"My Husband and I Are Growing Apart" - The Graying of Divorce

I heard a radio program this morning about the graying of divorce and reference was made to a Wall Street Journal article entitled the Gray Divorcé. So of course, as soon as I arrived at Starbucks to do my morning work I looked it up.

 Here it is the Wall Street Journal article about the graying of divorce.

The information in the article is not surprising to me, since I've been in the helping couples line of work for 25 years. Nevertheless, it is eye opening. I recommend you check it out.

Basically the article states that it used to be that only 1 in 10 divorces was someone over 50 years of age. Just before the article was written the rate had skyrocketed to 1 in 4 divorcing people is over 50. In most of the cases, (men, take note) it is the woman who files for divorce.


Here is something I found interesting in the well written WSJ article about predictors for a late life break up:  According to John Mordecai Gottman, founder of the Gottman Institute in Seattle and author of "What Predicts Divorce?," the behavioral precursors to late-life or empty nest divorce are no different from those for younger couples—criticism, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling."

I had never really thought about it before, but now that I think about it, I can see that when my mom and step dad began to have obvious issues in their marriage, the thing that I observed most clearly as an 18 to 22 year old was the contempt. I remember my mom criticizing everything that he did for years, though often behind his back. meanwhile he scratched his head and could not figure out what was wrong. Eventually the resentment built up until it came out as open unabashed utter contempt. She was determined to turn everyone against him and then destroy what they had together. She almost succeeded in turning the kids against him, and she succeeded in destroying what they had. She lived out the rest of her life in poverty.    


 The radio program I listened to was also informative. It was a Focus on the Family interview with Ted Cunningham, author of Great Parents, Lousy Lovers. It aired on February 24, 2014. The author who was being interviewed talked about children centered marriages and how when the kids have left home, the empty nesters, for reasons I'm sure you can guess (and it's usually not infidelity), such marriages will think of breaking up.

What is mentioned in the radio program and which I agree with and have been warning people about in some of my other articles and posts is this: The divorcing empty nesters rationalize that since the kids are grown up it won't affect them. But they are wrong. Their divorce hurts the kids.

The sound byte version of why it hurts the kids is because it is a broken promise. The parents have done their best to put up a good front and to act like their marriage is who they are and commitment is what life is about. Now it is like a broken promise, a lie, a betrayal. Two books on the subject are The Way They Were: Dealing with your Parents' Divorce after a Lifetime of Marriage and Generation Ex: Adult Children of Divorce and Dealing with our Pain

But it goes far deeper than that. Marriage is more than you think. It is not about getting our needs met, nor is it just some sort of arrangement. It is sacred. It is a framework within which to work out our differences and learn to be unselfish.

But just as Rome was not built in a day, a marriage is not ruined in a day. The hurt feelings, undercurrents of resentment, and bitterness have been coming for a long time.

Can the marriage be salvaged? I cannot say. But one thing I can say, is that your emotional and spiritual health can be salvaged. It does not really matter what the other does--whether that person changes or not, whether they appreciate you or not, whether communcation improves or not.

If you remain resentful, it will undermine your well being. The emotion of resentment creates an inner atmosphere which you take with you everywhere. Even if the world were suddenly to become perfect, then you would still resent others for their joy, their superiority to you, the fact that they did not worship you or some other reason.

Here are some principles to reestablish a calm happy spirit

1. Let go of resentment and judgment. I cannot tell you here all the reasons why resentment is bad for you, I have 17 books on the subject.

2. Check out my meditations. They are designed to help people calm down, cope with stress, and get in touch with their own calm center of dignity. There you will find intuition, and when you follow what you know in your heart is right, it will help you sort through things and find your way.  
    The meditations don't work for everyone, but for some, they are a God sent.

3. Don't try to change others.

4. You must realize that you are surrounded by wall to wall temptation. There is a lot of error and deceit out there. You must learn how to get in touch with your intuition and follow it.

5. Don't be in a hurry. First get centered. Take some time to get to know yourself and learn to overcome stress. If you are resentful, you are being conquered by stress. Don't let this happen. Yo have seen what not dealing with stress properly has done to others. Remember what I said - your first line of defense is to not become resentful. 

  



 

"I Hate My Husband" - Some Thoughts from a Couples Coach


"My husband irritates me and makes me angry. He sits around and won't talk and I soon find myself nagging him just to get him to respond. He acts like everything is fine when it isn't.


I get so sick of him dumping all the responsibility on me. He won't help me discipline the kids.

He just won't listen to me. When I suggested counseling, he refuses. I don't want to resent my husband but I can't help it."


Hi, my name is Roland Trujillo and I am the author of 16 books. In a popular article I wrote almost 5 years ago, I made the statement that "all wives resent their husbands."

I could also say that all wives hate their husbands. Let me qualify the statement a little. What I mean is all wives resent their husbands. Resentment, you see, is hate--just a sneaky form of it. 


