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Women: Is it Possible that Your Divorce is Your Fault?

Saturday, 23 March 2013

intimacy_skillsThis may sounds like a controversial topic, but it's one that was recently presented in an article in the Huffington Post "Divorce" section. In "Women: Five Reasons Your Divorce Is Your Fault," best-selling author Laura Doyle ("Six Lessons for Lasting Love") explains that women are the ones with the power to make their relationships intimate. In fact, when she teaches intimacy skills she only teaches them to women because she knows that when a women learns these skills her relationship becomes peaceful and intimate in just a couple of weeks. Does this sound too good to be true? Believe it. Doyle's clients often say they feel like they have a new husband. But too often, women don't learn about what they could have done until it's too late to save their marriage.

Keep in mind that where this approach has worked, it was always when women had a "good guy" to work with, and not everyone does. If your husband is addicted to alcohol, drugs or gambling; is physically or emotionally abusive, or incapable of being faithful, then divorce may be your only option. Safety should come first, and these situations are never safe because his compulsion will always come before you.


However, if your man doesn't fall into one of these categories, he is probably a good guy – not perfect, but one who is capable of being in a wonderful relationship with you if you learn some intimacy skills.

According to Doyle's article, there are five ways that women can unwittingly sabotage their marriages, but there are also proven remedies to help restore the closeness and love you once shared.

1. Rejecting your husband's efforts – We all know that wives and husbands bring different expectations into a marriage. For men, it might be respect and sex, and for women it might be feeling cherished and desired. But men also have a powerful drive to make their wives happy. It gives them a feeling of mastery and success.

If you're headed for divorce, you might think your husband is an exception, or that he doesn't care about making you happy, but the truth his he might not feel like he is capable of pleasing you. Is it possible that you are not so "pleasable?" Instead of rejecting his efforts or dismissing them, learn to show appreciation. For example, if he does something that wasn't what you had in mind, receive it graciously. However small or imperfect his efforts are, try to receive it without judgment. Thank him for thinking of you, and notice how quickly this brings more intimacy into your relationship.

2. Taking a task-oriented approach to your home life – Women who work outside of the home will often find themselves employing the same tactics to run their households as they do to run their careers. It can be difficult to change hats at the end of the day, but it is imperative if you want to create a loving and supportive home.

You may be managing several projects or staff at the office, or motivated to contribute to the bottom line to get ahead, but at home your goals should be quite different. We all need to feel appreciated and wanted and sometimes we equate our value to the amount of help we get around the house. Warning: if you treat your husband like an employee, he will act like one and he will rebel. Learn to say what you want instead of what he needs to do. This gives him the opportunity to make you happy out of his own free will, and to take ownership of his kindness. You will find that this brings you more happiness than any amount of "managing" ever could. Laura's advice: Be patient and allow him to find his own way of pleasing you.

3. Withholding sex or intimacy – It's true; most men need sex more than women if they are going to feel intimacy. As his wife, you are his only "legal" source of this vital connection. When you withhold sex as a form of punishment, or simply because you're exhausted, you are missing a chance to revive the intimacy that you both have been craving. Remedy: Make yourself available for sex at least once each week as a way of supporting your mutual goal for intimacy.

4. Starting divorce paperwork when the problem is fixable – Believe it or not, women initiate between 66 and 90 percent of all divorces. This might seem like proof that men are always the cause of divorce, but that's not necessarily true. Divorce lawyers work with many clients who say they want a divorce because their husband won't help with the baby, or because he was "emotionally unavailable" or incapable of meeting their needs.

According to the article, when women learn intimacy skills it changes the way they see the flaws in a previous marriage. In fact, many women say they realized later that they were married to a good guy; they simply lacked the skills they needed to maintain a happy marriage. It is heartbreaking to see so many marriages dissolve simply because they lack intimacy skills. Doyle's advice is to take divorce off the table for a few weeks and spend that time practicing intimacy skills. You may be surprised how quickly this can transform your relationship.

5. Waiting for him to change – You may have noticed that there are very few articles out there telling men how they can improve their marriages. Even if there were, it's doubtful you could get your husband to read one. Instead of trying to improve him by criticizing, pleading or demanding, try changing yourself and see if he responds differently.

You might wonder why there's no article for men explaining what they can do to improve their marriages. Even if there was, you couldn't make your husband read it or do what it says. You can change yourself, and he will respond to you differently.

Photo Courtesy of Ambro /

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MPatMarrisonFor over a quarter century, we have helped people during what is often the darkest time in their lives. Divorce is not easy even under the best of circumstances. For most people, family is central. Having something go wrong in the family can have a ripple effect that extends beyond the home and into other areas.

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