Far too many men fail to recognize the signs that their wives or partners are dissatisfied in the relationship and that they are serious about leaving them until it suddenly happens. “She just told me she wanted a divorce and wants me out by the end of the week! I had no idea she was that dissatisfied with our relationship, " is too often the lament of men who find themselves in this situation. Desperately they seek help at the 11th hour; knocking on my office door, pleading that I help them save their marriage. As they walk away, they often mutter under their breath “It may be too late!"
Other things these men often say . . .
* I know I worked too much and did not help out much!
* I know I criticized her too much!
* I know I drank too much!
* I pressured her for sex too much!
* I criticized her about the kids too much!
Followed by the statement . . .
But I never thought she was that unhappy!
or I never thought she would leave me!
or I never thought she would hire a lawyer and file for a divorce!
This scenario leaves men overwhelmed by feelings they have never experienced before. These feelings can be very frightening (and men don't admit to fear easily, it's often considered another sign of weakness) and often lead to a decline in functioning.
MISSING IN ACTION . . .
Men report how they are more apt to pay attention to what is going on outside their marriage than what's going on between them and their wives. Work is often the focus of men who are missing in action because they often find their self-worth tied to the work they do. They tend to tune out the voices that keep telling them they are failing in the relationship department. They do not want to be reminded of being a failure, so work becomes the better option. “At least at work I get a pat on the back and a paycheck for what I do! At home, all I ever hear is what a failure I am!"
Overwhelmed by feelings and the intensity of their emotional reactions, their sense of control and their masculinity are threatened and they feel their unworthiness is confirmed!
Men become isolated and find themselves overwhelmed by their uncontrollable urge to cry (and cry, they do!). Depressed men rarely find relief in crying and experience it as a failure rather than a useful emotional release. Remember, men have learned that “real" men do not cry! They often feel isolated from family and friends. The one person they took their problems to, their wife/partner, is no longer available. Then they make the fatal mistake of begging and making promises they'll do anything if she will only take them back. They fail to recognize this behavior only pushes her further away from them.
WHAT CAN I DO NOW?
First, you must stop crowding your partner. If there is any hope of recovery, give her some space while you begin to figure “you" out. Yes, you heard me right; begin to focus on yourself. Figure out what you want out of a relationship. Acknowledge where you failed and how you might better deal with family life. Look at the relationship you had with your biological father or step-father (or other father figure) and see how you might be the same or different from them. Develop a stronger relationship with your children. They're going to be suffering from the marital crisis, if they have not already suffered from the arguments, yelling, and discord between you and your wife/partner. Do not involve your children in these matters; it is too much for them and it's not their problem to deal with. Keep the issues between you and the mother of your children. Do not blame, put down, or criticize your wife/partner to the children. Let them know that you love them and you'll always be there for them and so will their mom. Clarify your life goals, become a better communicator, be more aware of your feelings, move toward other people who have been through the same experience, and find professional help to navigate you through this process.
Having worked with many men in this situation, I can attest to the fact that Life Coaching for men is a safe, proactive, and solution based way to move forward in their lives. Their depression is lifted through proactive work and finding meaningful ways to resolve their relationship problems. Many men who work toward reunion have been successful through the coaching process.
Horizons Unlimited Life Coaching Services