Home DIVORCE ADVICE: Q&A Do nice girls get divorced?

Do nice girls get divorced?

I am reading a book at the moment called, “Nice Women Get Divorced” by Geneva Sugarbaker, M.S. I am only a few pages into it, and god only knows when I will finish since I am reading so many things contemporaneously.

But already, I relate so much. One of the characteristics the author espouses of “nice” women who end up getting divorced is that they have “seen their parents endure long lasting marriages, many reaching their fortieth and fiftieth wedding anniversaries.”  She also says that nice women “have grown up believing they would marry, have children and live happily ever after.”  And this is my favorite: She says, “As little girls, nice women fantasized about being taken care of emotionally and financially by their strong, protective husbands.” She even discussed the notion of divorce as being “sinful.” Read the post I did recently on that here: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=2398

These characteristics are probably shared universally by certain women of all races and socio-economic groups. I know I am guilty of these outlandish notions, even though, ironically, I have never married. I have certainly seen my parents endure a long marriage that continues to this day, and for me, that is the benchmark of marriage and what it means to be married; and I certainly have silly notions in my head about what a husband is and what he should be like – protective, supportive, “perfect!” (even though I wrote here that the perfect husband does not exist: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/does-the-perfect-husband-exist); plus,  I have always said that if I ever got married I would never get divorced, and I would live “happily ever after with my prince.”

Yes, I know. Someone needs to slap me out of my reverie. But it is true that a lot of well-meaning women, even in these modern days, go into marriage with misconceptions about what marriage is. This, after all, is not our parents’ generation. The women’s lib movement has changed the game considerably, as has sheer economic circumstances, and advances in human thought and behavior.

A successful marriage, therefore, seems to come down to “luck” in meeting and picking the right mate at the right time for the right reason; and having the fortitude and stick-to-it-ness to weather the storms of life; and also being given a break by life such that the mountains are not so high and the valleys are not so low, that you get to the point that you have no other choice but to slit the wrist of the marriage.

Niceness does not have anything to do with a successful marriage. At least, I don’t think so. I know many nice girls who never married. I know many not so nice couples who remain together forever. And certainly, there are many nice girls who did marry and for one reason or another, the relationship didn’t work out and they ended the marriage and moved on to either another marriage, or living independently on their own (and quite happily too)

I mean, what even is the definition of “nice” girls these days? Geneva Sugarbaker seemed to be talking of women who came of age in the sixties and seventies who did not have careers and who literally put their entire lives on hold to be wives and mothers while their husbands obtained advanced degrees and supported the family.

That is less and less the reality for most women. The “nice” girls today have their own careers more often than not. They are going toe to toe with their husbands educationally and financially. They are equal partners in the marriage – financially, educationally, sexually and socially. Yet, their marriages are not lasting as long as their parents’. In fact, many are imploding in under five years of marriage.

But wait…I think I see something here. Could that be the problem? Could this new “equality” be the thing that is wrecking the marriages of “nice girls”? Or causing others to avoid marriage altogether? I mean, something is destroying the traditional marriage set up, and/or causing nice girls to avoid marriage all together for fear of being “failures.” Is it “equality”?

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