I am republishing the article because the topic is so important.  First people need to honestly acknowledge that they do resent. This is, for many people, a really big first step. 

Resentment (hate) is so sneaky, and it hides under judgment, and it also hides under false love. When we resent someone (like our partner) or are impatient (resentful towards) our kids, we assuage the guilt for the resentment by being extra nice. Observing ourselves doing so much for others, we can even convince ourselves that we are wonderful, and can resent others for not appreciating us. But remember, your false service began in resentment. 

Now you know why your family may react negatively to all your service. They sense the undercurrent of resentment. Plus, your service out of guilt then tempts them to take advantage (and weakens them too). Soon they hate you for your false love, and you hate them for not appreciating you or for rebelling.  

It might help some of you to admit your resentment, if you see others admtting it. So I would like to introduce you to one of America's greatest short story writers--Katherine Anne Porter--who won the Pulizer Prize and the National Book Award. In one of her famous essays, which often appears in anthologies, and is often used to teach aspiring writers the craft of writing, she talks of this hate that a young wife begins to see in herself.

The essay is called "The Necessary Enemy." Here are a couple of brief quotes for you to review and then perhaps go and read the whole essay. It is really good.


"She is a frank woman who married for love. She and her husband are one of those gay, good-looking pairs. They intend in all good faith to spend their lives together, to have children and do well by them and each other--to be happy, in fact, which for them is the whole point of their marriage. And all in stride, keeping their wits about them. Nothing Romantic, mind you; their feet are on the ground."
"Unless they were this sort of person, there would be not much point to what I wish to say;" "After three years of marriage this very contemporary young woman finds herself facing the oldest and ugliest dilemma of marriage.
She is dismayed, horrified, full of guilt and forebodings because she is finding out little by little that she is capable of hating her husband, whom she loves faithfully. She can hate him at times as fiercely and mysteriously, indeed in terribly much the same way, as often she hated her parents, her brothers, her sisters, whom she loves, when she was a child." "This was a thing that her parents never knew about her, never seem to suspect. For it was never given a name." "So it was her secret, a shameful one." "None of this really frightened her: the real fright came when she discovered that at times her father and mother hated each other."

The issue of hating one's husband is also candidly discussed by Iris Krasnow in her Huffington Post article "Help, I Hate my Husband."  Definitely worth reading. She is the author of The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes to Stay Married. 
  
A major takeaway for me was her reference to the Time Magazine front cover article "Who Needs Marriage" and the report of the National Marriage Project in which it is revealed that highly educated, more successful Americans are increasingly enjoying long term intact marriages. It's at the lower income level and the middle class that divorce and single parent families are most frequent and where the negative effects are most prevalent. I recall the old dictum that said if you want to be successful, then study what successful people do and do what they do. Getting married and staying together are what the highly educated, successful couples are doing.

In The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes to Stay Married, I particularly enjoyed the chapter "Separate Summers." Absence, I have found, does make the heart grow fonder.  I highly recommend her first chapter "Who Needs Marriage."   

Now back to the topic at hand. After admitting one's resentment, the next big step, and one that frankly many people will never make, is to let go of the resentment. Resentment is very destructive and contributes to many bad things, even depression and health issues. That is why I devote so much of my writing and lectures to helping people see and let go of resentment.

I'm republishing part what I wrote 5 years ago, excerpts from one of my most popular articles "What is the Number One Cause of Divorce" and which is also a chapter in my book The Myths and Mysteries of Marriage

"Are you stressed out? Have you noticed that when you are resentful, you become more sensitive to life's little issues? When you are stressed at work, do you come home and easily lose patience with your kids? Do you come home and resent your husband over some little things that he does?


Do you get angry at slow traffic or slow grocery lines? Would terms like "exasperated, nervous, irritated, or impatient" describe you?

If so, you are probably over-reacting. And the worst reaction of all is that of resentment. It sets you up for becoming increasingly sensitive to what you might otherwise take in stride. . . . . . . . . . . .


I can honestly tell you that the number one reason for marriage break ups and relationship problems is resentment. 

 
I understand why people become resentful. When things aren't going well or when others don't seem to understand us or our needs, that's when we need love, patience and understanding the most.


We don't have it within because we are already destabilized and not in our center. So we look for love and understanding from others. And when they don't have it: we become resentful.

What I have discovered in my 25 years of writing and talking to people about resentment is this: when things aren't going right, we look to change things on the outside.

And of course our most frequent first choice is to try to change our partner. But you have found that this doesn't work. Whether it is your partner, your child, or your parent--trying to change another person makes things worse. Either people resist our manipulations and rebel; or else they fall for our manipulations and become weak and dependent.

So here is the answer. Instead of looking to the outside for love, or looking to the outside to try to change someone, I have found that it is most helpful to first look at two things: one, your resentment; and two, your over-reactions that destabilize you in the first place.


