As a marriage counselor, I’m supposed to be fair and objective. So when I write a one sided article like this one I realize that I’m setting myself up for comments like “This is so one sided. You call yourself a marriage counselor?” and “How chauvinist for a male counselor to pick on women like this. Men have problems, too.” Let me say loud and clear that I understand this. And I agree with them. And I’m going to write this article anyway.
The truth of the matter is that there are two sides in a relationship. And as a marriage counselor that doesn’t mean that both partners’ complaints cancel each others’ out like some childhood playground game. It actually means that both his AND her sides are valid. In other words, the wife’s complaints about the husband are valid AND the husband’s complaints about the wife are valid as well. Which means that women contribute problems, too. And it’s those problems I’m focusing on here. Don’t worry, I’ll write another one for men. But today, it’s the ladies’ turn.
5 Reasons The Divorce is Your Fault
1) You Didn’t Say What You Really Wanted. Everyone’s heard this one. The husband asks his wife
what she wants to do and she says “oh, anything you want to do is fine”. So they staying end up staying home and watching a movie but then she gets mad because she would have rather him put in more effort and gone out to do something. Then he gets mad at her for saying that she wanted to do anything and she gets even more mad that he doesn’t care enough about her to be in tune with her and know what she wants. And she goes on believing this is just another sign of how bad things are in the relationship if her husband isn’t that in tune with her.
Well, ladies, just say what you want in the first place. It really is that simple. It’s a Hollywood notion that your husband can just intuitively know what you want – especially if you say that anything he wants sounds good to you. You said it, he believed it. So son’t get mad at him for believing you. You do want a spouse who believes you, after all.
2) You Were Too NitPicky. So many women get mad at their husband for not doing things around the house. Then when he does them you get mad because he doesn’t do them right. So you end up showing him. But then you get mad at him because you shouldn’t have to show him. You believe that if you have to show him how to do it, it’s just another sign that he doesn’t pay attention and doesn’t care.
Well, there’s more than one way to skin a cat and there’s more than one way to do chores around the house. If you want him to do it exactly how you do, you’re probably being too nitpicky. In corporate terms this is called being a micromanager. And we all know that just doesn’t work. Let him do it – even if he uses the wrong rag or doesn’t load the dishwasher with the bowls on top. It still gets done. It’s really not a sign that he doesn’t care if he loads the dishwasher “wrong” (i.e. differently than you).
3) You Objectified Him. Yes, women objectify men, too. But instead of wanting a man for his physical features, women objectify a man based on his Prince-Charming-like features. Is he courageous, funny, popular with my friends, climbing the corporate ladder, etc? This is objectifying. There’s nothing wrong with an honest man who likes to play XBox instead of fight dragons or who likes to rebuild classic cars instead of trying to make you look good in front of your friends.
When you objectify your husband you put pressure on him to be someone else instead of loving him for who he is. When you do that, you put him (and you) in a lose/lose situation. He can’t be himself and still be loved and he can’t live a facade for too long without getting frustrated and depressed (which you won’t love anyway).
4) You Didn’t Give Him Enough Sex. (Caveat: this point is based on the premise that your man is a good, fair and non-manipulative husband). I know I’m going to catch some grief for this but it needs to be said. Ladies, if you’re not having sex with your husband you’re creating as much of a problem in the relationship as he is. Sex is a critically important aspect of marriage. If you’re living together but not having sex, you’re just being roommates – and that’s a real problem.
It often happens as a mom that you get so wrapped up in the kids, that you forget about your sexual self. And if you forget about yourself sexually, you’re definitely not thinking of him sexually, either. You’re not saving energy for him at the end of the night and you’re not thinking of him as a lover. There’s nothing wrong with him wanting sex and there’s nothing wrong with him approaching you for it. If you want him to be monogamous, you’re the only one who can give it to him after all. That’s not him pressuring you that’s just the nature of a monogamous relationship. And at one point you thought this was romantic.
5) You Didn’t Give Him a Shot in Counseling. After so many years of pain and anger it’s common to feel a lot of resentment towards your husband. The problem with this is that even though you’re going to see a counselor, that resentment gets in the way of accepting his apologies and trying to make amends. Instead, you want to make him pay for all the hurt and pain he’s caused over the years so you make sure to throw some zingers at him about what a jerk he’s been and you make sure to give a lot of examples of exactly when he did certain things that hurt you.
When this happens, counseling becomes a continuation of the battle you’re having at home. You don’t need to pay a counselor to watch you fight. So instead of continuing the fight in the counselor’s office, try to bury the hatchet and come together to find solutions and healing. Give him a shot and hear him out. There’s a reason he’s not stepping up in the relationship, try to find out what it is instead of crucifying him for it.