Divorce isn’t rarely two-sided, and if your wife wants a divorce, you’re likely banging your head against the wall trying to figure out what went wrong and what you can do to make things better. If you feel like your marriage is slipping through your fingers, don’t sit there and bitch about it. Get off your butt and make changes. Don’t give up until you’re sure it won’t work. Just because she’s dropped the “D” bomb doesn’t mean your marriage has to end.
If you’re think that your marriage can be saved, it’s time to take things into your own hands. Take a look at the five things to do now if your spouse wants a divorce, plus, what you should never do if you want to save your marriage.
1. Suggest a “Do Over”
No, you can’t completely start over from the beginning. There will be fights that can’t be forgotten and words that can’t be taken back, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end. Make your best effort to Reignite the spark as best you can. Take your wife on dates, smile at her, tell her what you love about her and why you’re with her. Go out and do fun things, travel and try new activities. It’s normal for a relationship to become stale over the years. Marriage is a lot of hard work, and if you want it to last, you have to be willing to do the things that made it exciting in the beginning.
Suggest to her that the two of you give it one month with a “do over”. You both have to be in it together and agree to commit to specific time frame of trying to get your marriage back on track. If nothing changes after that time, then you can re-evaluate the long term prognosis, but changes like this that re-engage the spark are sure to make a positive impact on your marriage.
2. Evaluate and Change Your Behavior
If your wife wants a divorce because of what’s perceived as YOUR behavior problems, whether it’s anger issues, constant complaining, or bad habits, you need to change your ways now. This doesn’t actually mean that you’re to blame, and you likely have a list of her behaviors that you’d like to see changed as well. But, if you want to save your marriage, focus on yourself first and changing the behaviors you know may be damaging your relationship. This is really tough (hell, you’ve had how many years practicing and perfecting who you are), and you may have to seek out a professional to help the changing process. But, if your relationship has gotten to the point where your spouse wants out, you need to recognize your possible flaws and take responsibility for changing what you can.
3. Invest Time and Energy to Working on Yourself
You can’t fix your marriage if you’re not the best, or at least a pretty good version of yourself. Invest your time into activities that make you feel good and contribute to your healthiest, happiest self. Exercise, eat well, go to therapy if you need to. Recognize that there may be parts of you that have changed over time, and do your best to get back to a version of yourself you’re proud of. Sometimes we’re not willing to look at ourselves as part of the issue, but without that acknowledgment, nothing’s likely going to change for the better.
Take care of yourself and take the necessary steps to feel good about the way you look. If you’ve let yourself go over the years, bring back whatever used to make you look and feel your best. You’ll feel on top of the world, and it will make a huge difference in your marriage.
4. Seek Professional Help
If your marriage is on the brink of divorce and you haven’t seen a therapist or a divorce mediator, you need to do so ASAP. If your wife wants a divorce, there are issues between the two of you that need to be resolved. At this stage, it’s not always possible to work it out yourselves. Having a professional, objective, unbiased opinion can help you both figure out what the real issues are and how to implement positive solutions. Therapy and/or mediation will require both of you to own up to your share of the marriage problems, too.
Seeing a marriage counselor or therapist may not save your marriage. Both of you have to want to save your marriage for there to be any sort of resolution. If your wife refuses to cooperate, try your best to convince her why it would be beneficial and how much you want your marriage to work. Don’t push her too hard, but try your best to make her see the light.
5. Agree to a Temporary Separation
If your wife is determined to get a divorce, you may want to agree to a temporary separation (or trial separation). Yes, it may be the last thing you want to do, but if she needs space and time for herself, you need to give it to her. The tighter you hold on, the more likely she is to pull away.
Once you separate, she’ll be faced with the reality of what she thinks she wants. She’ll see what life is like without you and your marriage, and will have to decide if what she’s asking for is truly the best solution. It’s okay to trust in your relationship and the love you share, but you also need to prepare yourself for the worst. If the separation only strengthens her desire for divorce, the split may be the best thing for you both.
What You Should Never Do When Your Wife Wants a Divorce
As soon as you heard the words “I want a divorce” come out of her mouth, it probably hit you like a ton of bricks. Don’t overreact, don’t panic, and for God’s sake don’t beg her to stay.
Divorce is often discussed between couples for quite some time before it actually happens, and going off the rails early on isn’t going to help the situation. People can change their minds, and if you both commit time and energy to working on yourselves and your marriage, you may not have to worry about divorce.
Don’t shut down, either. It’s painful to hear that your wife wants a divorce, but ending communication completely is only just going to push the two of you farther apart. Eat dinner together, watch your kids’ sports games together, spend time doing things you like, and make sure to keep the conversation flowing. Remind each other why you married one another in the first place.
You Deserve To Be With Someone Who Wants You
Finally, don’t rush things. You and your spouse need to work at your own pace to salvage your marriage. Divorce rarely happens overnight; it often takes many months for couples to go through with it. Take the time to figure out what the issues are in your relationship, why it isn’t working anymore, and what both parties can do to make things better. If ultimately time and action don’t heal the problems, and your marriage comes to an end, you should realize that you deserve to be with someone who wants to be with you.
