There's no shame in being vulnerable to your spouse or working hard on your marriage. But it is problematic when you flail away at improving an irretrievably broken relationship while watching any semblance of self-respect disappear in the rearview.
The seeds of conscious uncoupling are sown somewhere in unconscious coupling. And, by unconscious coupling, I'm not referring to alcohol-fueled one-nighters. What I do mean is that many of us choose mates who aren't right for us by ignoring our unconscious motivations for doing so.
The recent stats on midlife divorce are startling. People over 50 are divorcing in higher numbers than ever before. And women are leading the charge -- filing in greater numbers than men. The "gray divorce" rate has doubled for this population in the last two decades.
When I ran into my own life crisis around age 49 -- a divorce and losing my job for the first time ever -- I took the time to sit and consider what I wanted more of in life. I decided I wanted more fun and meaning, but I did not realize at the time how much courage these goals would require.
Few of us are surprised when the young and famous break up. But when celebrated marriages weather decades of ups and downs and then dissolve? Those still have the ability to stun, and can even lead to second looks at our own relationships.