Gavin Rossdale discussed his much-publicized divorce from Gwen Stefani in a recent interview, saying it was the opposite of what he wanted and that divorce is "one of the hardest, most painful things to go through." He also lamented the loss of her "unconditional love" for him. These sentiments may come as a surprise to people given that Gavin had a three-year affair with the family's nanny, which is what led to their divorce. It raises the question, why would someone have these regrets so long after the indiscretions that tore his marriage apart? Perhaps it's the age-old saying that you don't know what you have until it's gone. The truth is, many times people may not value their partner until they are separated and can finally recognize all the love they had, which is now lost.
Marriage is a slippery slope. There are so many moments in any given day during which your partner might do something to irritate you, or you them. It can be something small, like forgetting to take out the garbage or pay the bills, even after being reminded again and again. Or it can be something bigger, like refusing overtures toward sex, for whatever reason, but it might serve to hit one of you right in the ego, conjuring up hurt and anger. One thing to keep in mind is that whatever it is that your partner is doing to upset you, it is generally not intentional. Your spouse is not out to hurt you. More than anything, they are probably trying to please you as best they can, but their own needs get in the way. Because of that, in your eyes you wind up focusing on what went wrong and overlook what they did right which keeps them in the minus column. In fact, very often there may be several plus moments in any given day, things that are done with caring but come to be expected and are overlooked and taken for granted, and as a result go unmentioned and unappreciated. A hot cup of coffee, a text to check in and see how you are, or a hello kiss can oftentimes get overshadowed by the tension of seeing what they’re not doing as opposed to what they are doing.
A study out of The University of Georgia Center For Family Research found that the number one indicator of a happy marriage is feeling valued and appreciated by your spouse. When someone’s efforts to please go unnoticed or are eclipsed by what has not been done, that person might feel taken advantage of and unimportant. One easy step toward happy-proofing your marriage is to take inventory of the good and pay attention to the things your partner does do for you, and to make sure to acknowledge them with a thank you. Although they might let you down and disappoint you at times, balance it by keeping in mind all the times they are there for you. Also reflect on how treasured you are feeling for the things that you do. If you are feeling shortchanged in being valued, let your partner know that a thank you would go a long way.
This can help you stay on the tracks of gratitude and appreciation so that you keep your marriage train from derailing. Sadly, sometimes this doesn’t happen until it’s too late, which seems to be the case with Gavin and Gwen.
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