Talk To Me

Why do we divorce? It’s better to start with why do we get married. While there are some who shared a few too many drinks and headed off to the Chapel of Love in Las Vegas, most of us dated and thought this person was our soulmate (a term I find so disingenuous) and we overlooked all of those big and little annoyances (s/he is so cute when…..). Some of us thought our marriage clock was winding down fast and better march down the aisle before the alarm rang (no one wants to hear the alarm bell). Some of us got married because we said yes to the proposal (or offered the proposal) in those heady first months (or year) and then you were afraid to hurt your partner’s feeling by saying your love had changed and marriage was no longer right for you. Then there are the expectations of family and friends- they love your intended- and you can’t possibly let them down (not a good answer!). Or the wedding invitations have been sent out and the reception venue booked, might as well go through with it (you can get refunds so draft the contract with enough wiggle room for you to cancel the venue).

The key to why we divorce is the lack of communication. Communication is not just talking but actively engaging in the process. Communication includes listening. When you began to be unhappy was when you should have started talking- actually, if you could recognize changes in you, or your relationship, that was really the starting point of your discontent and the should have been the impetus to start communicating. Communication is self-reflective not finger-pointing. It’s an opportunity to change your relationship, your future, for the better. If you don’t know how to start the conversation, there are plenty of self-help books and there is therapy  (for you). I am not a fan of couple’s therapy (I find them to be bitch sessions) but it may work for you (you can always stop). Communication during dating and then, importantly, during the marriage may prevent you from divorcing. 

What about family and friends? Yes, have a conversation with them and let them know you have changed and the relationship has changed. No big details and don’t try hurting your spouse through 3rd party communications. Social media- save the nasty statements for your therapists or bartender.

Start today.

I Hate You-Merry Christmas

Not every marriage ends with both parties agreeing that they were not the perfect match. Usually each party feels they have been duped, or taken advantage of, or treated badly AND they are right. Each person views the breakup of the marriage their their own “rose colored” glasses. It may take years (and possibly therapy) to realize that rarely is the breakup of a marriage one sided. So what do you do while you are waiting for your realization light bulb to occur? Be cordial.

I can hear you now, “Me be cordial after what s/he has done! No way!” I get it, but think of how you would react to a coworker you detested but had to interact with- you’d be cordial. When opening the horrible present you got from a family member-you’d be cordial. If you don’t have children together chances are you will not be speaking after the divorce order has been delivered by the court but if you have children-be cordial.

Well, s/he is not cordial to me…ever. OK, so ignore s/he and just be cordial. Being cordial is a gift to yourself and to your children.