Next Time Make a List

Now that your marriage has ended, what part did you play in its demise?  I know some of you are saying, “the SOB cheated”, so it was his fault.  Remember, you chose this individual.  Were you initially blinded by love and overlooked the obvious red flags?  This happens to the best of us.  As women, we sometimes feel that things will get better once we are married.  Wakeup call! They don’t.  They generally get worse.   I remember my ex telling me before we got married that we should split the bills down the middle.  At the time, I had a car note and he didn’t.  So, this didn’t seem quite fair.  I would be struggling, and he wouldn’t.  I brought this to his attention and he simply told me that my car was a personal bill and didn’t count.  I promptly gave back the ring and told him if I wanted a roommate, I would have advertised for one.  Roommates typically agree to each paying half the cost.  He finally saw things my way.  If a guy is cheating on you before marriage, guess what, there is a probability he will continue.  I have seen this happen on numerous occasions to many of my friends.  If a guy is not financially stable or doesn’t pay his bills on time, this behavior will normally follow him into marriage.  Check his credit before you marry him.  I was lucky in this area.  I had no credit.  I was young and starting out.  My ex was three years older and had excellent credit.  He actually co-signed for my car after dating me a couple of months. What can I say?  He knew I was a keeper.  I was also very responsible and still am. 

Make a list of the traits you want in a man and the traits you aren’t willing to accept.  Do a yes column and a no column.  If there were traits that you didn’t like about your previous husband, put those in the no column.  These are traits that are deal-breakers.  In the yes column, list traits about your ex that you liked as well as other good traits that you are looking for in a mate.  Once the person exhibits the unwanted traits, let him go.  Don’t go thinking that you can change him.  This is generally not the case.  Women tend to think they can change a man.  Wrong assumption.  He is who he is. As Popeye, the Sailor Man says, “I am who I am”.  One of the traits I liked about my ex was his dependability. He always did what he said he would do.  He was also financially responsible and believed in budgeting and saving.  We generally never went out to dinner without a coupon.  I made a list of what I wanted before marrying my ex.  When I saw that he fit my list, I proposed to him and of course he accepted.  We got married on our lunch hour.  He had some bad habits which contributed to the breakup of the marriage.  We only dated 6 months before getting married.  This was a mistake.  Make sure you date long enough to truly get to know the person.  On the bright side, our marriage lasted 32 years and produced our son.

By Emmerstine Mackie

Divorce Coach