One's real life is often the life that one does not lead. —Oscar Wilde
One of the most common thoughts people share when their marriage ends is the loss of the hope they once had. Ideas like these are often stated: “If only she’d gotten sober.” “If only he could have stayed faithful.” “If only the therapist could have reached him.” “If only someone had intervened.”
It’s difficult to move on from such types of thought, especially when you feel that relatively minor issues or just one major issue caused your marriage to fail.
One woman told me recently she had loved her husband and had wished only that he had been more mature. In her mind, their marriage could have worked if her husband had simply grown up and stopped acting like a bachelor. She was just shy of putting the onus on the therapist saying that she wished the therapist had been more direct with him.
Although I know that there are ways in which people can and do change, they transform only because they want to and are ready to—not because someone is forcing them to change or convincing them that they should view themselves and the world differently.
As frustrating as it may be, whether the issue causing conflict is the need for a partner to be more responsible or the need to end an addiction, you cannot force another person to change.