“A strong woman is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely.Her tears flow as abundantly as her laughter. A strong woman is both soft and powerful, she is both practical and spiritual. A strong woman in her essence is a gift to the world.” Ritu Ghatourey
Natalie and John used to be the couple that other people envied, so how did she end up asking for a divorce 18 years later?
They had met in college both studying architecture and worked at the same architecture firm post-graduation for ten years. They married and were the type of couple who enjoyed each other and saw eye-to-eye on most things. She told me they used to crush the Newlywed Game because they knew each other so well.
But they were also very different; she was the extroverted social butterfly and he was the introverted lone wolf. Her career soared and his began to stagnate.
After their daughter was born, Natalie went into mom-mode as her focus became her daughter, while continuing to excel in her career.
Like most Type A women, she would accomplish more in a day than some people would do in a week. She was smart, organized and efficient. She was direct and decisive, ambitious and focused.
The marriage, she’d hoped, would sustain itself. Clearly, that didn’t happen.
As she barreled ahead, John fell behind.
As she gained more momentum in her achievements, he fell into a place of quiet contentment.
As she over-functioned in the family and in the relationship, he began under-functioning.
And that’s where they began to disconnect from one another as a couple and where the differences between them became increasingly apparent and disruptive.
Over time, Natalie built up resentments and lost respect for John and it’s hard for a Type A woman to feel desire, appreciation or compassion for someone you don’t respect. Now, 18 years later, she recently shared with him that for her, the marriage is over.
Both Natalie and John played a role in how the relationship landed at this place of a level of disconnection that was now, beyond repair.
Natalie fell into the trap that most Type A women make: She didn’t make space for an equal partner inside the marriage. She was the project manager of their lives and never demanded that her partner be a full and willing participant.
Let’s be honest ladies, in some ways, doing it all actually serves us. That’s how we know it will be done in our way and on our timeline. Our need to control prevents us from making space for an equal partner. Plus, if we don’t have to take the time to discuss and potentially compromise with someone else, we can move more quickly and accomplish more.
John could have stepped-up. He should have jumped-in with an opinion, a decision and some energy to take ownership of any of the things that need to be done that make their life and family function. Instead, it was just easier to let her do it all. And frankly, she seemed more than willing and capable.
He calls that trust (in her and her capabilities).
She calls it laziness.
And so now, if she’s going to do it all on her own, why does she need the headache – and the heartache – of attempting to do it alongside a partner whom she no longer connects with or desires? The short answer is, she doesn’t.
As a self-proclaimed Type A woman myself, I totally relate to this. It was the biggest reason why my own first marriage ended. But if I didn’t want my second marriage to come to a similar ending, I had to be willing to do something different.
Yes, I could choose differently. I could choose a man who wanted to be involved, engaged and part of a team walking through life together.
But that would mean that I would have to make space for someone else.
That means I don’t always get my way.
That means I have to be willing to have conversations and come to agreements.
That means that when he takes ownership of something, I have to let him do it his way on his timeline.
We don’t get to have it both ways. We don’t get to have an equal partner who genuinely wants to contribute AND will withhold their opinions and do it the way we want them to do it. Ultimately, Type A women really do want a self-driven man, not an obedient puppy.
I learned how to do this in my life and I can help you do the same. Here’s your next step forward toward getting you the clarity you need.
Struggling to decide whether to stay or go in your marriage and you’re serious about finding that answer?
Book a Truth & Clarity Session with a member of my team. We’ll discuss where you are in your marriage and explore if there’s a fit for you and I to work together so you can make - and execute - the RIGHT decision for YOU and your marriage.