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Unformatted text preview: i 4 MARRIAGE » .:~*¢:tl‘L"JI v: . “fun iifliiflm' azrw ‘ -- e l E 4' Why Womeli Leave Men The most common cause of divorce is also [lye problem that men recognize [lye least. By Willard F. Harley Jr. id you know that women file for divorce twice we find that it is far ahead of all other reasons combined as often as men? 5M gwh WWW/WW As a marriage counselor, I am not surprised because of physical abuse, infidelity, alcoholism, criminal by that statistic. Each day I face women who are behavior, fraud or other serious grounds. In fact, I am bewil- frustrated with their marriages—and most of dered by women in serious physical danger refusing to leave them express no hope that their husbands will men who threaten their safety. On many occasions I have ever understand why. When a risked my life to help women escape their woman finally leaves home or violent husbands only to find them sneak- files for divorce, men can be shocked at ing back to them. their wives’ drastic actions. To them, it Qiite simply, women usually leave seems their wife is “making a mountain men because they are neglected. out ofa molehill.” Most men have no trouble under- When I talk to the husbands, they usu- standing that verbal and physical abuse ally feel that the expectations of their wives are legitimate reasons for their wives to have grown completely out of reach. They leave. But neglect is a much tougher sell say they get no credit for their sizeable con- to men. tribution to the family. They feel enor- mous pressure to improve their financial What Do They Want? support, improve the way they raise their With all the demands on men, do children and the way they treat their wives. “contrary to the women expect too much attention from They feel exhausted. And for all their effort . their husbands? I’ve proven to huigands they get nothing, but criticism. beller 0f many that their wives usually do not expect too Some conclude that women are born husbands, their wives much. When thev understand and ' to complain and men must ignore it to sur- respond to their wives’ frustration, the vive. Or they feel their wives are impossi- are not expecting com lainin ends and a terrific marriage ble to please, so there’s no point in trying. bggins. Are women becoming more difficult more Effort from Contrary to the belief of many hus- to please? Are men not doing enough? Or bands, their wives are not expecting more are men trying to please their wives in the effort from them. Instead, they expect wrong ways? expect efforts in a efforts in a different direction. It isn’t more diflicult to please women these days. Grounds for Divorce different diIECtion-” WW, them. Instead, they The most common reason women give ._, w. , ,, . . ., . , . someone thev trust who is there for them . _ . ‘ f " - . M for leavmg their husbands is ‘mental cru- when they have a problem, who takes 6.191;” When le al grounds for divorce are stated about half their feelin s into account when decisions are being made— feel they have been emotionally abused. But the mental cru— Sm yeeemotionavcon heated. elty they describe is rarelv the result of their husband’s efforts ' Revelation QED-21 can help us understand the problem to drive them crazy. It is usually a feeling thaLthei: husband of neg ect: “Here 1am! I stand at the door and knock. [fanyone doesn’t talk to them or doesn’t seem to care much about what bears my voice and opens the door, I willgo in and cat with mm, W , ’, t . they say. In realifl, mental cruelty bOils down to one thing: and be roll/J me. These verses are written by Christ to the nCEICCt. church in Laodicea, but apply to all of us who tend to leave other reason for divorce—reported almost as much as Christ out of our lives. mental cruelty—is “neglegt” itself. It includes emotional aban- What does this verse have to do with husbands neglect- donment a e t. Husbands wh rk ing wives? I find husbands domg With their Wives preCisely a take the ' at a tim . ll what we can do with Christ: heave Him out ot parts ofour into this ry. lives. But unlike Christ, who patiently waits at the door to be When all forms of spousal neglect are grouped together, let in, women leave the “door” to their husband’s life when 68 I NEW MAN I JULY/AUGUST 1996 they are not welcomed in. Just as we find ourselves drifting away from Christ unless we deliber- ately invite Him in, men will drift away from their wives unless they make a conscious effort to be re-united on a regular basis. I hel men understand their rob- lem V com arm t err lives with a house of many rooms. Each room is one ofthe husband’s many roles in life. my room for golfing, another for his gar— den, one for his children, one for church—and one for his wife. In a typical day, he Visits a number ofrooms. When he’s in that room, the others are blocked out of his mind so he can focus his attention on the role he plays at the time. A man will