HomeMain PageRelationshipsIt only takes ONE to make a marriage, but TWO to make a divorce.


It only takes ONE to make a marriage, but TWO to make a divorce. — 17 Comments

  1. Wow this is soo true, sometimes we be too busy blaming our partner and we are the ones that have to change, its easy to blame somebody else and we will never agree on saying that we are wrong, I seen couples with that problem which the wife just blame the husband for everything and brings his pass everytime there is an argument and that does not help the relationship at all. we need to forgive from the heart and take half of the blame and that way we can get to work it out, thanks for sharing this article, its very interesting, I wish everyone will stop and take time to read this..

  2. I think Maria really hit on something in her note. This notion of individuation and how it comes up at midlife if one has not really dealt with it previously.
    I am sure that sometime people who chose to Individuate may have to chose to leave their community, their family, their relationship, their marriage. At the same time, a preferable choice might be to start the long journey of inviting all members of the community, the family, the relationship, the marriage, to shift toward supporting Individuation.
    Which is why I will still take issue that it takes two to make a divorce.
    Many folks in the throes of a midlife crisis are not interested in relationship, they are interested in “breaking free” they are interested in individuation.
    Many of them pursue “romantic love/infatuation” because it makes them “feel” young again (the fountain of youth). (One woman on the midlife forum recounts how her husband told her he was leaving her because she was growing old and he wasn't!)
    So, my point is that someone who finds themself in a long term marriage/relationship with someone who has decided that they MUST LEAVE the relationship in order to be happy and that pursuit of happiness is based on individuation and some desire to be eternally young/evade mortality……..then the left behind spouse really is powerless to prevent the divorce or dissolution of the relationship.
    Doesn't a relationship have to at least have the foundation of BOTH people WANTING A RELATIONSHIP? And, if there is simply no interest in a relationship, if one partner is driven to individuation and separation full speed ahead, then, really, there is not much the left behind spouse/partner can really do.
    I look forward to your (and Maria's) response!

  3. Dear Maria,
    Quite a journey you've been on. Thanks for continuing to share glimpses of your steps and experiences, about what you have faced.
    I really am grateful for you sharing about Individuation. I had not focused on how much that is going on all around us/me and within me, too. I guess I have been working on it all along. Here are some thoughts.
    I think of Individuation as the process a human goes through to develop a competent and comfortable sense of integrity or congruence within themselves. Tis the process of becoming a SELF (capital letters), and a precursor to self-esteem.
    I think the process progresses mostly in the presence of others from who you can differentiate (show your differences) and who probably model the behavior of and the inclination toward safe individuation. I doubt that individuation proceeds far when a person is alone, but I do think that alone-time is often needed for reflection and consolidation of gains toward Self-hood.
    The principle engine of Individuation, I think, is Validation – as I have defined it. A community which practices Validation I believe is optimal for supporting the Individuation process. I am convinced that Validation is the appropriate response to people acting without Individuation.
    A community which avoids or neglects Validation probably prevents or delays Individuation. In my model the whole world of the “Valley of the Masters” (made up of shifting roles of Masters, Passive Masters, and Slaves) seem to me descriptive of the enduring cultural tendency to prevent Individuation.
    What I call the world of Friend-Friend seems to me descriptive of a community of individuating members. The process of transforming from the Left (Valley of Master) to the Right (Friend-Friend) seems to me a good way of summarizing the process of Individuation.
    When faced with MasterTalk I think we have a choice: to continue the process of Individuation or to slip back into selfless conformity.
    I am sure that sometime people who chose to Individuate may have to chose to leave their community, their family, their relationship, their marriage. At the same time, a preferable choice might be to start the long journey of inviting all members of the community, the family, the relationship, the marriage, to shift toward supporting Individuation.
    In the long run, and I believe this is common in elder communities around the world, individuation is a better more functional adaptation to being human. I believe that Individuation is a normal, natural process and in the long run will win out. In the short run we can help it.
    Good topic.

  4. That paragraph is what I think of as a glorious summary and a teaser. I do agree that there are a fixed set of skills, but each skill can be broken down into detailed skills and then how many do you have? Same is true of problems. My experience is the lists are finite – not endless.
    Actually my whole website is full of the answers to your question. Sorry it is not easier to grasp, but then the answers took me probably 17 years to figure out.
    The article on It only takes One was written 6 years ago or so. I think I will put a bunch of links in it. If you look at the table of contents on my blog, you will see Relationship, which is broken up into The Map, Skills and Solving Problems. Skills are broken down into 9 headings with lots of articles in each.
    For example, one skill is “what to do instead of arguing.” Another skill is how to create enough space and enough togetherness to meet each partner's needs.
    Read away.

  5. Dear Anonymous,
    Thanks for your points and so well put forth. I really enjoyed revisiting my Article using your thoughts. And I am glad you disagree with me. I find I don't learn as much from people who agree.
    A couple of thougths. First you say you are questioning my assumption. Actually I am not aware of any assumptions. I am sharing a belief that took me many years to arrive at. I shared it, and share it, precisely because I see it as fairly valuable and non-conventional.
    To me it addresses one particular problem with splitting up – with divorcing. During the build up to a divorce I find there is lots of mis-communication. One problem is what I think it is the pernicious belief that both must be willing to work at the same time. Certainly that (both working at the same time) is easier, but in my experience typically there is a great discontinuity between when one partner starts to work and when the other does. Often one thinks they have been “trying to work” for many years, finally gives up “trying,” and that signals the other to start working. Pretty tragic.
    I am asserting that since both really want the same thing in relationship, if one leads the way, the other will follow. Mind you, not many people share my understanding or belief in the Biological Dream nor in Vintage Love. I can simply share both my belief and confidence in them. Your note helps.
    Secondly, I happen to believe in mid-life crisis. (I don't speak for “my profession.” Don't want to. Won't.) I don't believe all go through it, nor that all go through it in that “middle of life” form. A whole lot of people seem to go through the same thing in their early to mid 20s – but there the issue seems more of fearing having to give up playing around. I do like your ways of describing the mid-life challenges.
    Beyond that, I don't agree with quite a few of your assertions, but so what. At this website I share what I believe and you can share what you believe.
    Where I probably don't agree most strongly is with people (not you) using either marriage crisis or mid life crisis as excuses to not learn to do better, to not work. People have the right to use any “reasons” for divorcing or splitting that they want. I've seen an awful lot of pretty transparent excuses. And I would not consider restricting them.
    Hope this is useful. I posted this note on the midlifeclubforum simply because a friend of mine there seemed to “quote” me believing the myth (my word) that it takes two. My belief is more that it takes two to make a marriage/partnership so bad that people would want to leave it.
    I still enjoy the “color” of my belief.

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