If you want to recognize why marriages burst apart, and what it looks like when they do, talk to a divorce lawyer. Better yet, read a publication by a divorce lawyer regarding the reason why people divorce.
Over the span of our conversation, I asked Sexton the reason why people end up in his place of work, what guidance he has for people having difficulties in their marriages, why he calls Facebook an “infidelity-generating machine,” and exactly why he’s still a romantic after all these years.
What are the most common reasons people end up in your office?
They come in for big reasons like infidelity or financial improprieties. However from my viewpoint, these big reasons have their particular origins in a sequence of lesser decisions that people make that bring them further and further apart from each other, so much that those little things no longer feel quite so tiny. Everyone, when they get married, starts off with the exact same destination in mind. We want to reside cheerfully ever after. No person ever gets married with the intention of getting separated.
In David Wolfe’s Bonfire of in the Vanities one of the characters is talking about how he went economically bankrupt and one of the other personas states, “Tim, just how did you end up bankrupt?” He stated, “Well, I went bankrupt the way that everyone does, very slowly and then all at once.” I think that’s just how marriages end. Very slowly and then all at once. There are lots of little things that happen and then the flood comes, then the huge things happen. The question is, can we avoid the little items that take us further away from each other before it’s too late?
What’s your counseling to members who are considering about getting married?
Take it seriously. The simplest guidance that I render to people is to look at it just like the purchase of a automobile, simply because I think, occasionally, people give more thought to the purchase of a automobile than they do to the decision to get hitched.
If I stated to the normal person, “What automobile do you want? If you could have any automobile in the world, just what automobile do you want?” Most people might state, “I want a Lamborghini. I want a Ferrari.” But if I stated to them, “Well, this automobile that you choose is going to be the exclusive car you can have for the rest of your life,” you get to adjust the evaluation, right? Because the car or truck you want in your 20s and the car or truck you want in your 30s when you’ve got a couple of kids is extremely different.
So you’d need to take something that suits each part of your existence. You’d have to pick one thing that was kind of fun and sexy enough to see you throughout your 20s nevertheless functional enough to manage when you have kids. I think it’s the exact same when selecting a spouse.
At the danger of appearing unromantic, I believe that you need to look at a person and say, “Okay, is this a person who is going to make sense at all different phases of this process? Because my life is going to change. I’m going to change. What’s important to me is going to change. Is this a person who can improve with me so that we end up [moving] in the exact same direction? Or is this somebody who makes good sense for me at this phase and might not in the future?”
That’s the very first thing. The second thing is to ask your self the question: “What is the challenge to which marriage may be the solution for me?” Whenever someone tries to sell something to me, whether it’s a mobile phone or a new application, I ask myself, “What could be the issue this is seeking to solve?” So, if you express to me, “Oh, I’ve got this software package that lets you order guacamole online,” well, is that a issue I really have? I believe that people often assume marriage is a smart thing to do without even questioning themselves this question.