(c) Can Stock Photo / JackF
There are certain signs to look out for that could be grounds for divorce.
Whether you don’t see each other as often as you like because one of you is traveling for work, or you have a fight that goes on for longer than usual, rough patches are normal and can be resolved with work and over time.
Every marriage goes through rough patches. But do you know the difference between a rough patch and going through something that’s more than just a rough patch?
How to Tell It’s More Than a Rough Patch
- Your Communication Has Become Very Limited (or Has Stopped)
If you and your wife have stopped talking, this could signal major trouble for your marriage. Sure, if you’re not talking because you had a fight or your schedules have gotten hectic, you may be going through a rough patch. But if you’re not talking because you don’t care to tell each other about your days, or you have unresolved anger towards one another, it may be more than a rough patch.
Communication is key to a strong relationship, and it’s important to make sure that you don’t take good communication for granted. Communication is essential for support, comfort, and emotional well-being. Without proper communication with your spouse, you may feel like you’ve lost your connection or even feel like you’re living with a stranger. A lack of good communication is one of the main ways couples start to lose each other, and if it goes on for too long, could deteriorate into grounds for divorce.
Couples go through many tough situations that they’re able to work through, and even come out stronger on the other side. But sometimes, an issue is so problematic that the only way to solve it is divorce. If you’re going through something that seems beyond saving, see if you can work it out with couples’ therapy or individual therapy, depending on the situation. Seeking help will help you figure out whether or not you can work through your issues. If you try to work it out and it’s not getting better and seems unsolvable, divorce may be your best option.
- There’s No Trust in Your Relationship
A lack of trust in your relationship can stem from a number of different things. It could be that one of you did something to break the other’s trust, or it could be that someone from the past did something to break the trust and it’s still consuming your or your spouse’s thoughts and actions. You should never blame your spouse for the things someone else did, but sometimes people become obsessively jealous because they had someone in their past cheat on them. Wherever the doubts and jealousy comes from, a lack of trust can ruin a marriage.
If one of you breaks the other’s trust, whether it was infidelity, dishonesty, or any other type of betrayal, you need to decide whether you’re willing to put in the effort to get through it and gain the trust back. Jealousy and trust issues can seriously damage a marriage, especially if it’s due to insecurity and grounded in past relationships rather than the current one.
- Your Values Don’t Match
Some couples get married knowing their core values aren’t the same but are too in love to care. Love and infatuation can only take you so far. Over time, if your core values aren’t in line, and compromises can’t be reached, it could be grounds for divorce. For example, if you grew up in a family where your mom was happy to stay home and look after the kids, and you feel like that’s the way it should be, but your wife is adamant about having a career, this could become a major, unsolvable issue. Or, if one of you values independence but the other is completely dependent on the other and isn’t okay with them doing anything on their own, this could also spur serious problems.
- Your Relationship Has Become More Like a Business Partnership
Is your marriage feeling more like a business partnership where you’ve started living parallel lives rather than spending time together? Then you may be headed for a split. Sometimes when couples are going strong, they end up putting their attention and energy into other aspects of their life like work, kids, hobbies, friends, and pretty much anything else other than their spouse. It often doesn’t turn out well when this starts to happen.
You need to constantly put work into your relationship, even when things are going well. Make sure not to lose the spark. Keep spending time with one another, go on dates, take trips without your kids, do little things that show you care. If you start losing your connection and never make time for each other, it could be grounds for divorce.
- One of You Isn’t Willing to Work on Yourself
Marriage is a two-way street, and both you and your spouse need to constantly be working on yourselves to make the partnership work. In a strong marriage, you need to grow together while fulfilling yourself and becoming the best person you can be. If one of you is stuck in a funk, whether it’s substance abuse, unemployment, or a tragic loss, and isn’t willing to get better, it can be a huge burden on the marriage. Everyone goes through tough times, and sometimes it takes a while to get back on track, but as long as you realize that and are willing to work through it, you can overcome it and build on your relationship.
If you don’t grow together, you end up growing apart, and it takes work on an individual level to foster your relationship. If one of you continues to grow and the other stays in the same place, it can trigger major issues and negative feelings from both sides.
How to Know If Your Situation is Grounds for Divorce
The last thing you want to do is make a major decision about ending your marriage before you’ve given it enough time. Unless there was some sort of abuse, betrayal, or infidelity that can’t be forgiven, give your marriage time before jumping into a divorce. Depending on the situation, there could be something one, or both of you needs to work on. Marriage is work, don’t forget that. Even in good relationships, both parties still need to work on creating a strong relationship.
If your situation is unsalvageable or one of you isn’t willing to work on themselves to make things better, it can result in a lack of communication and a relationship that feels more like a business partnership than a loving union. Once the caring and work has stopped, you need to dig deep to decide whether your marriage is worth saving or if divorce is the best solution.
(c) Can Stock Photo / Nikolay_Sivenkov
Television, tabloids and true crime novels tell tales about the nitty-gritty hard-boiled characters who ferret out secrets: the private investigator. The 1920’s and 30’s were the golden age of tough, fictional P.I.’s; Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade: fedora sporting, trench coat wearing ‘dicks’ who were easily swayed to slap shoe leather for a dame in distress.
