Marriage Modeling. This theme is particularly important among women with daughters; there is an extreme awareness of how they are modeling marriage to their daughters. The 2017 upheaval of the Me Too movement has placed new accountability on women to ensure we modeling boundaries and self-respect to our children- especially our daughters. The 2020 shut-down forced an extended period of self-reflection that has fast-tracked this pursuit.
The trends in divorce now show that more often, women are initiating divorce because they are no longer willing to settle. In fact, upwards of 70% of all divorces are now initiated by women.
How this is showing up in my practice is that partners are feeling confused. “This is the way our family has always functioned. I don’t understand why now, there’s this huge problem that has come out of nowhere.”
Here is what I have to offer those couples: “The Great Resignation is no longer limited to corporations. Just as employees are no longer willing to tolerate long commutes to work, toxic office culture, bogus bureaucratic policies, or being responsible for work that doesn’t fulfill them; spouses are no longer willing to tolerate feeling alone in the marriage.”
We are in a major societal shakeup and believing that our marriages and families are immune to that is setting us up for major challenges. This is not a time for getting back to basics. This is a time to redefine what the basics are, and start building from there. Be sure to treat it as a collaborative effort where both parties are clear on what their marriage fundamentals are going forward.
As Glennon Doyle brilliantly asked: “If you wouldn’t WANT this marriage for your children, why are you STAYING in this marriage for your children?”
Working with couples to define a version of marriage they are proud of has been really interesting. Watching both partners make changes to integrate that vision has been really rewarding work. If you’re on this journey, keep going!! It’s the kind of work that makes a personal impact that lasts for generations.