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Divorced Men And Women Reveal What Was Missing From Their Marriages

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Thursday, June 16th, 2016
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There’s more to the story than simply “growing apart.”   Photo:  Teksomolika via Getty Images
There’s more to the story than simply “growing apart.”
Photo: Teksomolika via Getty Images

When you ask someone why they split up with their spouse, they usually chalk it up to simply growing apart. “We started living separate lives,” they’ll say, or “The relationship simply ran its course.” 

While those polite, canned responses may be true, there’s usually more to the story than that. Recently, we asked HuffPost Divorce bloggers and readers on Facebook to share the real reasons they split up. Read some of the most interesting responses below.

1. We didn’t speak the same love language.

“It wasn’t our fault. He’s him. I am me. We are both so different that we didn’t speak each other’s languages. Sometimes I feel we should have tried harder to learn the language of love. When we made efforts to do things or approached each other, we approached each other as if we were dealing with someone like ourselves. This meant that we frequently didn’t understand each other or appreciate the efforts that were being made by the other party. I was constantly made to feel as if there was something wrong with me. This disconnect was discussed in marriage counseling but it never improved enough. We didn’t speak the same language from the start.” — Laura Lifshitz 

2. My ex didn’t prioritize the marriage.

“Commitment was missing. He never really made our relationship the most important thing in his life. Work and his gaming buddies were always more important.” — Bren Hill

3. A lack of trust led to a lack of intimacy.

“We had an ‘open marriage’ and lost that incredibly special foundation of trust and intimacy with each other. We became more like roommates than intimate partners.” — Amy Kristine

4. We didn’t discuss big life decisions with each other.

“We didn’t have the ability to communicate well. Early on, it was easy because we didn’t have complicated issues to discuss, but as more challenging times arose, I made independent decisions rather than having open conversations. I can only speak for myself, but I now see that I was doing this because I was afraid conflict might cause discomfort, divorce or be some sign that we weren’t meant to be together. I believed our love was strong enough to carry us through. Not communicating about difficult things reduced our intimacy, exacerbated my fear of conflict and my co-dependent nature. In my current marriage, I understand that love is not enough and I recognize discomfort as a signal to talk about things and identify the issues.” — Chris Burcher

5. There was no friendship.

“We weren’t friends. Everyone and everything else was always more important.” — Tamara Baskerville-Dolan

6. I got lazy.

“When I reflect on what was missing from my marriage (and I am feeling honest), I usually come to the same conclusion: Me. I wasn’t invested enough. Sure, I can lay blame and say it was because my partner did not give me what I needed, but truth be told, I could have been better. I could have found a way to keep us on track. I could have done more.” — Al Corona

7. My spouse let me do all the work.

“There was no dependability or attention. As the one who took care of every little detail in our lives because I knew he wouldn’t or couldn’t, I craved being taken care of. I didn’t want to be the diligent, strong woman all the time. I’ve heard experts say you need to be each other’s soft place to land. I had no soft place to land.” — Susan Jessup

8. There was no sense of adventure.

“We never really did anything. Every night was spent at home. Date nights consisted of picking up a pizza from the saved orders on our Domino’s account and watching TV. We live somewhere surrounded by mountains and lakes that need to be explored yet we never did. We never visited any of the hundreds of hole in the wall restaurants begging to be tried. The same things got old, and since that is what our marriage consisted of, sadly our marriages started to feel old. And when your marriage gets old, other people and the idea of other relationships start to look more attractive.” — Chelsie Dort 

9. We were too stubborn.

“Sometimes a marriage is missing consideration. My ex-wife and I would communicate our needs to each other, then wait for the other to go first. Our marriage became a staring contest and neither one of us was blinking. We were locked in stubbornness.” — Bill Flanigin

10. We married far too young.

“To a degree, we were the poster children of marrying far too young – the lack of maturity resulted in a tumultuous marriage. Instead of attempting to place ourselves in each other’s shoes, we dedicated every waking moment to proving our points, lawyer-style; raised voices and finger pointing included. Egocentric behavior at its finest (or worst). My ex-husband and I lacked the tolerance, patience and understanding that is critical for all healthy adult relationships and because of that, we found ourselves signing divorce papers before we hit 30.” — Nicole Lavery 

11. We didn’t envision the same future.

“One of the biggest qualities that was missing from my marriage was the desire to mutually grow. We did not have our focus on the same destination and couldn’t get there despite counseling. When a fork in the road came, it was frequently the start of conflict. Without a shared vision, the journey failed.” — Bill Douglas

12. We took each other — and the relationship — for granted.

“Our relationship while married had somehow developed into a non-meaningful one. I felt like we were robots getting through the day. We looked happy superficially, however just below the surface, we’d grown into two different people, and the connection and partnership we’d formed all those years ago was no longer a sustainable one and we were so unhappy. Now that we are divorced and our relationship is based solely on raising our children, I consider it one of the most meaningful relationships I have.’” — Amy Johnson

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