Times have changed. The information superhighway is much easier on the soles and with the advent of digital cameras and truly tiny spy devices, just about anybody can get a license. This new golden age is all about the spendable kind.
A Private Investigator Can Save Your Divorce Bacon
If you can afford one, hiring a private investigator during a messy divorce might be a smart way to go. Is a spouse suspected of nefarious activities? An affair? Neglect or abuse? Hiding assets? If true, any of these accusations can and will have a profound impact upon the outcome of your divorce proceedings, assuming, of course, you are the injured party. Suspicions of such behavior alone are worthless.
Unless the extramarital congress was caught on the JumboTron during the Super Bowl you will need more grounds for belief. In a judicial trial the participants are bound by something called “burden of proof”. What this means is to have – to provide to the court – evidence that supports the facts of what you suspect. Evidence that a judge can look at or listen to and decide whether or not he believes that yes, infidelity is or was taking place or there is a secret offshore account in the Caymans to which you are entitled a portion. In other words, can you actually prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that what you say is the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? That proverbial picture worth a 1000 words just may be worth a lot more than that.
What You Get From a PI
So what exactly does a private investigator do? Basically, they gather facts. Many specialize in specific areas like intellectual property, employee background checks, workman’s comp and insurance cases, business practice investigation and skip chasing – finding people who owe other people money, property or services.
Those who handle domestic work primarily tend to limit their investigation to public record searches and conducting surveillance. The former is tedious and time consuming, the later, following people without them noticing, while obtaining surreptitious photographs is not as easy as you might think and once again, runs up a good many billable hours.
Hours that average around $50 US per and can run up over a $100.00. Some will quote you a flat fee for a single service if say you wanted to find out the background of the guy your wife is seeing. Bear in mind that some good public record databases, archives and publications have a hefty subscriber search fee. An investigatory agency will recoup the cost of these annual charges as a business expense through the course of a year’s worth of clients. All of the financial details can be explained and arranged during a sit down with the investigator when you meet to outline your needs. It is important to be as honest and forthright as possible. The more information they have, the better they can produce results for you. Respectively, you can ask to be provided with a detailed accounting of the charges invoiced to you.
Manage Your Expectations
Before you rush off to Google ‘private investigators in my area’ there are a few things you need to be aware of. First of all, forget everything you’ve learned about the private detectives portrayed on crime shows and in movies. Licensed, professional P.I.’s are bound by law. They cannot, for instance, sneak into your wife’s house and copy financial records or snap in flagranti pics in the middle of the night. They cannot, in a majority of states, tap phones or obtain information by what is called ‘pretexting’ – which has nothing to do with sending a message on a cell phone. Obtaining information using a ruse, for example, putting on a uniform, carrying a toolbox and gaining entrance to a private residence or business is considered doing so under pretext and will land both you and your investigator in legal hot water. By hiring him or her you become just as legally culpable.
If you have or are retaining an attorney, chances are they already work with one or several investigators. If not, the smartest thing to do is seek out a licensed, experienced and reputable professional.
Know someone with a sneaky spouse?
Share this article on your social media.
(c) Can Stock Photo / squidmediaro
Change is inevitable in any relationship, regardless of how close you start out. When you first get together, you may have many of the same hobbies, interests, and opinions. As you grow older and go through more life experiences, both of your views will start to change. Rather than changing together, you each are changing in ways the other doesn’t understand. Before you know it, you may not even recognize the woman lying in bed next to you.
Often, this will cause issues in the relationship. Both of you want the other person to change in the same direction. Perhaps you take up a hobby that you think is the best thing ever, and your wife thinks it’s dumb and a waste of time. Maybe your wife stops working out, and you get back into the gym. Maybe your wife decides to go vegetarian, and you love steak. All of these things will eventually cause stress in the relationship – simply because you and your wife have incompatibilities.
Don’t panic just yet though. Change is normal and healthy. If both of you were to stay the same, you’d both get bored. Your conversations would be stale and unexciting. Change, as scary as it is in a relationship, is very important to keep things hot. Alongside that, no one wants to date themselves. You need to have some difference in a relationship to bounce ideas off of, have things to talk and debate about, and cause the friction that is necessary to draw two people together.
So how can you and your wife make these differences work for you?
1. Take an interest in your partner’s hobbies
It’s so easy to discredit or toss aside things that you don’t think you’ll like. It’s very easy just to say, “Nah, that sounds stupid!” and go and do your own hobby. You know you already like your hobby anyways.
The problem with that is that you’re missing an opportunity to get to know your wife in a new way before you’ve even tried it.
If your wife is passionate about something, take an interest in it! And by that, I don’t mean you have to go to her knitting meet-up or Jiu Jitsu practice – but just ask her about it. Try to find out why she finds it cool or relaxing or interesting. When she starts raving about something new she learned, stop what you’re doing and listen. Even if that hobby doesn’t specifically appeal to you, at the very least, you can pretend to care about what she’s saying. If you just show her new passion respect, she’ll feel loved and heard.
