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Why We Divorce

By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

Time Management only has to do with making up a good “to do” list and following through. Right? Not really. Time Management has a lot more to do with what we are NOT doing rather than what we ARE doing. 

Good Time Management requires that we get what we “have to” get done but, more importantly, what we “want to” get done. 

This requires balancing our lives in all of life’s Seven Vital Areas: Health, Family, Financial, Intellectual, Social, Professional, and Spiritual. If we are out of balance on one (never mind two or three!) it is going to adversely impact on the other legs. 

There will be about 2 million marriages in the United States this year. Isn’t that nice? And there will be 1 million divorces. For the last twenty years, I have been a Professional Speaker and also an attorney and I have participated in over 200 divorces, representing an equal number of men and women in all age groups. (And out of the 200 divorces I have been involved in, I have never represented the party who was at fault!) 

Why is marriage and divorce a Time Management issue? Well, let’s say you are 25 years old, you get married, and now, 20 years later, at age 45 you are going through a divorce, all so common in our culture. In one day in divorce court, you may give up over 50% of everything you have ever worked for in your adult life through a property settlement. Now that’s good Time Management. 

It is so much like the squirrel, hoarding the nuts in his tree while someone is drilling a hole in the bottom of the tree to steal his bounty, but the squirrel doesn’t pay attention to the drilling sound. He is so caught up in doing it the wrong way, he cannot find time to plan how to do it the right way. 

And the cause of divorce? You typically hear reasons like “money issues”, “he has a girlfriend”, “she drinks to much”, etc, etc. But in my experience, 95% of all divorces are caused by one thing. A lack of communication. 

The average working business professional spends, on average, just two minutes per day in meaningful communication with their spouse or “significant other”. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get out my story let alone hear what my wife Nancy did in her day in just two minutes. (Interesting to note also that the average working business professional spends less than 30 seconds per day in meaningful communication with their children. That’s just a bit more than, “Hi. How was school? Good. Do you have homework? Go do it. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” 

Now, when we go back to the beginning the relationship that preceded the marriage, was the couple communicating? Sure. Why? Because they were making and spending time together. They were going places together, laughing together, crying together, doing this thing called “communication”. And then what happened? After the wedding “something came along”. Lots of “somethings” came along. He was busy traveling and she was busy getting her degree, and the kids, yes the kids, and like two ships in the dark, they frequently passed each other daily with only slight notice. 

I am not who I was five years ago, nor are you. I am not who I am going to be five years from now, nor are you. Don’t you think that this is true about that special person in your life? Of course and without substantive ongoing communication we tend to grow apart and then one morning at the breakfast table one asks, “who is that stranger sitting across from me and who’s the young pool boy she’s with…..we don’t have a pool.” 

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Dr. Donald E. Wetmore-Professional Speaker
Productivity Institute-Time Management Seminars
Professional Member-National Speakers Association
August 23, 2018

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