Posted by: Lisa
on Aug 18, 2009
Tagged in: Untagged
For months now, Jon and Kate Gosselin, stars of the reality show "Jon and Kate Plus 8" have been in all the headlines with their divorce, new relationships, and the future of their 8 children being the forefront of gossip and speculation. While divorce is an all too typical and easy answer for couples who "fall out of love" these days, I believe that one can ever prepare for the devastation a divorce brings into the lives of the spouses and the children. But even more so, I believe something about divorce that is completely contrary to modern social thinking today... that the very breaking point in a marriage relationship is actually an opportunity for a greater, more refined love between spouses. At least it should be. Let explain myself, beginning first with an analogy:
I used to train sales people years ago, and sometimes in our meetings I would conduct a very interesting experiment. I would choose 3 people and ask them to participate in a quick exercise. First, I would ask them to raise their right hands and they always did so eagerly. Then I would ask them to stand up, turn around, and sit down again. No one ever refused, although it was easy to sense their hesitancy and discomfort. Finally, I would ask them to stand up and turn their chairs upside down. This was always met with a dead reaction. No one would ever do it! I would then ask this question: "If I told you there was money underneath your chair, would you change your mind?" The reaction was always positive. "Well, there is money underneath your chair, so turn it over if you will and get your money!" I had taped $10 bills underneath the three chairs before the meeting began. People loved getting the money and I had proven my point which is people will give you what you want as long as it's not too uncomfortable. When it becomes too uncomfortable, the focus becomes, "what's in it for me?" I believe that this is the primary reason why marriages today fail. The spouses give as long as they are comfortable, but when the going gets tough, they start asking, "What's in it for me?" and if it's not enough, they stop giving, thereby turning the relationship into a losing battle.
Marital bliss is not achieved by one spouse expecting the other to make him/her happy all the time. That's the "what's in it for me" attitude that will cause the relationship to crash and burn.
Sandra McKay, LMFT, President and Co-Founder of the Catholic Psychotherapy Association has said, "I've seen some of the greatest pain for abandoned spouses in the fact that they are not given the chance to understand what was irritating their spouses or causing them to want to leave. They want to say to the one who left, 'I could have worked on that! I could have changed that!' But they're never given the chance, they're just left in the cold."