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With all this Talk about Divorce....


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Well, I've read through quite a bit of these divorce threads and let me tell you its downright depressing. Honestly, I empathize with each and everyone one of you that are going through them. And although, fairly recently me Ex fiancee pulled the plug on our relationship after 6+ years, I wanted to see if there were any commonalites that may help those going through a divorce, those considering marriage, etc., to be able see the warning signs BEFORE a marriage goes awry. Call me old fashioned, but my grandparents have been married for 50+ years on one side and more than 40 years on the other side despite infidelity, arguments, etc. But the key thing, and call it traditional, was that they took their vows seriously and Divorce simply wasn't in their lexicon (which it seems today is all to prevalent in our society). So suffice it to say that when my Ex pulled the plug on our marriage hopes (and I can say, that I did feel kind of forced into being engaged to her, although I knew I'd probably marry her) I was a bit taken aback given the track record of people in my family usually hanging in there....


So what I wanted to do was to get a list or 'cheat sheet' if you will, that could point out some of the commonalities or problem area's that usually come up that lead a person to begin to pull away from the person they're with. I think for clarity if they could be bulleted points that might make it easier to read so that those considering marriage or that are early on in their marriage can look for these warning signs to KNOW that their relationship is heading south at a stage where it can likely be addressed:


For instance, I've heard women in these threads say that the following are indicative of them feeling as if they've made the wrong decisions:


Women (in no particular order)



1) Getting Married too young (e.g. under 25)--i.e., feeling that they've missed out on life and what it has to offer


2) Loss of Passion--i.e., the man no longer treats the woman as if she's a prized possesstion, such as dating her on a regular basis, taking her out--doing the very things that initially attracted her to him


3) Man Becomes Complacent/Neglects her--i.e., he takes her for granted and feels he doesn't have to work for her anymore


4a) No longer affectionate towards her--i.e., he no longer hugs her 12-15 times a day, kisses her, tells her he 'loves' her or that he 'appreciates' her

4b) Man is no longer affectionate in public--ie. doesn't hold her hand in public, kiss her in public, affirm his affection for her in public


5) Does not Help with Housework


6) Belittles her--i.e., treats her as if she's beneath him


7) Alteration in His personality--i.e., he goes from a warm spirit to a more cold/distant individual which could be the resultant of job loss/stress, depression, etc.


8) Man Tries to FIX her problems---Man wants to always solve her problems


9) Man no longer listens--I.e., man no longer values or pays attention to what the woman says


10) (Perception) that the man no longer finds her attractive--i.e., the woman perceives that he man no longer see's her as attractive based upon weight gain or his reluctance to take her out in public


11) Man is no longer ROMANTIC/spontaneous--(simiar to above) the man no longer acts romantic towards the woman, i.e., writing her love letters, telling her he loves her, being spontaneous


12) Woman (perceives) that she's making the man miserable--since the woman see's her man as not an upbeat spirit like he was when he met her, she internalizes his negative affect and assumes that she is the cause of it (whether rightfully or wrongfully so)


13) Man is not supportive--The man is not supportive of the Woman obtaining her goals, such as pursuing education, a higher position at work, etc.


14) Dismissing her emotions--The man is dismissive towards the way a woman feels or even worse, NEVER asks her HOW SHE'S feeling or HOW HER DAY WAS. Also, re-assuring her that her feelings are valid (which they ARE) and that you support them.


15) Man doesn't do the 'little things'--Man no longer does the subtle little things that foster intimacy, like holding open a door, talking to her and looking in her eyes [direct eye contact], turning the TV or other pursuits off when she talks to you, re-assuring her in her decisions (even if they are wrong).


16) Man makes a woman feel insecure--i.e., man no longer checks in on the woman (not like a stalker, but like a concerned soulmate) to make sure that she feels protected and O.K.


17) Man no longer has TIME for his Wife--Man no longer makes Wife his TOP PRIORITY [AND BTW FELLAS, THIS IS A BIG NO-NO]


18) Man no longer/or never did have an interest in STUDYING his Wife--This is ironic given that men tend to be very curious with alot of things (e.g., Sports) but yet don't spend half as much time studying the woman that they profess to love. And then we wonder why women move on to other men?


19) Lack of sense of Time--i.e., that men make a date for a given time then notoriously come late. If it were a business deal where you'd make 1 million dollars would you be late for that? Then why for a woman that you want to spend the rest of your life with?


20) Infidelity--Do I even need to mention this?


21) Feeling as if you're MOTHERING a man---many women feel as if the man there with is still breast feeding and hasn't graduated to solid foods with them. They may feel like a second mother to a man as opposed to his Wife/fiancee. Try to avoid this gents.


22) EXTREMELY JEALOUS Mate--Many woman feel constricted by a man that is OVERLY jealous. Probably should avoid that.


23) ABUSIVE MATE--THIS IS PROBABLY THE #1 NO-NO, FOR GUYS IN EITHER THE VERBAL OR PHYSICAL FORMAT. It should be a given, but I listed it just in case.


