I am routinely asked by the husbands in my divorce mediation practice, “Why am I getting a divorce?” They are genuine and truly have no idea why their wives are asking for a divorce. I then approach the wives and ask, “Why are you getting a divorce?” They almost always tell me, “Oh, he knows why we are getting a divorce. I have told him again and again.”
As an attorney who has been mediating divorces for over 23 years, I may have the answer that you seek.
Both are true. He truly doesn’t know AND she told him again and again.
This is what I have learned in my 23 years of mediating divorces.
Why your marriage ended and why you are getting a divorce are actually quite different.
You are getting a divorce because your marriage has ended. So, why has your marriage ended?
Caution. I will be generalizing and stereotyping. Why? Because this is honestly what I see and hear from my clients. Are their examples both ways? YES! Do I see them all the time? No. My gay and lesbian clients don’t tend to fall into these stereotypes, which means they are not included in this blog post. Keep in mind, these aren’t my perspectives of husbands or wives or marriage. This is what my clients tell me.
Men tend to ask for a divorce when either:
- their wife’s spending causes them so much stress that they would rather be divorced,
- they are engaging in an affair,
- they are tired of a lack of sex life with their wife, who isn’t interested in being intimate with him,
- they are tired of a lazy wife, and/or
- addiction issues
Women tend to ask for a divorce when either:
- they do not feel adored/cherished by their husband,
- they feel like they are their husband’s mother,
- the household chores and parenting are disproportionately assigned to her,
- they are stressed by the competing parenting styles,
- they are engaging in an affair
- they are tired of a lazy husband, and/or
- addiction issues.
The reasons aren’t mutually exclusive. Several can be true for the husband AND several can be true for the wife, simultaneously. Why is this important? Just because s/he is asking for the divorce doesn’t mean s/he doesn’t have a role in the demise of your marriage.
So, why are you getting a divorce?
The person asking for the divorce controls the narrative for why you are getting a divorce. So, the “reason” you are getting a divorce is different from the “reason” your marriage ended. You are getting a divorce for whatever reason the person asking for the divorce has stated because, in truth, you would still be married if s/he didn’t demand a divorce.
Just because s/he controls the narrative about why you are getting a divorce, doesn’t mean that s/he controls the narrative about why your marriage ended. Your marriage ended for a variety of reasons, typically both sides are at fault, but not necessarily equally. The exact reasons and the exact blame for the demise of your marriage may never be fully known.
Divorce is agonizingly painful, and honestly, likely the most painful experience you will ever endure.
You can limit the damage of a divorce on your family by enlisting a seasoned divorce mediator to mediate your divorce. You may not want the divorce, but you can control the outcome, reduce costs, and not hate your spouse as you exit the marriage.
No one wants a divorce. But, if you need a divorce, give me a call.