If you have even a small amount of interest in her hobby, try incorporating that into your life. For example, if she loves yoga, go with her to a yoga class and see what it’s about. If she’s started learning the guitar, take her to a show on a date. The more you spend time with her doing those hobbies, the more time you have together doing something fun. Plus, you’ll see what she values in her hobby, and that will give you more to talk about.
On the other hand, you should try to invite your wife to join in your hobbies and passions. If you love playing board games, teach her the rules to one of your favorites. If you’re getting back into fitness, invite her on a date where you go for a bike ride together and grab dinner after. Of course, you can’t force her to join you – but if she seems tentative, try to think of subtle ways to get her to partake in your hobbies. Eventually, she may learn to love your hobbies too. ‘
Hobbies are a fun way to spend time together….especially because it’s been proven that hobbies release endorphins and those hormones create a feeling of bliss that can bond couples together. Changing together doesn’t sound so bad when I put it that way, does it?
2. Spend time together (and make it non-negotiable)
One of the main reasons people grow apart is because they let life get in the way.
Jobs and kids and extended families and traveling and money all start to overshadow the actual relationship. Suddenly, it isn’t you and your wife against the world – it’s you and your roommate against the world.
Don’t let that happen. Don’t take each other for granted because before you know it, you both won’t know who the other person is and you’ll be left wondering why you got married in the first place.
The easiest way to combat this issue is to spend time together. Yes, it sounds easy. In reality, it’s not. This is one of those things that tends to sneak up on couples. You both live together, and you think that means you’re spending time together. In actuality, you’re just both doing different things in the same area. That hardly counts as quality time.
So, make “You-time” non-negotiable. If you have kids, get a babysitter or the in-laws over to look after them and then go out. Talk about things other than your children and have fun. Hell, go on a week-long vacation without the kids and reconnect over margaritas and sunsets in some tropical location. If you can’t afford that, then go for a picnic at a State Park and reminisce about all the crazy things you used to do. Make an effort to keep the bedroom hot and spicy (easier said than done) and continue to reconnect sexually.
It all comes down to making an effort to spend time together. You both chose each other for a reason – so remember that. If both of you make each other a priority in your lives, you’ll enjoy changing together. You’ll discover new things together and have more to talk about during the more mundane parts of your lives.
3. Ask important/thoughtful questions
The longer you’re with someone, the less you have any need to talk to each other. You’ve seen those old people on park benches or sitting in Denny’s, right? They sit there in comfortable silence because they’ve seemingly talked about everything and they have nothing left to say to each other.
Don’t be them.
If your conversations with your wife are shallow all the time, everything’s not okay in your relationship.
I’m not saying you need to fill every silence with deep, meaningful life changing questions – but what I’m saying is that every question shouldn’t revolve around what your kids did at school that day or what’s on TV. You and your wife should be having fairly deep conversations about your values, passions, and plans. This will not only show you a side of your wife you might not have known, but you won’t be hit over the head when she tells you that she wants to move to Mexico and learn Spanish. If you guys have consistently been honest and had fairly involved conversations, these kinds of life-changing talks will inevitably come up.
Along with that, most people enter marriage with the hope that they’ll be able to share themselves completely with another person. Of course, this probably isn’t completely realistic – but the ideal is there. Asking your wife deep questions about who she is, what she values, and what she pictures her future to be like will make her feel that she is important to you and that you still care about her as a person. Alternatively, you’ll learn new things about your partner that will enrich your life together.
Sometimes for men, it’s hard to talk about these kinds of things. That’s normal. A very easy way to break the ice is to look up “Questions to ask your Partner,” get out a bottle of wine and some good food and spend the night trading questions. Make it into a game if you want. Have another couple over and play “The Honeymoon Game” where you have to guess your partner’s answers. Just get talking.
Once you’ve started asking harder/deeper questions on a regular basis, you’ll find that things end up getting easier in your relationship. You’ll have a greater respect for your wife, she’ll have a greater understanding of what makes you tick, and overall your relationship will just feel stronger. You’ll both start changing together, and a lot of the issues you have will be more about working through them together than fighting against each other.
4. Embrace/respect the changes being made
Sometimes you won’t understand the change your spouse is making and you won’t be able to relate to her. This is particularly the case when it comes to big life changes in your spouse. And what constitutes a big life change? It could be something such as quitting her job, becoming religious, deciding she wants to move, changing lifestyles, etc.
The first thing you need to do is evaluate the situation. Sometimes people change in ways that are ultimately incompatible because it crosses a boundary. For example, if you both got married under the assumption you would one day have a family, and she no longer wants children – this will probably cross your boundary. Another example could be that your wife wants to open up the marriage and you don’t. In these two situations, there is very little room for compromise, and so it will be hard to respect or embrace the change.
But in most situations, a clear boundary is not being crossed, and although the change will impact your life, your wife is ultimately doing it because she feels it will improve her life.
It’s hard to accept change that you don’t understand so the next step is sitting down with your wife and trying to figure out why she feels she needs to make this change. Why does she think this change will benefit her? Why does she want this change in her life? When you have this information, you can start to see things from her perspective, and that will make the transition easier on everyone. Perhaps she’s going to church because she enjoys the social atmosphere or maybe she wants to quit her job because she’s bored and unhappy at her current one.
