Guest Author - Caroline Henrich
After the shock and pain of divorce subsides, many people become interested in examining the reasons why their divorce occurred. Each person must examine his/her own relationship and own individual emotions to achieve the answer. There are often common themes that can be relevant to many divorces.
Some of these relate to immaturity, abuse and insecurity. There are two that will be the focus of this article. They are unrealistic expectations and lack of communication.
Unrealistic expectations of marriage can be based on individual views or those imposed on individuals by society. Many people, especially women, are seduced by movies and fairy tales. How many of us expect that on our wedding day we live "happily ever after"? We also expect that we have found the person who will make us happy and feel good about ourselves every day for the rest of our lives. We dream about our wedding day and expect that day and every day thereafter to be wonderful. This is a lot of pressure to place on a relationship.
It is unrealistic to expect this level of euphoria. As financial stress, children, in-laws and other stresses enter our lives, it is inevitable that people will question their "happy ever after". Anger and resentment can then take hold and undermine a relationship. If the relationship begins heading downhill, it can accelerate and a once loving relationship can become challenged.
This is often exacerbated by a lack of communication. Perhaps one person will try to initiate communication with the other, and if rebuffed will often not make additional attempts. This will lead to one or both spouses becoming complacent and feeling that making additional efforts are "simply not worth it". This behavior can often continue for years with people living in the same house and raising children as roommates but not life partners. One or both of the spouses may eventually reach the point in his/her life that they want something more and end the marriage.
If the above sounds familiar, it is important to examine and evaluate your own relationship. This exercise is not about making you feel worse about yourself, it is about learning. It is about improving not only your future romantic relationships, but all other relationships in your life.
Self evaluation regarding mistakes made in marriage can be beneficial. You can identify tools and actions that can help you modify your own expectations and behavior if you find yourself once again falling into similar patterns. You may also gain additional knowledge that may help through discussions with friends, a psychologist or even your former spouse.
Self Evaluation and understanding can help you improve your post divorce relationships, achieve peace and move on with your life.