It turns out that everyone’s patience has a shelf-life — even yours.
Fact: It’s no fun being the Elmer’s glue that holds your relationship together. When you feel like it all rests on your shoulders, you wonder if it’s even worth the fight ... or worse, if you’re fighting a battle that’s already lost.
Why You're Sick of Being The Glue
Women are genetically wired to want to hold the family unit together. But, this job gets exhausting when the relationship is in trouble and it seems like you’re the only one trying to patch up the leaks. Being the "keeper of the marriage" requires you to constantly check the marital temperature to make sure everything's all good. It’s similar to the town cop that keeps a safe eye on the community. If your relationship is even slightly off, you notice.
You might just keep an eye on things, talk to your spouse, or regulate the marital climate behind the scenes. What sucks about being the official bond keeper is that your efforts often times go unnoticed or some how get turned around like "you’re looking for something to complain about" — better known by men as nagging.
You Give Up — Because "Nobody Cares Anyway"
This type of mindset becomes accelerated when your concerns or cries for help are misconstrued as nags or complaints, time after time.
The shelf life for this negative interaction cycle varies with each couple. But ... eventually your patience will expire.
... And when it does, you have 3 options:
1. Do nothing and just go numb. Typically, you’ve already done this for a while, and you can't take it anymore.
2. Go to couples therapy. Again, if you’re at this point you've probably tried this and didn’t have much luck. But if you haven’t, sometimes some fresh insight is really helpful.
3. Divorce. Yikes! The BIG "D" word and all the tormenting emotions that come with this choice sends you straight into a instant whirlwind.
Feelings of failure, disappointment and the pain of watching your children suffer because you two couldn’t figure it out begin to flare up. It's most definitely one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever make. Part of you feels a sense of relief, but another part feels aching sadness.
Inevitably, you’ll begin questioning if you've tried hard enough, worry about how the divorce will affect your kids, and you’ll feel scared to find out what comes after you all finalize and sign those papers.
It’s Overwhelming, But At Other Times There's An Eery Feeling of Solace
You feel (almost) at peace with the decision because you’ve grown tired of beating a dead horse. Ultimately, if you choose door number three and walk through — you can find certainty in this one thing — you tried your best.
As wives and mothers, it's in our DNA to mend the tear and keep the family whole. Unfortunately, sometimes our sticky stuff alone just isn't enough.
In The End
Is it really that surprising that women lead the poll in initiating the divorce? When you think about it, because of our role in the family system, we've had a front row seat to witness the marriage crumble bit-by-bit (the sh*t show, if you will).
And quite frankly, there comes a time where they get tired of suffering. It's torture watching love die, and women do it for a long time for the sake of the unit ... until they just can’t take anymore, that is.
Jessica is the author of Back 2 Love and How to Start a Mental Health Private Practice. She blogs regularly on her website: jmillercoaching.com. Follow her on Twitter where she tweets about life, love, and happiness: @back_2_love_