In last week’s article, I shared an example of a woman (Mia) who made a few attempts to let her husband (Carl) know that she was unhappy in the marriage but he didn’t hear her for whatever reason, or he simply didn’t take her complaints seriously.
When Mia had had enough and was literally walking out the door, Carl finally heard her, but due to the fact that he had not taken her earlier laments to heart, the news that she was done with the marriage was shocking to him.
From Mia’s perspective, she had told Carl a few times that she was unhappy and he “should have known” that she would leave if things didn’t change. From Carl’s perspective, things in the marriage weren’t all that bad and Mia was just “doing what women do” by trying to change him.
So, now they have passed the breaking point and Mia has already made up her mind that she and the kids are leaving. She wants the divorce over with as soon as possible. Carl is stunned and angry. He wants to be given a “second” chance and he wants to stall the process as long as possible in the hopes that Mia will realize the mistake she is making.
Mia is rushing while Carl is dragging his feet. How is this dynamic going to end up?
Because I have seen this happen so often, I can tell you that it will likely end up with a highly contentious divorce in which each person sees the other as purposely trying to hurt them.
Mia will see Carl as being obstructionistic and Carl will see Mia as cold-hearted.
If each person could set aside the story they have going of how the other is trying to hurt them and try harder to understand the other person’s perspective, they might have a shot at minimizing the negativity.
Easier said than done, perhaps, but here are some dos and don’ts if you find yourself in this situation: