I was so sad to hear today of Tom Cruise’s and Katie Holmes’s impending divorce. Someone I know was working at a recent film premier of his in London and said how he spent hours talking and taking pictures with his fans. She said he seemed to really care for people and was very professional. Their divorce though made me think a little.
I am always sad when people divorce because I believe in doing as much as possible by planning ahead – even before the marriage. If you have been divorced before or never married then plan well ahead and read on….if you have been divorced before…learn to forgive yourself. If you are married to someone you feel is not right for you…also forgive yourself. Just being married does not mean all is well. Learning lessons is always difficult when we do not forgive ourselves. It is always easy to make errors.
Adults going through divorce can become very self-obsessed and very much in the pain of what is going on. Celebrity divorces bring on even more trauma in the public arena. They often do not think about what is going on for the children. The pain, regret and recriminations tend to go on for many years. Children know when they are being ignored or not really being listened to and children know what is going on. The pain in the family is great and festering. No matter how much a parent says the child is not to blame, children still believe they can magically bring their parents back together if they behave.
The long-term effects of divorce on the children are great. I meet many people whose parents have divorced and have themselves set up the same patterns for a fantasy marriage which do not really exist. Fantasy marriage is another code-word for future divorce.
Why do people spend more time working out what car to buy then in choosing a mate and partner? I have prepared a short list below of how to even out the odds for a happy marriage.
A) It takes time in preparing yourself. The partner you find when you are a heavy drinker is a different one to the partner you will find when you are at peace with yourself and your environment. Our external relationships reflect the internal relationship with ourselves. The first long-term relationship you have is with yourself. Prepare yourself with self-development, keeping fit and therapy.
B) When meeting someone, before you get lost in the paroxysms of desire (which so easily cloud the mind) make sure to find out some logical matters. What are his/her parents like? How do they treat their parents? This does matter and we as children are so often like our parents. Note how the rest of the families are too. Note your own family and your own history. Have you got rid of your own baggage or is it still attached and being dragged from place to place?
C) Be aware of red flags. History does matter. History often repeats itself. Note if you ignore a red flag you ignore it at your peril. People do change and if it is something of concern then do not avoid it. Approach the subject and discuss it. It is possible to change but necessary to agree to it if change is required. If it is not possible to change then walk away before you get in too deep. Do not ignore the red flags.
D) Note the patterns of those who are happily married. Find and seek them out. There must be some around. Supposedly 1 out of 3 end in divorce. What about the other two thirds? We often learn by modeling and if you model what not to do you will repeat that. Model the behavior and pattern of what you want to happen. Feel good couples and families can be difficult to be with if you are used to something different. If you want change you will need to learn to be with them. Read books on relationships. Watch, read and learn. There is always so much to learn and explore.
Apart from that. Have fun, forgive yourself and others. Enjoy each others company and build up that history together which can bring you closer together. It can be a lonely world and you will have to give, and give often, in order to eventually find someone to share your life with…..