Monday, June 11, 2018

Divorced Men Who Knew their Marriage was Over - Melancholy or Opportunity to Move On?

Some Warning Signs from a Dominate Energy (Male) Account That The Masquerade is Over.

[If you just want to get to the bittersweet and avoid the reading and accept the final curtain call there is a wonderful song by Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley titled The Masquerade is Over. The jazz standard plays really well in an imaginal scene with a vinyl record player and a gin and tonic, or dry martini.]

I have had male clients who have disengaged with their spouses and were not fully committed to the relationship.  The other group within this client group are the men who were blindsided. Blindsided either by their partner or their own avoidance of the facts presented them.  The writing might have been on the chalkboard but they chose to ignore the screeching sound only to plow through the homework hoping to turn in the assignment desperate to receive a mere passing grade.  

Although I mentioned “male” clients this is primarily a representation of an energy within the relationship more so than let’s say specific gender.  Quite often, ...
many marriages are salvageable, but as this dominant energy often struggles to express feelings a miscommunication allows for a breakdown of functionality.  The ebb and flow, the yin and yang, the alpha and beta becomes unbalanced. This breakdown works as a negative equation within relationships allowing for insecurities to manifest in unions that were at one time hopeful and endless with positive possibilities.

As some of us in relationships become sedentary with settling into bland life experiences such as work, friendships, and recreational activities we fail to honor that we deserve more in or partnered unions.  I came across this article 10 Divorced Men On The Moment They Knew Their Marriage Was Over.  For people who are focused on priorities other than relationships but still fully invested in their unions check-ins might be a valuable tool in acquiring emotional wealth in your unions to reach the longevity in your you relational investment.

In short, here are direct messages.  If you receive significant messages you should know they are no longer clues.  Not necessarily a grounds for divorce but an indicator that you need to get to work if you do want to keep your marriage.  Below is a loose discussion from the above mentioned article from divorced men. Again, this does not mean it is over; but, this means there is trouble in paradise:

1.“Mommy’s new friend.”  Ah, from the mouth of babes.  This could mean anything and extra-marital relationships where sexual or platonic in many instances have strengthen relationships.  However, what some affairs represent is that your spouse is finding a need fulfilled by someone other than you. The real question is not that your partner cheated or betrayed but what is your role in neglecting and inattentiveness.  Now this is a more complex discussion but are you a part of the “infidelity” problem? 2. “I hate you.”  You can feel it if it is meant with full commitment.  It comes from the bottom of the gut with spewed venom.  We are not talking a bad day or a fight that went south.  You can walk some words back. Even the hate word. However, if it is festering and come out in a rank distasteful order it is time to reflect on the beauties of when you didn’t hate.   But what is important in this is what got to the anger. In couples counseling this might be salvageable if both parties are able to listen and work from neutral territory. The real feeling to look for is the indifference state of being.  If “I hate you” is verbalized after you have felt the indifference sphere then you know it is worth exploring ending the union for the greater good. 3. If sleeping apart in a separate bedroom (or on the couch or the floor) is better than next to your partner then there might be an intimacy problem that needs repair.  This is not the same discussion as a medical problem or restlessness or an illness or a heated in the moment of passion “I hate you” statement. If you just do not like sleeping with your partner this needs to be addressed. 4. The dream house is a nightmare. The above mentioned article addresses this discussion in a way that encourages healthy thought. 5. One’s lack or refusal of unconditional commitment might prevent the very goal you seek.  A union and commitment. The anxiety in the marriage might stem from the ability to commit to the relationship. 6. Spouse’s friends gossiping negatively about you is not a good sign.  It is important to set standards of making the union a high priority. One rule is to agree to shut down any negative spousal or “We” talk outside the union.  Said another way, if you feel you are in a healthy relationship that is mutually respectful then it is appropriate to align and have an ally code. The code supersedes the girlfriends or brobuddies saying negatives.  That negative talk about your partner should be off limits. Defend your spouse! 7. Didn’t care enough to try.  Apathy and indifference. This is problematic.  If you are there and divorce is not an option then you need to recognize this and create a respectful space.  Which could be living in separate houses; or working as business partners with a separate life; or staying married for business purposes; or something else.  The issue here is trying in marriage is dead. This does not mean you should disrespect the human being you once cared for. All situations are not perfect and all situations are different.  Regardless, if you can not get out of the union how can you make it manageable so that you are happy and healthy and respectful (to yourself and your partner). 8. If you haven't liked your partner in years then what are you both doing. Life is short.  Are you on the boat or out of the boat. Settle property, get out and be friends or don't be friends.  Be happy with someone else or be happy single! OR... OR... OR, work on your union and find out what you like about them! 9. Justifying bad behavior is seldom good for the Self.  There is a need for definitions and clarity when discussion accepting bad behavior.  Disrespecting yourself and lowering your self worth is not acceptable. What is unacceptable for one party is completely tolerable to another.  Such examples are infidelity in an assumed monogamous relationship might be unacceptable; however, in a polyamorous open marriage this infidelity might be completely encouraged.  A physical aggressive domination might be assumed spousal abuse and might be highly unacceptable; however, in a BDSM world this might be healthy and engagingly acceptable. Thus, couples need to understand their boundaries of bad behaviors for themselves and their culture. 10. When you are avoiding there is room for discussion to address intimacy.  Not fighting but avoiding one another returns us to the conversation of apathy and ambivalence.  A good fight can mean an unconscious attempt to communicate and to be heard and to work toward listening.  Not fighting can be bad. Not fighting might mean not communication.

So reviewing the general narratives of the article might be a way to self reflect and ask yourself. What am I missing, and what can I do to better connect with my partner?

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
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