Whatever her reasoning is, don’t try to poke holes in it. Nothing will make her pull away (and change without you) more than you trying to destroy something she thinks is valid. Instead, try your best to understand. Be respectful and don’t get overly emotional.
You don’t necessarily need to change with her, but if you’re supportive and try to understand the value it brings to her life, you can grow alongside her. She’ll feel that you are her ally, and she’ll be happy to share the changes she’s going through with you. If there is something that will affect you, she’ll be more likely to want to cooperate if she feels you’re supportive of her life changes and on her side.
And of course, if you do have concerns, you need to tell her about them. If something is impacting your life and making you miserable, then an open dialogue is where you both need to start. Being open and communicative with your wife is going to be the first step to fixing any issues that may come up between the two of you. Changing together sometimes won’t be easy, and compromises will have to be made, but it will be a lot easier if you’re both respectful, direct, and open about what’s going on.
5. Focus on the positives in your spouse
When your wife starts to change in ways that you don’t understand or in ways you don’t really like, it’s easy to start to see the negatives in her and the relationship. Maybe you resent the fact that she’s decided to change without you, or in ways that you don’t like, and you feel yourself growing distant and angry.
When you get into these downward spirals, you need to stop and remember all of the good things about your wife. Perhaps she’s started to spend more time with her friends, and you feel neglected. Instead of feeling jealous that she’s spending more time with other people, think of how that makes her happier when she comes home to you. Maybe she’s become more religious – instead of focusing on how you don’t believe in what she believes in, start to think of how that might be nurturing her compassionate side. A change in your perspective can stop those negative thoughts in their tracks and help to connect with what you initially loved about your wife.
There’s a theory called “the broaden and build” theory that shows that positive emotions open your mind more and broaden your sense of possibilities, which helps you build new skills and resources that provide value in other areas of your life. So not only will positive thinking help you in your relationship, it may help you in other parts of your life also. If you can spin a negative situation into a positive one here, what’s stopping you from doing that in your job, with your friends, or during your hobby? And hell, your wife will probably appreciate your new optimistic outlook and want to spend more time with you, doing things you both enjoy. Honestly, it’s a win-win for you – you see your wife in a new light, and the world seems just a bit brighter than it did before.
Changing Together Adds Spice and Excitement
You and your wife will not be the same person throughout the marriage – that’s a given. You’ll both change in a myriad of positive and negative ways. The key to improving your marriage is in making an effort to understand each other and see one another for who you are. If you both take the time to see the world from your partner’s perspective, you can use these changes as a way to add spice, excitement, interest, adventure, respect, and love to the relationship. If you focus on how terrible these changes are, then you will be fighting against something you can’t win, and ultimately, your relationship will suffer and maybe die. So respect your partner, enjoy the changes, and focus on the good. Ultimately, that’s the only true way to change together.
(c) Can Stock Photo / McIninch
Love it or hate it, social media plays a large part in our everyday lives. From Twitter to Facebook to Instagram to Snapchat to Youtube, it doesn’t matter how far you run, it always seems to catch up. Phones have become permanent fixtures in our hands, and we spend hours and hours staring at both small and large screens. We take photos of food, friends, and events to share with other people who write the same hashtag as us. We ask for advice from complete strangers before our families. We’d rat her spend a night commenting on Youtube videos than go out to the theater with friends. We do things for the views and not for ourselves anymore.
And of course, one of the places you can see the effects of online communication the most is on your marriage. Social media is one of those things that sneaks in under the radar because “everyone is doing it,” and before you know it, it’s caused a large rift between you and your wife and you don’t understand why. So, how can all this online activity harm your marriage? Let’s count the ways.
Tuning Out/Ignoring Your Partner
This is probably one of the most obvious ways online behavior harms your marriage. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with your wife in bed and she just kind of nods along while scrolling through Instagram pictures? Has your wife ever tried to stand in front of the computer so that you’ll hear what she’s saying? In both situations, the other person starts to feel disrespected, unheard and forgotten. Nothing feels worse than not being as interesting or engaging to your SO as random pictures or words from strangers.
The worse part about this is that, for the most part, people don’t understand that what they’re doing is hurtful or disrespectful. They’re just caught up doing something different. As much as humans wish they can multi-task, humans are better at focusing on one task at a time. So when you or your SO goes to interrupt the other, the person using social media can’t switch from one task to another. That’s why you get the nods and the “Uh-huh, uh-huh,” even when she’s not hearing a word you’re saying. And that’s also why your wife goes nuclear after you shrugged off yet another attempt to ask you about your day.
So, how can you fix this?
First, if you’re the one guilty of ignoring your wife, it’s time to make more of an effort to put down the phone, turn off the computer, or close the tablet and listen. Yes, look her in the eyes and engage with her. If you find it hard to disconnect, then maybe you need to begin to ask her for help. Ask her to take your phone or hide your phone after dinner. Go for a walk together and leave your phone at home. Have blackout times where both of you are forbidden from using your phone.
