If you want to know why marriages break apart, and exactly what it looks like when they do, speak to a divorce lawyer. Better yet, read a book by a divorce lawyer about why individuals divorce.
Through the course of our discussion, I asked Sexton why individuals end up in his office, what guidance he has for men and women having difficulties in their marriages, why he calls Facebook an “infidelity-generating machine,” and exactly why he’s still a romantic after all these years.
What are the most common reasons men and women end up in your office?
They come in for big motives like infidelity or financial improprieties. However from my viewpoint, these big reasons have their particular origins in a succession of smaller decisions that individuals make that take them further and further away from each other, to the level that those small things no longer feel quite so tiny. Everybody, whenever they get married, starts off with the same destination in mind. People want to reside happily ever after. No person ever gets married with the objective of getting unmarried.
In David Wolfe’s Bonfire of in the Vanities one of the figures is chatting about how he went economically broke and one of the other people says, “Tim, how did you go broke?” He said, “Well, my partner and I went broke the way that everyone does, fairly slowly and then all at once.” I believe that is how marriages stop. Fairly slowly and then all at once. There are lots of minimal things that take place and then the flood comes, then the gigantic things occur. The question is, can we end the minimal things that take us further away from each other before it’s too late?
What’s your counseling to people who are thinking about getting married?
Take it seriously. The most basic guidance that I render to individuals is to look at it like the purchase of a automobile, simply because I believe, occasionally, people give more thought to the buying of a automobile than they do to the decision to get hitched.
If I said to the normal person, “What automobile do you want? If you could posses any automobile in the globe, just what automobile do you want?” Most individuals would say, “I want a Lamborghini. I want a Ferrari.” But if I said to them, “Well, this automobile that you select is going to be the only car you can posses for the remainder of your life,” you get to modify the analysis, right? Because the vehicle you want in your twenties and the vehicle you want in your 30s when you’ve got a pair of children is very different.
So you’d need to choose something that fits every part of your life. You’d have to choose something that was kind of enjoyable and alluring enough to see you throughout your twenties nevertheless practical enough to manage when you have children. I think it’s the same when selecting a mate.
At the risk of sounding unromantic, I think you need to look at a person and say, “Okay, is this a person who is going to make sense at all various stages of this process? Because my life is going to transform. I’m going to transform. What’s important to me is going to transform. Is this a person who can transform with me so that we end up [moving] in the same direction? Or is this someone who makes sense for me at this phase and might not in the forthcoming future?”
That is the first thing. The second option is to ask yourself the question: “What is the problem to which matrimony is the answer for me?” Anytime someone tries to sell something to me, whether it’s a mobile phone or a new application, I ask myself, “What could be the issue this is seeking to solve?” So, if you mention to me, “Oh, I’ve got this software package that lets you order guacamole online,” well, is that a issue my partner and I actually posses? I think individuals often assume wedding is a smart option to do without even questioning themselves this question.