Death of a Marriage
As I listened to my friend, Jim, share his broken-heart experience I couldn’t help but think how much of his pain was self-inflicted. I asked him how long his heart had been broken. He replied, “Several years”. His is wife of 14 years could no longer take the misery they were living in.
I looked at him and asked a very serious question, “Let’s just say your cell phone rang right now and on the other end was a police officer informing you that your wife had just been killed in a car accident. How would you feel?” He stared at me, taking in the moment, and stammered, “I would feel awful and would feel like my heart might break in two! The pain that that news would cause would be unbearable. My children would be hurt and confused by such news”. Then he asked me, “Dr. Mike, why would you ask such a question?”
“Well Jim, the heartache of a tragic loss is what you are going through right now. You are experiencing the beginning stages of the death of a marriage, but this death is a living death. You will be haunted by memories of past and future events with your ex-wife and children. You will have to see your ex at graduations, at the marriages of your children, and special events like birthdays and baby dedications. If your ex remarries, it will drive you crazy seeing her with her new husband. Listen, I have been there!” I told him.
For some reason, many people think they can skip through seeing their ex-spouse and not be bothered by it. Whoever thinks that way is in for a big surprise. When my daughter got married a few years back my ex-wife planned the wedding. I had no say in it whatsoever. When I went to the wedding I felt so out of place. My ex managed to invite her entire family to the wedding and none of mine! I sat at her table with her husband and her best friends. The slide show of my daughter growing up featured only 3 out of 40 pictures of my daughter and me. I knew my ex’s husband had put the slide show together and as I sat and watched I was completely embarrassed but realized it was his shameful attempt to humiliate me. As I was leaving the reception my ex-wife’s new husband walked up to me and shook my hand. I was shocked at the unkind words he muttered to me! Even though it was his intent to hurt me I found the courage to smile and simply walk away. This is the type of uncomfortable situations you will encounter, and believe me, it will not be easy to face your ex and their new spouse.
The death of a marriage can be like the death of a friend. It’s a slow process as you watch and hear things that alarm you. There are attitude changes, mood swings, and spiteful words that will break your heart. You may be hoping the problems in your marriage will eventually work themselves out but many times they don’t! You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to avoid talking about the problems in your marriage and may even snap at each other and ultimately feel relieved when you walk away from confrontation. Some find reasons to stay away from home and run unnecessary errands, volunteer to work longer hours, and hang out with friends just to avoid confrontation. It becomes a pattern and once conflict is avoided many will see nothing wrong with that. These are the beginning stages of the death of your marriage.
The next mistake many people make is confiding with their close friends and co-workers about their marital problems. This is a big mistake! Even though those with whom you confide in are well-meaning, many become a self-proclaimed “Dr. Phil” of marriage counseling. They are not! More often than not, they give very bad advice. Many will use their past heartaches to get even with the opposite sex. Your marriage is even more exposed to the deadly Failed Marriage Virus (FMV). You have 2 options at this point: either give up and get a divorce or start working to save your marriage.
Following are some questions you should ask yourself.
1) Are you willing to try one more time to save your marriage with proper coaching and counseling?
2) Do you need guidance to learn how to save a dying marriage?
3) Does your marriage need someone who can help you discover how to communicate better?
4) Are you having a difficult time in forgiving your partner?
5) Do you know your partner’s “love language”?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, call Dr. Mike and schedule a free consultation. He has helped many couples save their marriage and he can help you too!
You can go to Mike’s blog and comment on today’s article at: http://www.applicablecoaching.com/blog.php
Dr. Mike also has a new website devoted to those who are considering divorce or are going through a divorce. You can find it at: http://idontwantthisdivorce.com/
Dr. Michael Brooks is founder of Applicable Life Coaching and counseling services. It is affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your own home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype.
Many of you have expressed an interest in talking with me about how to save your marriage, or how to end it. Having gone through the pain myself, I’d be glad to help.
It won’t just go away by itself. Let me help you resolve one of the most painful times in your life, so you can start moving forward again. Make that your first step right now.