Two Ways in Which You May Have Contributed to Your Failing Marriage

By: Dalila Jusic-LaBerge
Last Update: March 28, 2017

Regardless of what happened in your marriage, it's important that you look into what you contributed to the failure of your marriage. Although your actions had the most honorable intents, there are some things to learn from your previous marriage. The fact that you made some mistakes, doesn't mean that you are at fault. This also doesn't absolve him of his responsibilities. Learning what you could have done differently, can help you feel more powerful and your future relationships will be easier for you.

Owning up to Your Mistakes in Your Marriage Will Liberate You

You may be angry at me for saying that you contributed to your failed marriage because you worked so hard to manage everything. It hasn't been easy. You were responsible and did everything that needs to be done in order to maintain your career or take care of your children. The following two mistakes are common mistakes that high-achieving women make in relationships. You may even argue that they are not even mistakes. You've probably done the best you could've, maybe you were busy and overwhelmed. 

Your ex may be a jerk. As I said, all his actions go on his karmic account. You are not responsible for them. He has made choices to handle his difficult emotions in his ways, and his actions are not your responsibility. But, both good and failed marriages involve two people in the relationship. Telling you that you contributed to the failure of your marriage, doesn't put any moral value or judgment on you. Powerful people look back and notice their mistakes. They own up to them, and life continues. When we are fearful and week, we all tend to be defensive. We are all naturally prone to be defensive. We all want to be esteemed in high regards by others. Our first impulse is to defend ourselves. But, when we own up to our mistakes, something amazing happens. You show yourself love and compassion. You embrace yourself with all the flaws. 

Look Into Your Mistakes with Self-Compassion After Your Divorce

When you look at your mistakes, you allow space for yourself to be who you are. You show self-compassion. You basically send yourself a message that you are OK even with all those mistakes that you've made. Most importantly, when you allow self-compassion, you set the standards for others how to treat you. Have you noticed, when you own up to something, people immediately relax and stop attacking you for some of the mistakes? So, this is liberating. Are you convinced? Can we get into the two main mistakes that contributed to your failed marriage? Let's do it with self-compassion.

You Didn't Invest Time and Energy in Your Marriage, and That Can Lead to a Failed Marriage

This happens to the best of us. You live the best you can. You prioritize things that can't wait. We all take our relationships for granted. Think about it. How much energy, money, and time did you invest into your wedding? Many of us want this day to be "perfect." But, what about our marriage. If you are like the most of us, you didn't know shit from Shinola when it comes to how to make a marriage work. There is no education on that. They did tell you that "marriage takes work." But, what kind of work? Taking care of kids? Preparing meals? Going on vacations together? 

There were so many things in which you excelled and they took the priority. This may not be your intention, but life is tough. If you wanted to make it in your career, you needed to put in extra hours. What about the kids?  Naturally, you want to be the best mother you can. You gave everything that you could, and you still feel guilty for some reason.You often put them first before your husband. 

Doing so much work leads to exhaustion and burnout. After all the chores are done, you probably fall asleep watching something on TV. Your marriage is not the priority when you lead this kind of lifestyle. And, perhaps you didn't have options. Unfortunately, modern lifestyle isn't geared to help families.

What to Do Next Time? Practice Being Present

I get it. Life is difficult and busy, and sometimes you have to prioritize your work, your children, or your health above your marriage. And, that's OK. I hope that you can prioritize your marriage in the same way at least sometimes.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Get a nanny and go out with your partner
  • No screen time while together. Ok, only for the emergencies in relation to the kids
  • Practice mindfulness. This is a long term solution for learning how to be present instead of scattered. This will help you have quality time together and be able to connect emotionally with him
  • Prioritize your relationship sometimes. Don't always put your career and children ahead of your partner. 

 

You Didn't Treat Him as a Husband During Marriage

There are so many ways in which this can happen. Could it be that you didn't consider him as responsible or mature?  When you don't appreciate him, you naturally treat him in the way that makes him feel incompetent. Perhaps you would always tell him how he should act in various situations. I've seen women who tell their men what to wear, what not to wear, or how much they should drink at a party. This kind of interaction naturally changes the power dynamic. You are not his partner anymore, but someone whose superior to him. This kind of dynamic leads to him seeing you as a mother, mentor, and teacher.  This naturally leads to loss of mutual attraction.

A man wants to feel powerful. He needs admiration from his wife just like you need to feel cherished and adored. When you become his mentor or a quality control person, he simply loses the sense of power. What makes a man feel powerful in a marriage? A good man loves to feel that he can make his wife happy. If you constantly criticize him, he will feel that he can never please you. He will stop trying.

What to Do Next Time Instead?

At this point, it may be late for your previous marriage, but this can be useful for your next relationship.

  • Chose a man that you naturally respect and admire. This should be a no-brainer. If you don't respect him, your relationship won't work. Neither one of you will be happy.
  • Nurture an attitude of gratitude. If he buys you a little gift or does something minor for you, express gratitude that he thought of you. Isn't it the biggest gift? Someone actually took their time to think about you and how they can please you. When you express happiness and gratitude, he feels empowered and he has a desire to please you more and more
  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable at times. Show him your true feelings. Instead of saying, "You never spend time with me," you can say "I feel so lonely." This will trigger him to want to protect you instead of fleeing in defensive mode. 

These are two big ways in which good women can contribute to failed marriage. There are probably various other ways too. What matters is that you learn about yourself and what kind of man would be good for you. It takes some soul searching, and reflecting on your previous marriage can give you some insights. 


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