If she’s the one who seems to be ignoring you in favor of FB, then you need to bring up your concerns. Tell her that her social media usage makes you feel disrespected, ignored in your marriage, and hurt. Tell her that you want to reconnect and then, just as above, make times where you both aren’t allowed to touch your phone. If you and your wife have a competitive streak, you can even make it into a game (“The first person to touch their phone has to do the dishes….naked.”) 9 times out of 10, she probably doesn’t even realize she’s disrespectful and so you need to show her that this is no longer acceptable and you want a change. If she cares about you and the marriage, she should try to make an effort to help solve the issue
It creates unrealistic expectations
Social media is fake. Or rather, it’s an exaggeration on real life. Everyone wants to show the best parts of themselves online. It’s not very often someone posts something mediocre or dull online. Instead, everything is flashy and glamorous and perfect. Everyone has a perfect marriage, job, and house on the internet.
It’s easy to get swept up in these fantasies. When everyone around you looks like they’re having the best time of their life and you’re not, it’s hard not to wonder if things would be easier with a different partner.
Here’s the thing though
No one has a perfect relationship, job, body or life. When you start to compare your life to social media, you will always lose. Your wife will always lose when compared to an airbrushed supermodel. If you had that woman though, she wouldn’t be as perfect as you thought she would be. Maybe she’d be a violent alcoholic or someone all of your friends hate. You get my drift.
So, treat social media like you would a magazine. It’s nice to look at, but it’s far from reality. And when you look at your marriage – don’t compare it to everyone else’s “Online Marriage.” Instead, compare it to what it was before. Has your relationship gotten better or has it gotten worse? If it’s worse, why? Can you return it back to the way it was before? In what ways has it improved? That is the real test as to if your marriage is headed in the right direction.
It fosters jealousy, snooping, and infidelity
Social Media can turn a relationship into a toxic cesspool in one fell swoop.
Because online networking is so far-reaching, it’s very easy to connect with a million different people from a million different places. You can make new friends, new business partners, and yes, new partners. In fact, experts say that social networks have made it easier to cheat with both familiar partners and also previously unknown strangers.
So when someone is permanently on their phone (especially late at night or during times when normally they wouldn’t be), it can cause the other person in the relationship to question what they’re doing. It’s not unheard of, then, for one partner to go snooping on the other partner to see if their concerns are valid. Often, even if there aren’t any red flags on the social media account, the partner who snoops will find out something they didn’t want to know. Perhaps there’s nothing explicit in the chat, but the two people discuss their marriages or issues in their marriage. Maybe there are a few flirty chat messages here and there. Whatever there are, one partner is eventually going to end up questioning the other. The other partner is then going to get angry as well because their privacy was invaded. This causes an obvious rift between the couple.
Jealousy is also created when one person in the marriage is constantly “liking” or looking at another person’s online accounts. Often these “likes” will pop up on their SO’s homepage, which can deeply hurt the person who sees their partner is engaging with someone new…usually in a flirty or sexual manner.
Both of these scenarios are relatively normal occurrences when dealing with social media.
An excellent way to fix this is to be upfront with your wife and most im portantly, yourself. If you’ve started engaging with someone online for validation, you need to stop what you’re doing and take a long hard look at your marriage. Why do you need this person’s approval in your life? Why can’t you get this from your wife? Have you both been drifting further from each other? Once you realize that your marriage needs work, you need to be the one to cut off contact with your virtual crush and get to work rekindling the spark with your wife. Take all of that time and effort you spend on your online crush and put it towards your wife. Be upfront with her about where you’re at in the marriage and the things you would like to improve.
If she’s the one who is spending a lot of time talking to a certain someone online, sit down and talk to her. Tell her that you’ve noticed what’s going on, you feel disrespected, and you want to work together to get your marriage back to where it was. Be direct, but not accusatory. If you snooped on your wife, then also fess up this. Tell her that you know it was unacceptable, but you were worried about your relationship and wanted to look into it further. She probably won’t be happy – but don’t let her use this as an excuse not to talk about what’s going on with her online crush. Both of you did something wrong to hurt the other’s trust, and both of you need to work through those issues together. If you find that you’re both stuck fighting the same fight ad nauseum, it’s time to look into marriage counseling.
Of course, if you find hard evidence of cheating, then you need to consider if working on your marriage is worth it. Sure, social networks makes it easier to cheat, but your wife’s actions ultimately come down to her. Your boundaries are yours to decide, but make sure that if she has done something that you find unforgivable, then you need to find a divorce lawyer and start getting everything ready. If you’re still willing to work on the marriage, then marriage counseling should be your next step. Either way, know that you get to decide what is right for you and your life and that you have control of how you react. Make the choice that is right for you.
Creating a false life to get likes
Social media is addictive for a number of reasons, but one of the biggest ones is because it gives you immediate positive feedback. In fact, according to the UCLA Brain Mapping Center, the “social” and “visual” parts of your brain are activated when you receive “likes” on Instagram-like social networks. To add to this, it doesn’t matter if the like is from a complete stranger or your friend – it all feels the same. So if you post a picture and someone likes it, it makes you feel good. When you see people comment on your posts and respond, it makes you feel popular. You want to continue to feel good and popular, so you share things more and more.
