Wake-up Call: Divorce Begins Long Before She Walks Out the Door

BY: - 11 Jan '17 | Marriage

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When she packed her bags, and walked out the door he was shocked. He didn’t see it coming. What happened? What did he miss? Was there another man?

No, there wasn’t another man. However, there was a woman who felt alone in her own home. You see, her divorce began way before she walked out that door.

Being a life partner now seemed like a life sentence for her.

This had been going on for years and she tried to overlook the fact that he placed others before her.  Work, church, and even his family came before her. He didn’t think this was true. Nonetheless, her thoughts were her reality. She longed for his attention and he knew this, yet he never figured out how to acknowledge her as his queen.

She longed for conversation. Meanwhile, he longed for the happy loving woman he married.

This particular scenario isn’t real, but it’s a reality for so many marriages.  Unfortunately, too many people are blind-sided on the day their spouse decides to ask for a divorce. But the dissolution of their marriages started long before their spouse walked out the door. It started with unchecked division.

Unchecked Division

Sometimes, the division in your marriage may be obvious, like strong disagreements on the finances or how to raise the children.  But more often than not, its subtle unchecked division that causes a marriage to fall apart. Things such as:

  • We don’t talk anymore
  • We no longer go to the same church
  • We don’t kiss anymore
  • We don’t hug anymore
  • We don’t hang out with the same friends anymore… she has hers and he has his
  • We don’t eat meals together
  • We are rarely intimate or have sexual relations
  • One of us sleeps on the sofa more than in our bed
  • We argue more than we laugh
  • We cry more than we smile
  • She hides in her room
  • He gets lost in his man cave
  • Instead of sitting close and holding hands, we sit on opposite ends of the sofa, retreating to our respective corners.

One day turns into a week which turns into a month.  And before you know it, all of this distance has become the norm in your relationship.  That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs of unchecked division in your marriage (no matter how small or subtle they may be) and then take actions to address them before someone is walking out the door.

The biggest enemy to your relationship is Distance!  – Dr. George James, LMFT

Here is what Dr. George James, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and BMWK Infidelity expert, has to say about distance:

“Regardless of the problem in your relationship, it probably started with distance. One day you wake up and realize you don’t love him/her any more or that something has changed. You went from loving each other, can’t be without each other to avoiding each other and not loving each other.  Most likely because of distance. Every couple struggles at some point to maintain closeness, connection and intimacy. At the same time, pulling away, retreating, pushing the other person away and creating distance also feels natural.  It could be through communication, raising your children, your sex life, or balancing work and family. Every aspect of a relationship has this push and pull, fight between closeness and distance. When distance wins, you stop talking to your spouse, you cheat, you don’t show up for the kids recital or game, you hurt each other, you sleep in separate beds, you drift away from each other, stop loving each other and realize that you don’t know each other anymore.  But it doesn’t have to be like that.”

And he’s right. It doesn’t have to be like that. Here are actions that both husband and wife can take to address the distance that is growing in their marriage:

  • Be intentional – When you were dating, you made sure you spent quality time together (no matter what.) And the same has to be true now that you are married.  Set a dedicated time to spend with each, weekly or daily if possible.
  • Expect Intimacy – Again, when you were dating, you couldn’t keep your hands off of each other. Don’t let the lack of intimacy become the norm in your relationship.  When you expect to intimate, you will make sure that you are not going too long without it.
  • Don’t Stop Kissing – there are so many opportunities throughout the day to give your spouse a peck on the lips.  Make it a habit to kiss your spouse every opportunity that you get.
  • Re-calibrate – as the years go by, your interests will change. Acknowledge that you are not who you used to be and then take some time to communicate this with your spouse.  Then, find new ways enjoy each other’s company.
  • Make Real-Talk Mandatory – set up a time to talk about challenges rather than letting them fester.

