When my wife left me, at first I felt like it was the worst thing that could have happened to me. The pain was greater and more severe than any gut shot that I had ever imagined. After all, she had been a part of my life for the last ten years. We lived five minutes from the beach, shared three young boys, everyone was healthy, we had an abundance of physical and financial support from family and friends, and life couldn’t possibly be any better – or so I thought. What were her reasons for divorce? How could “together forever” turn into “never” so quickly? I had a million questions that all came back to “Why?”
5 Reasons for Divorce
1. Making False Assumptions
After months of hopelessly wondering why she left, one day it finally hit me like a tidal wave. On many occasions, you may assume you know exactly what another is thinking and feeling by what they say or the gestures/facial expressions they make. Sometimes the interpretation is correct, but sometimes it’s partially or totally wrong – which creates false assumptions that can cause a strong relationship to weaken or even break down. For example, faking a smile when in reality you’re upset, or forgetting to smile when indeed you’re very happy. In recognizing the immediate, permanent damage that false assumptions can create, you must also recognize the crucial importance of expressing your honest feelings toward your partner – especially when positive – on a daily basis.
2. Failure to Listen to Your Spouse
Since my world was turned upside down, I have realized that she tried to tell me that she wasn’t happy many times in many ways. I simply didn’t get the message. I knew we weren’t great, but I was preoccupied with thinking things would work themselves out. I did not actually listen to her true feelings. I can’t remember a time when we sat down together and I invited her to share her feelings with me. It seemed to me that our own feelings were unimportant in our marriage; I placed a far higher value on our kids’ happiness than on how my wife was feeling. Failing to listen to – and grasp the importance – of what your spouse is trying to tell you is one of many reasons for divorce.
3. Ignoring Obvious Signs of Unhappiness
I can now see that she gave me an endless number of signs that our marriage was failing. She never wanted to sleep in the same room with me or even be around me. It became a normal routine for her to stay out late after work, she never smiled in front of me, and when she was around me she was constantly looking at her phone or doing something else to distract her attention from me. Looking back it was obvious to see that we grew further and further apart with each child we birthed.
4. Failure to Acknowledge and Appreciate Your Spouse’s Hard Work
After the death of our marriage, I realized that I had failed to notice and appreciate all of the things that she had done for me. I rarely acknowledged or thanked her for everything that she had done for our family. When I was left to do everything on my own, I realized quickly how much responsibility and burdens she had carried on her shoulders each and every day. She handled our finances, set up all appointments for our children, made sure we always had everything we needed, cooked our favorite meals, reminded me of important times and dates, and so much more!
5. Valuing the Children Far More Than the Marriage
Through my experience with my children, I have discovered that no gift, present, or compliment can replace or even compare to the happy feeling they get from having two parents who love each other. In knowing this, I now realize that the relationship between mom and dad ranks higher in importance than the relationship between parent and child. In the absence of mother and father’s love, the family as a whole suffers. Lavishing time and attention on your children while neglecting your spouse is one of the common reasons for divorce, so nurturing the relationship with your spouse is crucial to avoid becoming a divorce statistic.
Forgiveness and Acceptance are the Keys to Moving On
The old saying “time heals all wounds” could never be truer than in this situation. After picking up the pieces, I have few regrets, ample to be proud of, and have learned a lot. In the conclusion of the lengthy and rugged ride, I am now living a more peaceful and contented life than ever before. I have been granted the opportunity to make new decisions in life and have met an abundance of new people. I am en route to living and sharing a healthier life, which I am ecstatic about! Unwanted change – such as your spouse asking for a divorce – can be hard to embrace. However, when the change is out of your control, the ticket is to accept it as soon as possible and stay positive. Forgiveness and acceptance allow us to regain our positivity and move on to new adventures rather than remaining stuck in sadness and confusion.
Heath Martin is a family man first, a Personal Trainer second, and attempts to be a writer third. Born and raised in the heart of Patrick County Virginia, he enjoys providing the inspiration needed to improve daily lives.