focus all his energy on one thing at a time to do 33W W 135' Wm are only one of man rooms in this ima inarv house. It represents the “husband” role. When they are in that room, they may give their wives undi- vided attention. But this won’t work. A man’s wife cannot be relegated to We. She should be integrated into a man’s entire house. Without this integra- tion, there will be no emotional bond- ing, no uniting ofthe spirit, no feeling of intimacv. When I counsel a Christian hus- band, I explain that he is to invite both Christ and his wife into each room of his house. Regardless of his role or responsibility, both Christ and his wife should be considered in each decision he makes. Many Christian men have alreadv learned how to invite Christ into each room, but thev have neolected W to inVite their Wives as well. Once the inv1tation is made, the results are startling. When we invite our w‘v into each ofour rooms, we begin to live our lives m values. We learn how to avoid habits that cause our wives to be unhaopv, and we learn how to meet their most impor- tant emotional needs. The Next Step It may sound radical, but I suggest Lam ' «rs-3.2 - .z 5 .‘5 And the No. 1 Reason ls... rom my experience as a counselor, one word describes the main rea- son why women divorce their hus- bands: neglect. The problem shows itself in the words they say: 0 “My husband is no longer my friend.” 6 “The only time he pays atten- tion to me is when he wants sex.” 0 “He is never there for me when I need him the most.” that husbands learn to integrate their wimby—follomingfie “Policv of ' t Agreement”: Don’t do anything without an enthusiasm agreement het'zoeen you and your sgguse. This policy helps a man think about his wife’s reaction to everything he does, not just what goes on in the “husband” room. A few men I work with have agreed to this policy, but they wonder why I insist on enthusiastic agreement. It’s because I want couples to avoid agree- ments that are coerced. I want couples to learn how to come to agreements that take both of their interests into account. Most mm flea; if they do this and invite their wives into every room of thmwemmmn take over completely. TheiLLhintheY mem‘ They fear their identities will shrivel away and they will end up a shadow of their former selves. But the Policy of Ioint A reement pram by comd my challenge to try it. Joint agreement means both hus- band and wife must be enthusiastic to ether and no me risks losing their identity or subjecting themselves to slavery when hoth husband and wife must he enthusiastic about each deci- sion. The goal is to become united 'n a purpose and s irit, not to overpower or control each other. ___’_—___,___. Is This Possible? Couples who are already emotion- ally bonded have little or no trouble fol- lowing this policy because they have already learned how to behave in sensi- 0 “He lives his life as if we weren’t married, he rarely considers me.” 0 “I hurt all the time because I feel alone and abandoned.” 0 “We’re like ships passing in the night—he goes his way and I go mine.” 0 “My husband has become a stranger to me, I don’t even know who he is anymore.” 0 “He doesn’t show any interest in me or what I do.” tive and caring ways. Other couples really struggle with the policy at first. They are accustomed to doing what they please regardless of its effect on each other. Those who stick to the policy even for a day will see how their thought lessness has created emotional distance. Over time, their emotional bonding becomes more and more firm, and the policy becomes easier to follow as they become “one flesh.” Mwaeetameom A reement think about their wives throughout the day, because as they make decisions thev elves how their Wives would feel. They make a phone call when there is an d uBt. As time passes, these men become much more sensitive to their wives’ feelings. It’s been amazing to see how a pol- icy that offends our selfish and inde- pendent nature can end up creating what both husband and wit; really gt: understanding, emotional bond- ing, intimac and romantic love in marriage. Over time they ex erience w at everv cou le ho es in marriage: a loving and compatible relationship. A woman doesn’t leav ma who has invited her into eve room of his house. lllVl Willard F. Harleer. it a clinical psychol— ogist with more than 25year5 qfexperienee in marriage counseling. He lives with his wife of 33 years, joyce, in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. He is author of the heat—selling hook, His Needs, Her Needs (Revell). His web page address is http: l l~zoww.maniage— huilderr.rom. JULY/AUGUST 1996 I NEW MAN I 69 ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/17/2012 for the course MAFT 541 taught by Professor Davidp.altopp during the Fall '10 term at Ventura College.

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why_women_leave - i 4 MARRIAGE » .:~*¢:tl‘L"JI v:...

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