Have you ever been shocked at the news a couple you know is splitting up? The first thing out of your mouth was probably, “But they had a perfect marriage” or “They seemed so happy.”
That happened to me recently when I learned a friend and her college sweetheart hubby were calling it quits. Of course, I wanted to know how this seemingly ideal union crumbled?
One day, he came home and said that it was over because she didn’t make him laugh anymore. Devastating, right? Especially considering the fact that she had two kids and supported him through medical school and his residency.
In the months since hearing about it, I haven’t gotten her story out of my mind. I’ve been asking other divorced women the real reasons their husbands gave them for leaving. Here is what they had to say.
- You don’t make me laugh anymore. When they met, they were young and carefree. Much of their time was spent having fun and daydreaming about the future. Any married person with kids will tell you that the laughs dwindle when adult responsibilities kick in. But it’s incredibly sad to think that he was unwilling to work harder at recapturing that old magic. It’s not easy, but it’s also not impossible. And from what she tells me, he wasn’t exactly Mr. Fun either.
- We don’t want to have sex enough or the sex is too routine. I don’t know one married person who doesn’t have this complaint. Working, kids, and maintaining a home are exhausting. Sometimes the last thing you want to do at the end of the day is have sex. I’m not saying that this is right — but it just is. However, is this really a marriage dealbreaker? Need I remind you of the whole “for better or worse” part of the vows. I’m not saying he should have just coped with a sexless marriage, but maybe they could have worked out a plan or taken a few romantic getaways to kick-start the romance again.
- You don’t put me first anymore. Or course she doesn’t. And this came from a guy with kids. Three of them! He just couldn’t grow up and accept that her life no longer revolved around his needs.
- I’ve lost respect for you. This comment didn’t come after he learned she had been cheating or gambled their 401(k)s away. To him, she was no longer the confident, independent go-getter he fell for all those years ago. Admittedly, her self-esteem had taken a dive after failing to lose her baby weight. And her focus was more family than career now. But who isn’t different 15 years later? He has likely changed too, but can’t see that.
- You are always on my back. Sadly, nagging had become an everyday thing in their marriage. Feeling overwhelmed, she says she constantly complained about what he wasn’t doing. Bottom line was she needed help and he never seemed to want to give it to her.