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At what point is it appropriate to get a divorce?

At what point is it appropriate to get a divorce? Very recently I got into a discussion with someone who said they didn’t know if they loved their wife. Now that’s a big statement to make. So I started to ask more questions.

They have been married for over 10 years with kids. Apparently, things she used to like to do with him, she no longer enjoys. According to him, and there are always two sides of the story, she doesn’t do much of anything she enjoys anymore.

I asked him if maybe she feels oversaturated with kids and working? He said she does not want to do anything even when she has the time. She also does not buy things for herself or go out with her friends. Even though money and friends are readily available.

I started to wonder if maybe she had lost something in herself along the way? Maybe she was depressed or maybe her interest was in someone else?

Upon further discussion, the spontaneity and intimacy blocks were also not being checked. I asked what a reasonable amount of sex would be. He said once a week would suffice. Currently, they were averaging every other month which is only six times a year. Even after they had kids, the sex was often. Over the last couple years it has dwindled to almost none.

Do you think she is cheating? I asked. He said he didn’t think so. He also said she wanted him to be sexier and more spontaneous in bed. But when he tries, she just makes a comment about how he’s only doing it for sex.

I asked if they get along or fight a lot? He said they don’t fight over big things and they get along fine.

They also hate talking about their feelings but clearly, they are unhappy. I tried to think of myself in this woman’s shoes but I’m not sure what is going on. There is always two sides, but speaking from the side I have, she can’t ask for more spontaneity and then when she gets it complain it’s only for sex. Well no shit, sex is a huge deal in relationships. And this couple is only having sex six times a year!

She also refuses to schedule sex. And he said she won’t go to therapy either. Now maybe if he had a heart to heart, she would change her mind. But he also said they have had numerous discussions and she always says she will try harder and then nothing changes. He also said they both would not get a divorce regardless of the situation because they had kids.

I’m a huge proponent to actions speak louder than words. Or maybe she has changed through the years and they both have not adapted to this new change and found a common ground? It sounds like she might have some other issues going on she needs to work out on her own. And if she can’t do it herself, therapy might be a good start. Get a neutral third party to see where the issues are instead of the couple pointing fingers.

So at what point is divorce ok?

My grandmother always said, the secret to a lasting marriage is that both people don’t fall out of love with the other at the same time.

I think that is a very realist statement. I think pretending a marriage is wonderful for its entirety is naïve and childish. Marriage is ugly and raw sometimes. So if it were my choice, I would try therapy and if ‘dating’ each other and having more sex brings back the spark and love, well then, that was simple. If after all that, it still leaves you feeling empty, maybe talk about the next steps. I do not think two people should stay together just because they have children. Those kids are going to grow up watching fighting and no love between two people. They can associate that with how a relationship is supposed to be and really screw up their chances at happiness.

Yes, divorce blows. But it does give both sides a chance at finding what they really want and someone who is a better match to who they are at this point in their life.

So whatever path you take, I would say, ask yourself this, if in five years, you look back, will you be content with how things worked out? Or could you have done something or tried harder to have a better outcome?

Anger, sadness, and egos can get in the way of what we really want. Don’t let that control your life into terrible decisions made when you were not mentally prepared to make a educated choice.

Whatever you decide, listen to your heart, it always knows the answer. Sometimes, we just don’t take the time to listen.

If you want to read another article about a couple getting a divorce after 30 years of marriage and how it affects everyone even the grown children, check it out here.

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