The majority of men who go to couples therapy seek to save their marriage . But when couples let the problems pile up, there’s not much to do, says Antonio Borrello , a psychologist from Detroit, Michigan.
“Most marriages survive short periods of dissatisfaction, lack of communication and conflict,” he says. “However, for many couples, periods of dissatisfaction last longer, the lack of communication is greater and disagreements lead to anger, resentment and indifference.
The whole thing discourages the partners.” Borrello and other marriage scholars give us the top reasons why the majority of men choose to divorce.
1. They need recognition
Men want to feel and express the love they have for their wives. But when a husband doesn’t feel gratitude from the whole family, he will express resentment instead, according to Alexandra H. Solomon , a psychologist at Northwestern University’s Institute of the Family. .
“Apart from being sexually and emotionally connected, one of the essential things in marriage is recognizing that your connection is also around the mundane things of everyday life: who’s going to drive, how to pay off the house loan and which of the two should replace the toilet paper,” she explains.
“Men (and women) who feel no recognition and who don’t accept the realities of marriage are at risk of divorce.”
2. They find that their wife spends too much money.
Many men who go to couples therapy are often unhappy with poor financial decisions made by their partner, says F. Diane Barth , psychotherapist and author of Psychology Today blog Off The Couch . This is especially true if it is the husband who earns the most money in the couple.
“When they say to me, ‘My wife spends everything we earn’, often what they mean is that they feel like their wife relies on him too much,” he explains.
“Most of these men could accept this situation if at least their wife was grateful and thanked them from time to time.”
3. There was deception.
Infidelity is often cited as the cause of divorce, but the underlying problem is often much more important, according to Borrello.
“When a man leaves his wife because of cheating , it’s almost impossible to know how much the decision really depends on that or if other factors are involved,” he explains. “It’s rare for infidelity to occur in a happy marriage.”
4. They no longer have anything in common with their wives.
People change. It’s worrying, however, that men expect the person they married 10 years ago hasn’t changed one iota since the day of the wedding, Barth says. In reality, if you want to stay married, you have to evolve together, otherwise, you risk evolving on your own.
“I often hear men say: ‘We have nothing in common anymore’: he wants to go diving in the Caribbean while his wife prefers to stay in a luxury hotel in Paris. He wants to go to the cinema, but they can’t agree on the film”, she says.
“These little differences that seem mundane make you no longer feel respected, loved or on the same wavelength as your partner.”
5. They don’t feel up to it.
Most dissatisfied men who go to couples therapy don’t feel up to it, according to Solomon. “When men behave badly (they cheat, get angry or try to control their partner, for example), it’s often because they fear they won’t measure up to their partner” , she explains.
“Then couples find themselves caught in a vicious circle: the woman feels alone so she criticizes.
The more she criticizes, the less the man feels up to it. The less he feels up to, the more he abandons his marriage and engages in self-destructive behavior that harms his relationship. It is an endless and very painful cycle.”
6. Sex becomes monotonous – if not downright non-existent.
When a man complains about his lackluster sex life, he’s mostly worried that his wife won’t find him attractive anymore, according to Barth.
“The unacknowledged fear of men is to no longer please”, she explains. “This feeling, which is rarely recognized by men, is often at the root of couple problems regarding sex, even if it is the man who is blocking it.”
7. They find that their needs are not taken into account.
When a marriage breaks down, what is needed most (which may even reduce the problem) is empathy, according to Solomon. When a husband feels that his partner doesn’t care about her well-being and doesn’t think he can be touched by their problems, he becomes disillusioned.
“Unless the couple is given the opportunity to regain an emotional connection (most often through couples therapy), the husband begins to feel that there is no hope of saving his marriage,” she specifies.
“Despair is very painful and especially toxic in a marriage. This increases the risk of divorce. The most important thing is that each partner feels that what they think and feel matters to the other.”
Visit Jaysteky for more relationship tips