regret, anger, disbelief, sadness, fear, and, in too many cases, fuels acts of outright revenge.
I was recently checking out a Huffington Post article about the “biggest mistakes made in marriages” and what various readers had to say about the reasons why they were pushed to divorce.
The list that follows is an excellent summary of why these respondents divorce. I’ve also added a few follow-up comments of my own:
“We stopped putting the other first; stopped nurturing the relationship, dating. Simple everyday things like kissing, holding hands, hugging in public or private waned; growing in separate directions and/or not growing at all.”
Stopped nurturing the relationship and grew in separate directions…that’s a big one.
I don’t know where the myth that says successful relationships shouldn’t have to take much effort came from.
Thriving relationships almost always require lots of effort – the mutual kind!
“Not giving him the respect and admiration he was looking for. He left me for a woman who needed rescuing and treated him like he was her knight in shining armor.”
Things like respect, admiration, and a whole lot of compliments, are critical to keeping any relationship intact.
It’s not surprising that the marriage described above gave way to a highly dependent woman who freely offered her adoration in return for being rescued.
But what is adoration when it comes from of the need to be rescued? How about a dead end!
“Getting married to a person who did not share my religion, lifestyle, diet – especially diet. If you can’t eat the same things it is a sign you two do not have enough in common. I know diet sounds trivial, but when you think about it, trying to cook food for someone that you yourself just could not eat gets tiring. So you stop. Men have a thing about women cooking for them. I hear a lot of complaints that wives don’t cook any more. With me, I just got tired of cooking food that I would never eat. So I stopped. He took it personally. Just too many differences.”
Diet as a deal breaker. Now that’s an interesting one.
I can easily understand not sharing religion and basic lifestyle as possible reasons to divorce. But diet?
Well, why not? She’s a vegan, he’s a steak eater. When you think about it, this “food divisiveness,” especially over time, could conceivably eat its way through an otherwise very tasty relationship. (I couldn’t resist!)
“Thinking he was going to change. Trying to change them to be something they were never going to be.”
Ah, the “trying to change the partner” routine; a surefire way to relationship hell and ultimate marriage damnation!
Most people will say, “Of course you can’t change another!”—but they still try anyway. This desperate, although often well-intentioned strategy, never works.
People change when they themselves make it happen–not when we want them to…
“In my first marriage it was believing I could help him and the expectation we would live happy ever after. Nope. In the second, I’m learning it’s not 50/50. If you both don’t give your all it will never work.”
Kind of a variation on the previous, “I’ll change my partner into the way I want him to be!”
Welcome to the fantasy world of unrealistic expectations:
Come hell or high water, he’ll be a success, dammit!
”I’m just the person to make it all happen!”
“Then, we’ll live happily ever after…”
Right, happily ever after the divorce papers are signed, and you find out that your gambit to “make your man a success” didn’t come close to working!
“Taking childhood baggage into marriage! It takes work on both sides to make a great marriage! I wish parents knew how their abuse and neglect are setting the stage for future relationships so negatively.”
That old baggage.
Baggage, like sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, THAT IS NOT DEALT WITH, is a veritable marriage killer.
There is nothing wrong with having a history of abuse or even a string of lousy relationships. But, without confronting the deep, residual emotional wounds, so that one can successfully move on with life, the resulting fall-out will eventually cause a sad end to most relationships.
So people, please work on your issues BEFORE you walk up to that altar…
“I married someone for stability, promises, dreams, comfort, consistency and protection. Reality was not a concern. It should have been. I depended on and expected too much from him and that was my mistake. Now that I have raised children, I know what unconditional love is and discovered that it was what I was missing in the marriage.”
Here we go again with the great expectations!
Falling in love feels great, but without injecting a little reality into the relationship, you might as well file for divorce, especially when your initial expectations and dependency needs aren’t fulfilled.
Marrying for the right reasons, especially the more realistic and practical ones, is always the best way to approach a promising relationship.
So, there you are: seven main reasons why two people are pushed to divorce.
And, if these aren’t enough reasons, check out my follow-up article, Why We Divorce – 7 More Reasons (Part II).
Meanwhile, please leave your thoughts and feelings about the reasons people divorce, in the comment section below. Would love to hear your feedback!