Things Divorce Teaches You about Marriage

divorce

Things Divorce Teaches You about Marriage

A divorce can be devastating. It’s one of those pains that you don’t really understand unless you’ve been through it. Not only does it cause tremendous upheaval in your life, it alters how you view yourself and romantic relationships. Some people swear off marriage wholeheartedly, while others jump into the next one as if their last had nothing to teach them. But most of us reflect on the state of marriage and relationships at this time. If a split is anything it’s a great teacher. Here are some things divorce teaches you about marriage. First, marriages are always different for those living them than how they are viewed from the outside. Sometimes when someone gets divorced, others are shocked, thinking they had the perfect marriage. Issues that seem reconcilable to some are end games to others. But some people somehow find a way to make it work. Everyone’s marriage is a bit messy, much like human life, though they may seem picture perfect from where you stand. If we could just break down the walls and talk about what marriage is really like, instead of putting on airs, perhaps we could make everyone’s better.

Another problem leading to divorce is a sexless marriage. Make time to be physical together. Statistics show that 20% of marriages today are sexless. But becoming physically intimate is a way for both people to bond. Being in a sexless marriage itself may be a big warning sign that things aren’t going well for one or both parties. Of course men tend to compartmentalize. With women, if things aren’t going well in the relationship, goings-on in the bedroom suffer. That’s because to a woman the emotional intimacy in the relationship is what’s most important. Though this may be important for a man, most men are more driven by libido. A failed marriage makes us look at other marriages in a new way. What are others really struggling with and how do they make it work? Communication is always crucial. But so is negotiation, not holding grudges, clearing the air and coming to a deep understanding of one another. We also need to accept the flaws in ourselves and our spouse for what they are. Recognition is one thing, acceptance another. One of the common causes of divorce is infidelity. Some people are shocked when they find that their husband or wife was cheating. A person may be an incredible breadwinner, an expert parent, a phenomenal homemaker and still have a spouse who cheats. The reason people go astray is they are trying to heal something wrong inside the relationship through outside means.

One of the problems with modern marriage that experts often point out is that we expect our spouse to take up all of the roles that traditionally an entire village provided. We want them to be our mentor, coach, partner, lover, confidante, best friend, co-parent and more. Find some of these needs outside your relationship if you can, and take some pressure off of your spouse. Spending some time with friends or close family members and becoming more well-rounded people by spending time at one’s favorite pursuits can help replenish each person and the marriage as well. But tenaciously clinging to one’s partner can bring the whole thing down. It’s best when both people are totally fulfilled, realized people who choose to go through life together. Marriage isn’t easy. But for most Americans, they see little alternative. We’ve been called serial monogamists and perhaps it still fits, at least if you are of a certain generation. Statistically, second marriages are less likely to last. Some say the third one is a charm. Be that as it may, don’t wallow in a failed marriage, learn from it and make your next relationship the romance of a lifetime. For more pick up a copy of, Learning From Divorce: How to Take Responsibility, Stop the Blame, and Move On by Robert LaCrosse and Christine A. Coates.

Things not to do When Dating

man-texting-while-on-date

The dating landscape has become more confusing. Different people have different styles. Some are more lax while others are more formal. Some people like cultural jaunts like museums and art galleries. Others don’t want to do something stuffy like that. A fun date to them is a night out at a club, bar, or sporting event. And etiquette is hard to figure out, too. Should you wear something formal or casual? Where should you meet? Is it alright to kiss on the first date, or more? Usually, if you two have chemistry, you just fall into the right pattern. For blind dates, it could be a lot more difficult to discern since you don’t really know the person. And chatting on the phone, texting, and emailing are way different from what happens when you are face-to-face with someone new. All that said, there is a list of things not to do when dating. If you follow this outline, you should be alright no matter what the situation.

If it’s a blind date, or you met only once, make absolutely sure to know the person’s name. This sounds straightforward to some, but many people pretend to know someone’s name even when they don’t. This can lead to problems later, embarrassing social situations, and it reflects poorly on you. Early on, just simply say, “Sorry, I didn’t catch your name.” Repeat it back to the person when they say it. If you have trouble with names, make up a rhyme or use a mnemonic device. Don’t pretend to like something you actually don’t like. You will be surprised at how many people do this. But if it comes out later, it looks as though you were lying, putting strain on the relationship. You won’t have fun. You’ll be even more tense. And isn’t the point just being yourself? Put your cell phone down. In fact, turn it off. I think the world can live without you tweeting for a couple of hours. It’s rude to be looking at your phone on a date. Focus on the person instead. Make sure you wait a significant amount of time before introducing your date to your friends and family. Three to six months is a good rule of thumb. Don’t avoid difficult topics. After the first date, when you feel more comfortable, slowly allow the person to get to know who you are. Don’t hide anything significant from them. Following these rules, you should be ready for whatever dating situations come your way.