I know that most of my topics are based around after you are divorced. However, on the offhand chance that you are not divorced yet, I thought I would talk about ways to maybe avoid it in the first place. Hindsight is always 20/20 of course, but over the years I have always tried to go back in time and figure out what I could have done better. The fact of the matter is, that getting divorced sucks. Especially with children. Yes, there are people that are very happily divorced and for all of the right reasons. But for every one of those, there are 10 more that are miserable and have a hard time getting over it and moving on. Divorce for most people is horrible, life changing event that changes every faucet of their life, in many ways for the worse. For women, they are faced with becoming a single mom and usually raising their kids full time and on a shoestring budget. And for the man, they become a poor, washed up soul that has no direction. I will use my self as an example. I was desperate to see my girls whenever I could and missed them terribly. Every dime I had either went to the girls’ mom and child support or to pay my bills with nothing left over. And was drinking way more than normal. Not an alcoholic, but was spending way too much time with a bottle in my hand to hide the pain. I was an absolute mess. My life was turned completely upside down and was in a shambles. And it was my choice. You see, when most people think of divorced people, they think it should be great. You can do whatever you want, see whoever you want to see, and live how you want to live. And in theory most of that is true. But what people don’t see is the picture that I painted you about myself.
So how can you stop it from happening? Well, that is the million dollar question and the answer is different for everyone. But there is a common theme for everyone and one that I write about in my book that will be out soon called “The Bowling Ball…A guide to a health relationship”. It is so simple really when you think about it, but for whatever reason most people avoid it at all costs. Any guesses? Just talk! I told you it sounds so simple. Most relationships that come crashing down do so because of their inability to just talk to each other. Once a couple starts a family and gets into a routine, it seems like that is where the communication ends. It is easy to see why. You are usually both exhausted. And once the kids are finally asleep, you usually go right to bed and wake up the next morning and start the routine all over. Let me ask you, how many times did you before, or do you now, have a date night with your spouse and really talk about how each other is doing. I am willing to bet that the number is pretty low. But here is the problem with that. You never get to really understand how the other is actually feeling about your life together. Maybe they feel like you are drifting apart, or maybe they feel like you don’t love them anymore. But in reality, it is not that at all. Maybe you just forgot to tell them how you feel about them still. Or on the other hand, maybe they did something that really upset you but you decide to not talk about it. Why? Because it is just easier not to talk about it. Are you starting to understand why communication is so key. And here is the scary part of all of this. If you continue down that path, it can reach a point of no return. You can drift so far apart that no amount of talking will bring you back together. Believe me, I know this is true. That is what happened to me.
So how do you fix it? Life gets busy when you have a family and both parents are stretched to the limits but that doesn’t mean you can forget about your partner. All you need to do is to tell them that you still love them and how much they mean to you. Make eye contact with them on a regular basis so they know that you are still there. Hug them on a regular basis. Just because you can’t be there for them at that moment doesn’t mean that you don’t need to “be there” for them. Also, if something is bothering you, tell them. Whether you set up a date night to talk or make time after the kids are in bed, you need to tell them you how you feel. Trust me, if you continue not to talk about things that are bothering you they will not go away. In fact, they will get worse. More things will get added and before long there are too many things to count it will finally boil over into a real problem. I know talking about those things are not easy, but it is way easier to talk about them now then to wait until you are in your attorney’s office. There are many relationships that can be saved. Trouble is, someone actually has to save them. Do something about it before it is too late. Start talking with your partner now. If this reaches just one person and helps them then it is all worth it.