Henry got married at age twenty to a women of nineteen.
His job was to take care of the car(s) and any outside maintenance and Mindy’s was being the homemaker, doing cooking, cleaning and laundry. He was happy with their traditional roles and in being the provider. Life was good. Life was stable and they knew what to expect.
They got on with each other’s families and had a nice circle of friends. They proceeded to have three children and each addition was cherished. How could life be any better than this?
Mindy got a part-time job to save up some money for college when the kids got older.
When she enrolled, this entailed juggling classes, a job and household chores. Mindy was changing into a different person on this new path. Henry felt left behind and resented this new game plan in which he had no say.
He was not consulted and did not want to start learning how to do household chores at this stage in life. Mindy said it was like bringing up four children, while having no help.
Mindy filed for divorce. Henry was gobsmacked and did not see how his traditional view point on the sexes contributed to it.
Whenever Mindy sent Henry a kind letter, or was pleasant in their co-parenting interactions, Henry would confide to buddies that she wanted to stop the divorce proceedings. This could not be farther from the truth. After their divorce was finalized, Mindy would invite Henry to be part of their children’s celebrations. It was only when our mutual friend sternly told Henry that it was over – she is a fantastic co-parent that he was able to move on. Several months later Henry got into a serious relationship.
Sometimes a couple grows in different ways or one likes life to stay the same. Henry had the right to expect status quo in their relationship, and Mindy had the right to obtain an education to feel fulfilled. Hearing Henry’s story reminded me of the movie Educating Rita with Michael Caine and Julie Walters about a similar situation.
Wendi Schuller is a published author who has conducted classes on various subjects. She draws upon her knowledge as a nurse, Neuro-Linguistic Programmer (NLP), and hypnotherapist, providing a blueprint to guide women through this difficult transition. Schuller hired an attorney for a court divorce, but decided to go the collaborative route instead and has worked with a mediator post-divorce.
Author of The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce
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