DISCLAIMER: There are many complex reasons why a couple gets divorced. This is just one of them.
The relationship between a man and a woman can evolve into a beautiful thing. From the beginning when they exchange phone numbers to their first date, their first kiss, their first intimate relationship and the first time they both unanimously declare, “I love you”, to the realization that they are “made for each other”, a relationship can blossom into a meaningful life together.
As the years go by and they get married and have children, their relationship gets transferred through their mutual love for their children. In a sense, all the firsts that they previously experienced in their lives without children begins anew, this time with experiencing their children’s first steps, their first word and their first set of teeth.
Within the next several years, there seems to be a natural phenomenon that occurs where the mother’s love for her children goes full-throttle while her love and interest for her husband begins to wane, continuing on a downward spiral. This might be a part of Mother Nature’s plan, for among many species of life in the World, it is the female who predominantly cares for her young while the male disappears from the family unit, content that he had done his job in helping to propagate the species and nothing more. In lower life forms such as birds, snakes, cats and dogs, this setup seems to be the best plan for nature. However, being that humans have the unique capability to experience very complex emotions, feelings and needs, this plan often destroys the family structure, creates feelings of sadness, longing and despair among its family members, particularly from the husband, and rarely works to anyone’s benefit.
It can be said that when every member in a family is happy, the family as a whole can be happy. I have spoken to many male friends who have told me how, without provocation, their wives had gradually lost interest in them after having children. I believe that there is something inherently wrong with this scenario, especially if the husband is a good provider, good person, caring parent, and a loving husband. I am not talking about those jerky dead-beat dads who want nothing to do with their family and are the cause for a family break-up; I am talking about husbands who care and love their wife and children. These husbands will often ask themselves, “What did I do wrong?” Many young men who get married unwittingly will enter this situation. In my confidential discussions with many of my married male friends, their neglect from their wives often leads them to see other women on the side. This is another phenomenon of the human condition, for nature abhors a vacuum. Feelings of sadness and neglect and longing to be needed by the wife does not make for a happy husband, which interferes with the rest of the family being completely happy. A disconnect begins to happen where the father often feels like the “odd man out” and no longer a needed part of the family unit. This is the point where many men leave the relationship, creating despair in the children by tearing the family apart. The only one who really “wins” is the mother who gets to fulfill her inexorable need to be both mother AND father, or superparent.
The above pattern does not always happen with all married couples; there are also many relationships that are successful and we can all learn from them if we just focus on what makes them successful. If a mother puts her mind to it, she can compartmentalize her role with her husband and her role with her children. She can create an internal dialogue with thoughts like, “My children need me and I am giving them the love, attention, support and nutritional needs that they require. They are happy because they are getting all that they need right now. I can now focus some of my attention on my husband. He does not need as much attention as them, but I realize that he does need some at times. My children need him to be a part of the family just as much as they need me; for they love both of us unconditionally and expect us to be together. As a married couple, each of us have strengths and weaknesses, and working together, we can really make for a successful happy family. Alone, it won’t be the same. We are both team players and we must work together to make this family work.”
A husband and a wife each have the power to make or break a marriage. It is up to the both of them to have the resolve and determination to make their marriage work, and thus, to keep the family together. We owe it to our children and to ourselves.