24) Feeling like a 'roomate' in a relationship as opposed to a soulmate--I've actually had an EX feel like this toward me so I believe I kind of get this. Kind of like you pay rent and contribute, but you don't do the other things that sustain a relationship. Easy to fall into that trap as a guy and believe, "well hell I'm contributing so she should be happy" when she desires more than that.


25) Man isn't open to new things--i.e., the man is unwilling to try new things with his wife like perhaps going to a play/opera, a museum, a book club, etc.


26) Man that does not financially contribute--Can make a woman feel like she's carrying a huge weight in a relationship and resentment can emerge


27) Feeling alone in a relationship--a negative affective state where a woman feels as if the world is on her shoulders and she's alone in a relationship with a man. Leaves her feeling as if she's suffocating and this is generally (at least in my experience) unknown to the man, especially in terms of its severity. And the fact that many men never ask, obviously doesn't help. Kind of like a cancer that's growing in a relationship, that a man only finds out about when its terminal and the relationship only literally has hours before it dies. What he doesn't know is that the woman has been thinking about this for months and by the time he hears about it, she's already reached a point where she's ready to throw in the towel. Sucks for guys here (I know it first hand ).


28 After an ARguments Man that walks away--This is a tough one and its natural for a man to walk a way, but from what I hear Women hate this as it makes the main seem more like a 'fair weather' friend. From a man's perspective, he just needs time to cool off and doesn't want to say or do anything that he'll regret. Tough sitch, but its better to understand both sides.



For Men (in no order):


1) Trying to Change Your man--a huge one, where women have a utopian idea/expectation of what there man should be try to make him that way only to later resent him when they realize he'll never be that way, or worse, he resents you for treating him as if he's broken since only broken things require fixing


2) Nagging--Contantly being nit-picky with your man about little things that in his eyes are only the sum of the parts, not the whole...


3) Lack of Sex--Let's face it, to men this is a biggie, no matter how you slice it.


4) Infidelity--Again, this goes both ways


5) A woman that's a DRAMA QUEEN OR OVERLY EMOTIONAL--Many men are turned off by a woman that's emotional at the drop of a hat. Tends to make them feel guilty.


6) Overly Jealous/Clingy Woman--See above.


7) Inflexible Woman--Many men don't like a woman that won't bend. Flexibility is generally preferred to inflexibilty.


8 Woman projects father onto Hubby--Woman may make men feel awkward if she expects her beau to be her father reincarnated. Similar to how a woman can come to resent a man that see's her as his mother.


9) Woman that does not financially contribute--Can make a man feel as if she's not carrying her weight.


10) A woman that is unwilling to give a man SPACE--I don't mean space in terms of break-up, I mean providing a man with a few hours each day to decompress and go into his shell, perhaps in a special room that only he has access to (by both of your understanding). Kids aren't allowed in, may be a garage, a tool shed, a computer room, etc. This can do wonders for guys.



Hopefully this list/Manual and the entries that follow can help some women and men to see the warning signs so that they can prevent a potential divorce before it happens. I'm not saying this is grounded in science or that it will guarantee the prevention of divorce. View it as food for thought and for entertainment purposes only--as a disclaimer.


But, IMHO its important to note that prevention is paramount and sometimes the other party simply DOESN'T KNOW what you're feeling if you don't tell him/her in a manner that they can understand. That's precisely why the list is here. And remember, Relationships are work and they're not easy. They are VERY EASY to end, but difficult to maintain. But also remember that nothing worth having is easy, really.


Please feel free to add!



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Hey Kipster,


That was very well-written. You covered the major turning points of any relationship. That is excellent.


Here are a couple more that the couple is capable of working on:


Build from the area of strength to reunit with each other. Remember the good times and the bad. This is important in building up a stable relationship.


Comprimise--learn to modify your own needs to help to gain stability and maintain a platform.


Listen--learn from the mistakes of others and learn from your own mistakes


Verbal abuse is any unkind statement directed at the other, even indirectly.


Not showing your best intentions toward the other. Complaining to others that the relationship is poor, but doing nothing to insure changes occur.


Competitve behavior, goals that comprimise the stability of the relationship. Putting the feelings of others before that of the spouse, ie-friends, ex's, the job, the in-laws!


Bad feelings need to be talked about casually, not in an argument, but before the feelings lay burried too long.


Depression and drug abuse need to be addressed.


Abstain from manipulative words and behavior. Don't act like a victim or a martyr. Control your words, actions and intentions.


Seek out guidance, maintain positive relationships with others.


Be good, expect that others are good too. Don't try and rationalize your feelings or actions. Make up, don't ignore bad feelings.


Stop arguing once a comprimise is reached, don't beat up the other, to make yourself feel better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow Kipster it looks like you have really done your homework. I think all of the things you pointed out are true.

I would add to this list Addictions of any kind. I didn't see it, maybe it was there.


The main thing is to learn to recognize the warning signs that things are not right... and then not ignore those signs. Walk away at the right time instead of a few years ( and a few kids) down the road. I wish we could all be strong enough to do that though... easier said than done.



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