There doesn’t always need to be an overwhelming reason for a marriage to breakdown. All it takes is for one person to stop caring. Boredom sets in. “I am thinking about divorce. My spouse is great but we don’t have anything in common. I am scared to grow old with this person. Should I leave,” lamented one man putting up his dilemma on Quora.
This isn’t just his story but applies to so many of us. Staying in what is deemed as a rut, routine, mundane marriage because of an obligation and a commitment made a long time ago is what is felt by many but then the question begged is how did this become a mundane and boring relationship. Staying for the kids doesn’t cut it anymore as a reason either as they will eventually grow up and leave the nest leaving you with your significant other.
As a marriage counselor and a man who has been married for many years Doug Armey offers some sage advice sharing his own experience as a married man;
”When we were dating my wife and I couldn’t spend enough time together. Times apart felt like forever. Then we got married. Something about being together 24/7/365 brought out our glaring differences. Not only in personality but interests.
“I enjoyed skiing, sailing, hiking, boating. Her main outside activity was ping pong with her family on Sunday afternoons.
“I enjoyed working on and driving classic cars and hot rods. She enjoyed gardening.
“I enjoyed playing sports. She enjoyed watching sports.
“I enjoyed car shows. She enjoyed the symphony and ballet.
It was then that he decided for the marriage to work, a new strategy was needed. One that accommodated both their needs. What happened next was they both made the effort.
“She learned to ski and sail. I played ping pong and learned how to lose gracefully. She learned to appreciate classic cars and hot rods. I worked in the garden and kind of enjoyed it.
“I played sports. Sometimes she’d watch. She went with me to car shows. I went with her to the symphony and ballet. Yet we also did one other important thing.
“We gave each other space to enjoy those things without the other. I raced sailboats. She went to garden shows. I work on our classic cars in our back garage. She putters in our garden.
“I go to car shows with buddies. She goes to the ballet with friends. I have friends at Rotary. She has friends in her guild for the local children’s hospital.
“I go to my office most days. She works in her home office most days.”
What he said next is pivotal to the relationship. Despite pursuing all their interests separately and together at times, at the end of the day they both take an evening walk together, catch up on their lives and most importantly enjoy each other’s company.
“At the end of the day we are thankful that we married someone who is different because of the richness of life that brings. You’ll build a close marriage not as you do everything together but as you give space for your differences.”