In speaking with women who are looking to find Mr. Right and with others who are divorcing, I've noticed something very interesting. Women both pre and post marriage can tell you who would be a fitting partner.
Nevertheless, some women:
- Date men who don't fit these criteria.
- Then fall in love and form intimate relationships with them.
- And actually marry them.
- Yet, by the time they divorce, they are certain that they were manipulated by this men into that very unhealthy relationship.
- End up so very bitter.
I've listened to women describe their ex-husbands. There seem to be the following post-divorce "couples":
- Those who couldn't live together but now that they are divorced, interact in a much healthier fashion.
- Those who divorced and are glad to be rid of the guy.
- The devastated wife who realized that the man she married was taking advantage of her. It was only during the divorce period that she finally revealed how evil he truly has always been. Her life is a mess while he continues very happily on his way with a new woman.
A wife who experienced the third scenario can sadly share horror stories for hours. Her ex:
- Was verbally abusive.
- Relied on her for everything but never contributed very much to the marriage.
- Developed emotional affairs and perhaps sexual ones as well.
- Turned the children against her.
- Had the audacity to be happy without her.
And during these years, she
- Exhausted herself to take care of the family.
- Was always loyal to her partner.
- Overlooked his many toxic imperfections.
Look at the progression that was necessary for her to end up where she did. You would think that at some point she would have reconsidered her path.
- She accepted a date from someone with whom she didn't share basic values.
- While they dated, he developed a pattern of belittling her.
- She then decided to take it upon herself to fix him and mold this lump into a great partner.
- He accepted and took her energy and anything else he could from her.
- Meanwhile, she took pride in her project.
- She frequently had to work very hard to smother the screams within saying "Warning! This is a terrible idea."
- They wed. She said, "I do."
- He wasn't transforming in a positive direction.
- Rather, as the years went by, the frog never became prince charming.
- Hopefully, she didn't contract any warts from him.
- She began to deteriorate, becoming more anxious and depressed.
- His belittlement and demands for more were constant.
- Nonetheless, she kept trying to build up her man.
- Catastrophe: the money was gone and with a little detective work she found out his secret! Another woman! He's been having an affair!
The above list is a combination of different stories, but it makes the point very clearly. This poor woman would never advise her daughter to follow her path. So, why did she do so herself?
And, don't forget the intensity with which the anger burns within this woman. She can't help but share it with everyone, including their children. Indeed, as a mother, she feels that she must teach them about the true nature of their father. Otherwise, this evil manipulative man will convince them that their mother is the bad one and doesn't deserve their respect.
What was the truth of the marriage? I don't really know what goes on behind closed doors. But, how did a woman who is so convinced that this man she married, slept with and bore children with was a horrid monster, end up with him?
I suspect that she was lonely and desperate for love. When she met a man who gave her the attention she craved, oxytocin flooded her brain and emotions overrode logic. Yes, there was a price to pay. But, the fear of being alone was greater than her fear of life with him.
Even when there is physical abuse, the statistics are very depressing. According to the Domestic Abuse Shelter of the Florida keys, the average woman will leave and return 7 times to the same physically abusive partner before she departs permanently.
Here are some American statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:
- 10 million spouses are physically abused annually.
- 1/5 woman and 1/7 men have been victims of severe physical violence.
- There are over 20,000 calls to domestic violence hotlines per day.
- Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime.
Returning to our original question, what we can learn from all of this?
- We don't have a good system to match compatible individuals. Instead, people rely on luck to find that right one.
- Women especially, don't realize the impact that intimacy has in decision making. Casual intimacy leads to heartbreak.
- It is important to periodically examine your relationship so that you can objectively identify issues that need addressing.
- Our need to be loved is so vitally important that we should ensure that we give over as much love as we can to our children so that they won't be too vulnerable.