Finally, if all else fails find a mentor, engage other couples, read a book, go to a conference, or consider therapy…but do what you have to do to address the distance that is growing in your marriage – unchecked division. Marriage requires work in order to maintain closeness and intimacy. Strong communication, honest interactions, and consistent bonding is a small portion of what is needed to maintain closeness and not drift apart.

BMWK – What do you think; how could this scenario be different? What can the husband and wife do to get their marriage back on track?

About the author

Deborah L. Mills wrote 183 articles on this blog.

Coach, AUTHOR, Speaker, WIFE, Mom, and GRANDMOTHER. That's the gist of who I am. I love people and love to see their life and relationships thrive. As a coach I am ready to support your dream when you don't feel like it. As an author and speaker I am ready to pour into your life so that you can live your best life now. I am a personal and executive coach. Together with my husband I also marriage coach. GO TO MY WEBSITE. THERE IS A FREE GIFT THERE WAITING FOR YOU. http://bit.ly/2deborahlmills

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Couples: 6 Common Mistakes that Can Lead to a Breakdown in Communication

BY: - 12 Jan '17 | Marriage

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Communication is such a key ingredient for marriage. And if you ask most couples what the main challenge is in the marriage, nine times out ten they say communication. And even if the issue is really something else, it seems like it’s communication because they don’t know how to talk to each other in order to get to a place of resolution. They start off discussing (or arguing about) one thing and inevitably it turns into an argument about how they are communicating.

And while most people desire better communication in their marriage, it’s not necessarily so easy to obtain. You can desire it all you want, but if you aren’t being real about what’s causing the communication breakdowns with your spouse, you may never get to that place.

Read:  How We Went From Fussing and Fighting to Being Happily Married for 10 Years

So the first steps to having better communication with your spouse, are, first, admitting that you are having problems and, then, taking actions to address them. Check out these common mistakes couples often make that lead to a breakdown in communication in their marriage. Because with some intentional effort each day, you will go a long way towards having the better communication that you desire.

Being too busy.

Busyness in your life will affect how you communicate. Hectic schedules will have you and your spouse heading in two separate directions. It’s hard to be an effective communicator when you barely talk. I advise couples to slow down and simply enjoy one another’s company. Couples must make it a priority to actually talk. Discuss your marriage, your family and what’s going on with each of you personally.

Being stubborn.

Being set in your ways presents another challenge to the communication in your marriage. If you know you have a problem with listening for example, but aren’t willing to do anything about it, that’s a problem. Being prideful isn’t good for any relationship. Be proactive when it comes to resolving your individual challenge.

Being a bully.

Being hard to talk to is a definite factor in poor communication. Not very many people want to have conversations with someone who is always yelling, using hurtful words or being disrespectful. Be mindful of the power of your words as well as the delivery. They can hurt and sometimes never be forgotten. Couples must be considerate and gentle in how they communicate with one another.

How to Learn Better Communication

Get our expert-led video training on better communication from the comfort of your own home.

Click here to learn about our BMWK Effective Communication Course!

Being clueless.

Ignoring the fact that you and your spouse actually don’t talk won’t make the challenge disappear. Couples must be honest about the areas needing improvement within their marriage. It’s the only way to get anything resolved. There are relationship coaches and resources to help you navigate through any challenge.

Being untrustworthy.

When there isn’t much trust there also won’t be healthy conversations. It’s hard to be open and honest in our talks if we don’t trust what the other person will do with their words. I always tell couples not to use what they know to hurt their spouse. It’s difficult for people to be vulnerable in their communication when what they say may come back to haunt them. Couples must create a safe space in their marriage to discuss all things.

Being unreasonable.

The last mistake couples make in their communication is thinking they should communicate the same way. Couples must recognize there are two separate individuals within that relationship with two different styles of communication. Each style has to be respected. Understanding that as long as both partners have the same goal, how you get there might be different and that’s ok.

Communication can be so tricky in our relationships. But we can do better when it comes to communicating with one another once we become aware of what we are doing and then take actions to make changes.

BMWK, what other mistakes do couples make that affect their communication with each other?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 632 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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