Who Really Decides If You're Getting A Divorce?

By ,

Who Really Decides If You're Getting A Divorce?
Love mom! But is she making you stress unnecessarily about your marriage?
Like it or not, your relationship isn't "just" about the two of you.

Like it or not, if you're married, your relationship isn't "just" about the two of you. More often than not, external forces can pressure us into making bad decisions both pre- and post-marriage. Relationship experts Debra Smouse and Blair Bloom give us the lowdown on what surprise forces can confuse our decisions.

Smouse starts us off with some no-nonsense, real talk: "No matter what kind of relationship our parents have, we decide that when we grow up, our marriage is going to be like Cinderella's and that we'll live happily ever after. I hate to break it to you, darling, but what the fairy tales don’t tell us is that marriage takes work. Those fairy tales are just one of the outside influences on the health of your marriage if you allow it to be."

More from YourTango: The Secrets To Happiness And Why Numbing The Pain Doesn't Work

Bloom weighs in with a story of her own: "The first time I went to the alter, I did exactly what my parents wanted me to do. I married the 'right' kind of man. He was from a nearby town, a great guy, from a great family, and we were in love (or so I thought at the time). In actuality, my clock was ticking and I was 29 years old — I didn't want to turn 30 unmarried. However, it wasn't right, after all. He was a successful businessman but a workaholic. I was lonely and disappointed with my new life; I resigned from my career because we both thought that was the right thing to do, but I was bored and alone."

Smouse warns against following your family's advice too closely with an example: "Amy's mother never liked her husband. When asked about her daughter's new family, she talked about 'that boy' that married Amy who came from a poor family, didn't have a good enough job and sure wasn't smart enough for her daughter. Amy could have allowed her mother's ill feelings to affect her relationship. Instead, she realized that her relationship didn't need her mom's approval. Ten years later, she and her husband have an amazing relationship."

Bloom also felt societal pressure from cultural "norms" in making nuptial decisions: "Fast forward: I left the marriage, re-engaged in my career, moved to New York and started over. I was 35 years old and the next clock was ticking; I wanted a baby before it was too late. With this at the forefront of my mind, I met a man and we quickly decided to get married. We had a daughter almost immediately and in spite of the 'love' we felt initially and the beautiful daughter we both adored, we were miserable together; incompatible and very unhappy. We stuck it out, hung in there with the marriage for 13 years." When Bloom began to listen to her heart, she made the right decision for herself: "Getting divorced was the best thing we did together, other than making a wonderful daughter who has grown into an amazing person whom we both love dearly."

What's one of the biggest high-tech dangers for a marriage? "There are two big pieces around marriage social media. My client Diane sunk into a depression and believed that if her husband would be romantic, like her friend Millie's, then she would be happy again. What we discovered in our coaching sessions, however, was that Millie was only showing the picture perfect moments: romantic dinners, weekend trips to a bed and breakfast and new living room furniture. And so was Diane! Diane was Instagramming her perfect roast chicken, but she wasn't sharing the pizza delivery nights! When we look to social media, we often believe our lives aren't as perfect or glamours as our friend's, and we assume something must be wrong.

Diane began focusing on the good parts of her relationship and her depression began to lift and she realized that her relationship wasn't bad; she was just focusing on the less than glamorous parts. Emma, on the other hand, ended up divorcing because of social media. She and her husband had a fight and she posted a blow-by-blow on Facebook. Several of her friends, including her sister, chimed in about what a jerk her husband was. She and her husband may have been able to recover from the fight, but he was so embarrassed by her sharing of dirty laundry, he couldn't forgive and forget. Bringing others in on a fight is only going to weaken your relationship. Keep your arguments out of social media!"

Bloom reflects on her past marriages: "So did I fail, after all? I don't think so. I accomplished what I set out to do, I fell in love twice, and I gave birth to a great daughter. But everlasting love? I am not so sure I am capable of that — and yet I still find myself looking and yearning for it. Is it that 'happily ever after' mentality I grew up with? That fantasy central to every novel written? Perhaps."

Smouse explains why the happily ever after fantasy can be damaging: "My client, Brian, believed that finding his soul mate would mean that the relationship would be smooth sailing. Instead, when he and his fiancée had their first big argument, he worried it was a sign that the relationship was doomed. Books, movies, and media can make us believe that if our relationship is 'right', then it should be both easy and perfect. Though movies may present a little tension (usually sexual!), comparing our relationships to how things are in the movie is a sure-fire way to find dissatisfaction and unhappiness.

Family, friends, social media and cultural expectations can be useful tools as we move through our relationships, but ultimately, they may be more detractors than helpers. Here's some final food for thought from Smouse: "Marriages are not democracies that need the approval of the masses. The only opinions that matter are yours and your spouse's."

More from YourTango: Just Divorced? 7 Tips For Greeting The Spring Holidays With Grace

More divorce advice from YourTango:

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Debra Smouse

Life Coach

You deserve to live a daily life you adore. When you listen to your heart, you can purposefully choose actions to move you towards how you want to feel.

Tarnished Southern Belle (and life coach) Debra Smouse can help you de-tangle the drama in your life, push away the need for perfection, and show you how to create a daily life that you love.

Her Intimate Circle Program, Make Your Inner Sex Kitten Roar begins April 27th.

Are you ready to take the reins of your life? Want to get clear about who you are and where you want to go? Get my free e-Book Open the Door: Are You Ready to Make Your Inner Sex Kitten Roar? *.

(*Bonus:Return the Awareness Questionnaire for a Discount on Tuition & One-on-one Coaching!)


Location: Dayton, OH
Credentials: BS
Advanced Member

Blair Bloom

YourTango Expert Partner

Carolyn Riske & Blair Bloom 

JUST BLOOM is happy to announce the launch of the JUSTBLOOMbox for Women 40+.

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: Other
Other Articles/News by Debra Smouse, Blair Bloom:

Me-ow! 8 Surprising Traits Of A Sex Kitten


Though it may be a little politically incorrect, I believe that all women have an Inner Sex Kitten inside of them. You may pooh-pooh this idea as silly, crazy or sexist. But let me tell you something, darling: my personal experiences as well as well as the results my clients have seen has convinced me that I'm on to something. I believe that each of us ... Read more
Recent Expert Posts
Hug Text

It’s Emotional Infidelity

12 warning signs that you may be cheating and not just friends

Computer Problems

Meeting Online: Safety Tips to Date By

Meeting online requires a little more vigilance than other types of dating.


Use Goal Setting To Get A Boyfriend

You use goal setting in your professional life, but you can also use it to find true love.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>