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Dec 6

What went wrong in your marriage?

Posted on Monday, December 6, 2010 in Divorce, Happiness, Honesty, love, Marriage, Men, Relationships, Women

“Mom?” Trent calls from the bathroom, a habit he’s had since he was a toddler.

“Yeah?” I shout back from the living room, where I’m sorting through the Christmas decorations.

“Why did you and dad murgfht?”

“Huh?” I said, coming closer to the bathroom so I decipher the muffled words.

“Why did you and dad divorce?”   

What is it about kids who all of a sudden need to have a talk — a serious talk — while they’re sitting on the bowl?

“Honey, you already know why.”

“No, not dad’s affair. I mean, what went wrong?”

Wow, good question, one he hadn’t asked before. Because it wasn’t really the affair that made my marriage implode; affairs are just symptoms of other
crap going on.

And I wasn’t sure that I could answer that fully for him. Well, I know what I did wrong and what Rob did wrong; I’m not really sure what Rob thinks.

I can tell The Kid what you should do to make a good marriage — be a present, loving partner; communicate well; have a lot of sex (not sure he’d want to hear that from me) …

I certainly wouldn’t advise him to settle.

But how do you tell a teenager what marriage is really like and expect him or her to understand it?

Because marriage is, well, complicated.

And as much as studies say hubbies benefit from marriage more that the lil’ missus, a lot of men feel like this, courtesy of MGTOW, Men Going Their Own Way:

Marriage is like serving time in prison with a big fat cellmate who DOESN’T want to have sex with you.

Don’t want The Kid to feel like that!

Another gem:

The bottom line is this: Women don’t know what the f— they really want.
Guys are so f–king simple. We know EXACTLY what we want: Sex or blow jobs about 3 or 4 times a week, a good pizza or burger every now and then, and about one day a week that we can go do stuff that we like, whether it’s poker or golf or what have you. How hard is that to understand? Women, on the other hand, have NO CLUE what they want. They’ve been told they can have it all, that they need to be this or that, that they need to do this or that. I don’t think may of them honestly know what it is they want. They only know what it is they don’t have.

I’m have no idea how many guys feel like that, but I guess enough do. Yet to read the latest Pew study that announces the decline of marriage, more men than women think marriage brings happiness, and more widowers/divorced guys say they’d get hitched again. (Oddly, more think it brings a more fulfilling sex life, too; those guys really should talk to the MGTOW guys!)

If guys are so miserable in marriage, why would they want do it again and again?

But, back to the question Trent asked me — what went wrong?

My version of the story —  two people got so caught up in parenting that they forgot to put as much energy into their relationship. We were conflict-avoidant, so although we didn’t argue, we still had a lot of stuff we kept under the surface. And, I didn’t speak up and address things, important things, when I should have. But it wasn’t until after the affair was unearthed that I did the soul-searching to understand all that, plus know the issues I brought to the relationship.

It’s important to know what went wrong so you don’t repeat your bad stuff again with someone new.

  • So, I ask you — what went wrong?

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