On a small scale, this isn’t a problem in a marriage. It becomes a problem when you are no longer living your life for you, but instead, you’re doing things for a faceless group of strangers who have the ability to like your content. A great example of this is when you and your wife have been arguing, but 10 minutes later, you both take a cute photo together with big smiles on your faces and “I love you sooooo much!” as the caption. Of course, you love each other – but at this moment, it’s not real. You’re posting this for other people – not the two of you. And do you really think you’ll look back fondly on that moment or will you be thinking of the huge fight you had before you took it?
It’s hard to separate an online persona from the real life, but you and your wife need to do this to have a healthy marriage. It’s okay to have online presence as an accessory to your marriage, but when it starts becoming more about the facade than the actual relationship, it may be time to take a break. Go camping far from Wi-Fi, take a hiatus, or limit your recreation online time on a weekly basis. Put the phones down during dinner, enjoy the music at the concert without Snapchatting, and talk to each other like you used to do.
Social Media is a Tool
Overall, social media is a tool. And just like all tools, its usefulness depends on how you use it. If you let it take over your life, run rampant through your marriage, and take up all of your free time, then prepare to have a very chaotic relationship with your wife. If you decide to use it in moderation, then make a conscious effort to keep that standard in your marriage. If your wife is struggling with a social networking addiction, then you need to be direct and upfront about what’s going on. Ultimately, it is her choice to quit her addiction – but you can be the guiding light that shows her that her behavior is unacceptable and how to get help. And honestly, in the end, your marriage is worth more than a few hundred likes. Don’t forget that.
(c) Can Stock Photo / AntonioGuillem
Your marriage and your career have many things in common. Both require hard work, passion, and good communication skills to be successful. As the saying goes, “Grass grows where you water it.” Depending on the industry or career, you may have to choose which is more important to you – your job or your marriage.
You spend eight hours (or more) at work every day – and usually, the rest of your day is dedicated to your marriage and your family. Unfortunately, in our demanding market, trying to balance your career with marriage is becoming harder and harder.
Companies are insisting on longer working hours, and we often bring work home with us. Our managers and bosses can email us at any hour, and we’re expected to be “on-call” even when we’re on vacation. We’re expected to give 110% every day in both our professional life and our personal life.
For some men, this is great. They thrive off of the challenge their work brings. They find that their work brings them meaning to their life and they enjoy that – maybe even more than their married life. For other men, the never-ending workload creates extra stress and depression, and they would prefer to spend more quality time to hang out, travel, and relax with their wives and families. Of course, everyone has different priorities and things that bring them happiness.
So sit down and think deeply about it. Ultimately you need to decide. Which is more important, your career or your marriage? If it came down to it and you had to choose just one, what would it be?
I choose my job!
So, you’ve asked yourself if you would rather keep your job or your marriage, and you’ve decided that your job brings you more fulfillment. There are many reasons you might feel this way. You might feel that you’ve worked harder in your career and have gotten further than you could have ever imagined. You might feel that you spend most of your weekends wanting to work. Maybe you’re a certified workaholic that loves the challenges that work brings to you. Perhaps you’ve started your own business, and you’re passionate about seeing your hard work pay off. Whatever the reason, your job feels more important to you than your marriage right now.
Obviously, this is affecting your marriage. You wouldn’t be here if it weren’t. You’ve been juggling too many things at once, and you’ve dropped the ball a few times. I’m sure this has created immense stress on your marriage. Probably one of the reasons this is happening is because you haven’t been honest with yourself or your wife. You didn’t want to admit out loud that your job is more important to you than your marriage.
So, how can you fix this?
Step 1: Acknowledge the situation
The solution starts by admitting to your wife that your priority at the moment is your work. I know that sounds crazy but honestly, you can’t start solving these issues until you come clean with her. Like with work, clear and direct communication is the backbone of a healthy marriage. Should you say: “Honey, I love you, but I love work more.”? Not unless you’re already done with the marriage and ready for a fight. Instead, go into this conversation with compassion. Sit her down and tell her, “Honey, I’ve realized that my career brings me a lot of happiness and fulfillment. I know I’ve been focusing a lot on my career, but the reason I’m doing that is because of reasons X, Y, and Z. With that said, I know that my work has caused some issues in our marriage and I would like to talk about that.”
This is a good way to start the conversation because it shows her that your career is important to you beyond just the money aspect. If you both have a reasonably healthy relationship, she’ll want you to be happy in your job. It’s also good to acknowledge that you’ve been spending more mental energy and effort on your career than your marriage. Everyone can appreciate the person who is introspective enough to look at the situation and admit that there are problems that need to be addressed.
Step 2: Come up with a game plan
Now that you both know where you’re both at, you need to come up with a game plan. If you’re still looking to stay married, you need to compromise. The reason there is so much struggle is probably because your wife feels unappreciated and forgotten. Ask her about ways that you could improve the situation. What does she need to make her feel better about your work schedule? Maybe she would prefer if you didn’t talk about work all the time or maybe she wants you to stop working six days a week and stick to a Monday to Friday schedule. You get the idea. Be open to her suggestions. You don’t need to agree on every little thing, and of course, stick to your boundaries, but also try to see where she’s coming from. She married you because she liked spending time with you, exploring new places and things with you, and enjoyed your company. She didn’t expect to marry someone who only focused on their career.
