Not so much a question as a statement and alert to other married couples. My wife and I will be separating after nearly 30 years of marriage. We drifted apart. We both let it happen. I don’t blame her and I hope she doesn’t blame me. Our children are adults and worry what the future as a family will be like. I really want to remind everyone, if you have a good marriage, look after it.
Thank you for being so open at a very difficult time in your life. You are not alone, as I think you already know, in becoming complacent. It happens to many people.
The problem is that it happens silently, like background music that is there but not noticed.
We go about our lives together, covering all the bases of food, housing, getting to appointments and fall into that place of thinking that is enough for a marriage. As many have learned it is not- in fact- enough.
A relationship is a living organism. It needs those basics of food and housing but it also needs nurturing.
The nurturing is the hard part because that means all the times we need to be there for our partner when we’d much rather be doing something else. We do it because down the road we trust that our partner will do the same for us when we are in need. Trust is a cornerstone of any marriage.
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of any divorce is the broken bond of trust we had with our partner. There are many ways trust can be compromised in a marriage but in this instance the relationship was taken for granted and was lost as a result.
It’s much easier to go through the motions, look good to your world and make allowances for anything lacking. Then suddenly, the day arrives, as it happened to you, where you are staring into a void-an emptiness that cannot be filled. There is no anchor to the marriage anymore.
If there is any chance it is not too late then perhaps you can see a marriage counselor, have a trial separation and evaluate in a few months. In today’s world of instant everything you can take your time in this separation process. The rule book for how we must separate and divorce has long ago been thrown out.
Was there ever a good time together? What did that look like? Can you get back to that place?
If it is beyond the point of no return then you can be supportive, civil and committed to your family together. Resolve to be the best divorced couple possible with a relationship based on empathy and respect. Give your children the security they deserve. Although changed in structure you are still a family together.
If you do divorce remember it is not the end but a detour in life. Learn from the mistakes made and ensure your next relationship partner receives the care and attention they deserve.