Another thing--resentment ushers in a cascade of emotions, like anger, frustration, unhappiness, and bitterness. It can also lead to suppression and repression, guilt, and feeling trapped. Then there are the physical symptoms that are contributed to by resentment.



Bottom line: a lot of times when we don't like ourselves--it is actually resentment that is the initiating factor. Sooooooo, if you could just let go of the resentment . . . .

If you could learn to stand back and observe others without resentment or upset--understanding, patience and compassion could enter the picture. Secondly, you would begin to see clearly (when the emotional fog has cleared) what is really going on. So you could make better, calmer, and reasonable decisions.


"A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers."
-- Ruth Bell Graham

 
People often say it is hard to let go of resentment. l can show you how to let go of resentment. I even have a little
free meditation that helps you calm down and get started."








Hello everyone. These are two books that I think you should have on your shelf  (or on your computer, Android or Kindle).

The Myths and Mysteries of Marriage is my most popular book and it covers the basic important stuff like no other book.

Putting the Forever Back in Love is a follow up to The Myths and Mysteries of Marriage.

 Putting the Forever Back in Love has advanced strategies. If you have been married for more than 10 years and your marriage is in trouble, this is the book you will want to read.

If you have kids and want to have some advanced insights and strategies for parenting, then Putting the Forever Back in Love is definitely going to be on your shipping list.


Now here is the good part!


 Remember that I have a long standing offer. You can get any one of my ebooks sent to you by email as a token of my appreciation when you make a donation of any amount.

Many people don't know that I am a volunteer. I buy the airtime and internet time in order to be there to help people. Soooooo, any donation (yes, even a small donation like $2) is really appreciated by me.

So to take advantage of this offer, get a free eBook, and help keep this blog going--all at the same time--just click here and choose a book. then make a donation at safe and secure Paypal and you will get your gift eBook right away!!!


Why do couples argue?
How can we put the sparkle back in our marriage?
How can we communicate better?

What is the difference between courtship and casual dating?
My wife asked me to leave.
Why are men the way we are?
What does my wife want?
Can we reconcile?
My wife cheated on me – now what?

Based on over 20 years of counseling couples and answering questions on the radio. Roland tackles the tough questions with humor, discernment, and refreshing honesty. From the Garden of Eden to the 21st century, he’s got relationships covered.




Click here to preview the paperback edition at Amazon.com


"Roland, thank you so much for your book. 
When I heard that you are a pastor, I hesitated to order it because I'm not into religion.  But because I wanted to learn more about why I can't stop resenting my husband so much, I went ahead and got the book. I'm so glad that I did. The advice is very practical, and the book is filled with some beautiful spirituality too. I spent over a thousand dollars to register and fly to an out of town seminar  I could have saved the thousand and got your book instead."  Suzy - San Bernardino    



Now available in Kindle!



Putting the Forever Back in Love - Advanced Concepts in Relationship Building

Click here to preview at Amazon.com in Kindle edition

This book contains advanced concepts for coping with and resolving difficult relationship issues. 

If you liked The Myths and Mysteries of Marriage you will love this book.  

Been married for many years and have some issues? This is the book for you. 

Based on 25 years of research and counseling, Dr. Trujillo presents new insights and strategies for healing relationships and resolving stress and unhappiness. Partners, parents, couples considering marriage, and adult children of dysfunctional families will find both practical and spiritual principles to help them move forward to happiness.

Read an excerpt from the preface:




I care about relationships and I also care about the spiritual side of life.
I say things the way I see them, and it is my hope that my forthrightness and unabashed love for God will not be an impediment, but will be a breath of fresh air and an occasion to think outside the box.  .  .  .  .
Ladies, do you have a weak man? Would you like him to be the noble knight that you hoped he would be when you married? Instead your support of him only made him weaker, more beastly, and spoiled. Does he look to you for support instead of standing on his own two feet? Does he go off to the bar, gambling, or another woman, and then come crawling back?

Everywhere women are suffering because of the weakness of men. Kids are suffering because their dad was not there for them. And even decent people, who seem to have happy marriages or relationships, are often secretly unhappy. He feels trapped. She feels unloved. 
There. Have I gotten your attention? Read on and you may discover the truth that sets you free from the subtle errors. 

How true it was when Henry David Thoreau said: "Most people lead lives of quiet desperation."
Well, take heart. It doesn't have to be that way. There are answers and solutions that really work. But like I said, you need to be willing to stop the blame game for awhile, and be willing to see where you might be erring. If so, my book and my audio lectures will be a breath of fresh air. You might even ride off into the sunset together and live happily ever after.


 Want Putting the Forever Back in Love in paperback? Click here to see it at Amazon



Get a free eBook and help keep this blog going--all at the same time--just click here and choose a book. then make a donation at safe and secure Paypal and you will get your gift eBook right away!!!   

You'll benefit from Dr. Roland's 25 years of experience. Plus his books are a good read. 

You'll also  be saving up to 80% off retail price. 

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