If you’ve been following the comments the last few days you’ve seen some exchanges about divorce, why it happens, who’s at fault, and so on. For those who have not been following the comments, let me be clear on my focus – I want to see marriages saved. That does not just mean not divorcing, it means moving from a poor or declining marriage to a healthy and growing marriage.
Many marriages reach a point where one person is done. They are too numbed, too calloused, or too hurt to care any more They stop trying, and often they stop responding to what their spouse does even if their spouse makes huge improvements. Sometimes this leads to divorce, other times it leads to a couple who are married in name only. Regardless of whether it ends in divorce or not, the result is bad for the husband, the wife, and their kids. My focus is on keeping marriages from reaching that point. I know from experience (in both dealing with couples and talking with others who do the same) that few marriages recover once they get to this point. It does happen, but sadly it is the exception.
One major reason that women reach the give up point is a lack of love, support, and involvement from their husband. For men, common causes are a lack of respect and failure to be sexually available. All of these are, in my mind, wrong, and should be addressed even if they did not put the marriage at risk. That they do often put stress on marriages, and can contribute to a divorce or a marriage in name only, makes it important to deal with these things.
Because of how we have been raised, we all have blind spots; we all have things we don’t understand. Women often fail to “get it” about sex, while men often fail to understand what women need emotionally and relationally. Some marriages can be saved, and many marriages can be made better, by helping men and women to “get a clue” about the places where they are failing their spouse. This is why I blog about these issues, and since I blog to men, I primarily blog about things about which men need a clue.
It has been suggested in the comments that I am blaming the victim by focusing on what men fail to do when the reality is women initiate most divorces. My intent is not to blame anyone, but rather to point out wrongs and failings so that divorce can be avoided. I don’t feel that “S/he did not have a biblical right to divorce me” is really of any help or consolation to someone divorced against their will. To me this is like having “He had the right of way” on one’s gravestone. If pointing out common issues that contribute to divorce means I am “blaming” then so be it. But blame is not my goal.
Have you noticed all the articles about divorce this week? I didn’t know it when I started on this series, but a new divorce reform infinitive was launched this week. This attempt to make it more difficult for couple with children to divorce has bipartisan support and a broad base. The Huff Post calls it The Most Pioneering Divorce Reform Effort In 40 Years . Lori Lowe was one of nine blogger chosen for the initial kick-off (way to go Lori!). See her article, with links to the initiative’s web site, in her post New Divorce Reform Initiative Launched. If you care to read some of my thoughts on this movement, you will find them in the comments of Being a Child of Divorce is a Risk Factor for Early Death, Say Researchers. That page shares information I read on one of the more alarming articles I saw on divorce this week, which said that a parent’s “divorce cut lifespan an average of nearly five years” for children.
Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:
This weeks new blog, Stupendous Marriage, is from Stu (I see what you did there) Gray, who used to do The Marry Blogger. It’s good to have Stu back at the keyboard, and I’m looking forward to The Stupendous Marriage Show that Stu and his wife Lisa will be starting this summer.
Knowing Your Luck – A Guy Who Figured it Out: A great guest article by @HubbyPhD. Good tips on ways to improve your “luck” at having more sex.
Black and Married with Kids
How Do Couples Outgrow One Another?: A great article that fits well with my last few posts.
If You Are Happy and You Know It, Then Your Marriage Will Surely Show It: Good article – and very true.
I’m Glad I Chose You: Can you be the kind of husband Tara says her guy is?
Intimacy in Marriage
Sexual Positions in Your Marriage: Hey, I’m a Housewife, Not a Gymnast: If your bride is relectant to try a new postion, this article by Julie might help.
Journey to Surrender
Clarifying the Other “As If”: How do you deal with the reality that her needs and your needs are different?
Man Up and Ask Her: Scott is daring you to ask her how you are doing about meeting her needs. I will up the ante by a dog!
The Other “As If”: I love this post – a MUST READ!
Is seeking success keeping you from a happy life and marriage?: A good, and challenging article.
One Flesh Marriage
How a Woman Wants to be Loved!: Kate does a great job explaining how to make your bride feel loved.
Peace & Projects
25 Simply Beautiful Ways to Show Someone You Care: This is not specifically for marriage, but has a lot of great ideas that would work well in your marriage.
Romantic Act of the Day
The Romantic Vineyard
How’s The Forecast?: Great analogy great post.
K.I.S.S. – The 10 second kiss: Another Just Do It!
How To Encourage Married Couples: Something we should all be doing (IMHO).