With that said, you are looking for tangible goals you can accomplish. Don’t be vague. If you both agree to go on a date night once a week – pick a day! If it helps, pick out the activity and make reservations ahead of time. If she wants you home for supper, then have her give you a call at 5 pm to remind you to head home. It’s hard when you have to choose between your job or your marriage, but it’s easier when you can have a bit of both. If she respects you and your grind, and you respect her and her needs, then you can both work together to get through it. Balance is essential.
Step 3: Look into divorce
So, you’ve tried talking to your wife and explaining the situation, and you’ve tried making game plans. You’ve tried to leave work early and not bring it home with you. You’ve tried to cut back on emails and late night work dinners. Unfortunately, your job is just too demanding, and you’re not willing to give it up. It’s something you enjoy and something you take pride in.
There is nothing wrong with that.
With that said, you have to realize that your wife deserves someone who is present in her life. Ultimately, if you both can’t compromise the struggle will continue indefinitely. If your career is that important to you and the stress of the marriage is becoming too much, it’s time for you to begin to look into finding a lawyer to discuss your options. Some issues in relationships are irreconcilable and making the decision between your job or your marriage might be one. If all else fails, then you need to follow the thing that brings you the most joy and fulfillment.
I choose my Marriage!
So, you’ve thought about it, and you’ve realized that your career is hurting your marriage. If this is you, you’re not alone. The stress of the job, the commute, the long hours working in front of computer screens, and the stress of never having a minute to decompress can wreak havoc on a marriage. If you add in children and your wife also dealing with work, it can seem overwhelming. Of course, emotions are going to run high and passion cold when you’re dealing with chronic everyday stress. In fact, it’s been reported that 64 percent of working parents revealed that they’re too stressed from work and taking care of families to have sex with their partner. But what can you do to change this?
Step One: Find a new direction
The first thing you and your wife need to do is take a very introspective look into your life together. Sit down at the kitchen table and hash everything out. Focus on the solution and don’t point fingers. Both of you have created your life together, and both of you are to blame for things going sideways. So rather than focus on that, focus on how you can work together as a team to get through it. Some questions you might want to ask are things like: What are your priorities as a couple? What would you like to have more time to do together? How are your jobs affecting your marriage? Do you travel too much for work? Are you working in a stressful work environment?
Once you have answered these questions, you can start working towards your goal. If your commute is destroying you and eating into family time, then maybe you need to consider looking into getting a new job or moving closer to work. If your work is too stressful, then maybe you need to find a new team, go back to school, or talk to someone about changing positions. If you find that you don’t have time to de-stress before you get home, maybe plan to take a walk or go to the gym before coming home.
Step 2: Gain financial independence
Of course, sometimes it’s hard to switch your job or get out of a situation that is making you miserable. If you absolutely can’t fix your issue, you and your wife should try your best to gain financial independence. Cut down significantly on costs, create a budget, and begin to pay off debts. This may not seem like it will help your marriage, but a lot of marital stress comes from financial issues and the stress that comes from living paycheck to paycheck. When you are that swamped in debt, you have no options and no bargaining chips. When you’ve gotten your finances in order, lots of money in your emergency fund, and your retirement all paid for, you can look into working at jobs that make less money but give you more time.
A good place to start would be talking to a financial advisor about your options. You could also look into books or blogs that could help you with saving and paying off debt. If you have thrifty friends that seem to have vast financial knowledge, ask them also. It’s not easy to change old spending habits, but you and your wife will breathe a lot easier knowing that everything is in order. Create a plan and stick to it.According to Forbes, small steps will get you there much faster than having a big vague goal in front of you.
Step 3: Change your situation
Another great option is to talk to your company or job about the situation at work and try to change it. The company that you’re working for may have a few different options for you depending on your situation. Many people now work from home a few days a week. It’s been reported that individuals who work remotely are more satisfied with their jobs and also feel less stress from their jobs. Another option is asking to change from a job where you spend a lot of time traveling, to something that has more of a home base. With so many different ways to connect, its so easy to stay in one location and work from there.
Talk to your HR department or supervisors and see what they say. If you’re working for a good company, they’ll want to keep you around, and they’ll want you both to be happy about the situation. They can help you come up with a plan and execution to satisfy both of your needs. In the meantime, you’ll have more time and energy to spend with your wife and family and less stress to deal with. Which is what both you and your wife wanted to begin with.
Choosing Between Your Job or Your Marriage is Hard
All in all, deciding whether to choose between your job or your marriage is hard. There aren’t very many clear cut answers. What is most important though, is that you do what feels right to you. Don’t feel ashamed if you’d prefer to be at work than at home, and vice versa, don’t feel ashamed to prefer to be at home than at work. Neither is better – they’re just better for you. It’s your life – live it the way you want.
Help a workaholic.
Share this article on your social media.
(c) Can Stock Photo / photography33