Let us take a look at Steve's case. "My wife and I have been married twelve years. She came up to me three weeks ago and told me she wants a divorce and then filed for one. The reasons she gave are all B.S. Small things that I did in the past like blowing off a little steam and asking her to sweep the floor once in a while. I have some bad habits like nitpicking that I was raised to believe was the right thing to do. I also have a severe disability from my childhood, that I have been dealing with for 42 years. I love my wife very much but I am afraid I lost her this time. I have never struck her, I work full time, and try to be a good husband. She tells she does not love me right now and needs space and time to recover from being hurt by my raising my voice and saying mean things to her. I try not to but I sometimes do. She refuses counseling, but I don't want to be divorced, like I said I love her very much. I need information on how to help myself so I can be a better husband if given the chance. I would appreciate your help."
Since we are listening to only one side of the story, let us be fair but here are some of my thoughts:
- It's great that Steve is admitting his mistakes.
- It is even more remarkable that he wants to do something about his behavior. What is important in life is to recognize your mistakes and deal with them head on.
- Steve may have lost her but this also presents him with an opportunity to transform his personality so that he can be a new man and then find a woman who will appreciate this new man.
What can Steve do now so that his second marriage is a happy one?
- Take a break to recover from the relationship. Use the time to reflect on your life and stay away from romantic relationships for a couple of months (start off by setting a target of 90 days at a time). Make some good friends and try to divert your attention to a hobby or a project that has been on hold for a while.
- While it is quite obvious that your wife did not like certain aspects of your behavior, chances are that there could have been other deeper issues. Reflect on those and try to come up with a set of five things that could have turned her off so much that she wanted to get away from you.
- Get some help. There is a lot of help out there in form of books, videos, and best of all, a mentor. Identify what the problem and then work on it. For example, let us say that you identify anger as an issue for you. Then you will need to deal with anger management. Similarly, work on other high-level issues rather than getting bogged down with minor problems.
- Once you are ready and confident to start a new relationship, then go have some fun. (Related article: Dating after divorce)
Advice provided by Pierre Coda, relationships expert at MYNIPPON.com