The groom gets cold feet, the bride gets wedding day jitters and well-meaning friends and family members say the doubts and second-thoughts are just nerves. But sometimes it’s more than nerves, sometimes those fears are well-founded and going ahead means getting married for the wrong reasons.
Today, I’d like to introduce you to my next guest, Wendi Schuller. Wendi and her husband were married for about 22 years and were divorced in 2008. Even before they were married Wendi had her doubts about their future. Here’s Wendi:
I was a nurse and my husband is a physician and we met when he was a resident. I kind of realized right before the wedding that I shouldn’t marry him. This is really bad but my relatives had non-refundable airline tickets, so I decided to go through with it. You’re not thinking clearly. I thought, “Oh, I don’t know about this,” and so we were married.
He just didn’t seem real serious. He was still partying too much and I thought it was a mistake that our values were not aligned like I had thought they were before. Sometimes people wear a mask and it was like his mask was slipping when I didn’t realize that he had been wearing a mask, so I felt like I was seeing the real him like a week or two before our marriage and I didn’t call it off. Then, the first year he was going out with friends while I was working overtime to pay for his medical school loans. I can’t say that he got a girlfriend or anything, I don’t know, but I just didn’t like the situation and he didn’t value my opinion.
After we were married we moved to where his parents were so he could start his medical practice. It’s a small town and I thought, “Oh well, they’ll keep him in line.” I ran the practice and I was the nurse. So, I thought things would be much better because he wasn’t in a big city where there were a lot more temptations. I didn’t realize at that time in my 20’s that it’s like a character. You could be in a town with 10 people and have an affair or you could be in a city with 10 million and not, if that’s not who you are.
A lot of times I think we get married and we just are too trusting. We don’t realize that people’s characters are what they are. We think people can change and we can change people.
I think a lot of times people are too young and I probably was a more young and naïve 27 year old than the people today. I was real trusting like, “Oh, he’ll change,” or “He won’t want to party,” because we were in a smaller town. They don’t have TGI Friday’s and they don’t have a lot of bars and so I thought, “Oh well, he won’t be going out.”
He liked to party. At the time I was dating him, Warren Beatty had just gotten married to Annette Bening and you know Warren Beatty was the all-time bad boy and he just was so domesticated and I thought, “Oh well, you know that happens. People change.” Not always.
Now I know what someone is, is what they are. You’re not going to change them. That’s just their character.
The Divorce Coach Says:
Feeling that it’s too late or too much trouble or too much expense to back out of a wedding are not good reasons for going ahead but it’s hard to call any marriage that lasts years a mistake. A mistake would be a marriage similar to Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries but not Wendi’s.
The danger in seeing your marriage as a mistake is that those years then seem like a void, a gap in time leaving you wondering what you have to show for it. I think it’s more helpful to understand that you made what you thought was the right decision at the time and then to understand why you made the decision. What attracted to you to your spouse? Why did you want to get married? Did you feel pressured to get married? What could have changed this? What skills do you have now that you didn’t have back then?
Answering these questions will help you understand and accept the choice you made and more importantly, will help you make different choices in your intimate relationships going forward. This is one of the topics I work on with my coaching clients either as a standalone topic or as part of a more comprehensive coaching package. Please contact me if you’d like to find out more and do take advantage of my free 30-minute consult.
Wendi Schuller is the author of The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce. Read more about Wendi’s book and follow her blog at her website.
Photo Credit: 2014© www.clipart.com