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I got some sad news yesterday that a couple I know has separated and is on the path to divorce. Their son is 11-years-old.

They did not marry until later in life, late 40s. He is a chemist with a well-paying job working for a large company, she was a former housekeeper and has been a stay at home wife and then mom since they married close to a dozen years ago now.

They hadn’t planned on becoming parents, so the news they were going to have a baby came as a shock. She was nearly 50 at the time, although both seem and act a decade younger. Their son is a very bright child, charming and well mannered. Even so I suppose becoming a parent by choice versus by accident is a different experience, and she struggled to be happy about it, or her marriage.

As far as I could see, a big part of their issues come from her attitude. She’s constantly focused on the negatives and has complained about the marriage and threatened divorce nearly from the start. Frankly, she’s a miserable person and difficult to be around.

One day, after walking me thru their home and describing all the remodeling projects she had underway, once again she started in on how she wasn’t haaaaapy, he wasn’t this or that, she was sick of it, and she may as well get a divorce.

Perhaps because I was a single mom she expected me to be on board. So I think she was a bit shocked when I pointed out how lucky she was that her biggest problem seemed to be what color of tile to choose while I was each and every month panicking about how I would pay the mortgage and other bills and not lose our home. I told her she had no idea how hard life as a single mom can be.  At the time she actually thanked me for providing some perspective, and I urged her to focus on the positives instead of the negatives. And to not create problems that were not there.

This was over a year ago. Unfortunately it sounds like she continued with the picking apart of the marriage and after years and years of it, he snapped. He said he was tired of the constant complaining, moved out to an apartment nearby, and has no interest in going back.

According to our mutual friend, it did not occur to the wife that HE might be the one to check out, and she is now desperately trying to get him to change his mind to no avail. She’s now panicking at the thought of being on her own, having to get a job, possibly living alone for the rest of her life. Easy street has come to an abrupt end. What color of tile to pick is no longer all she has to worry about.

I know several other women who share this same attitude toward their marriage, always picking it apart, never happy, constantly complaining. I suppose it is an easy habit to get into, but a very destructive one. They literally create problems that are not there. Only thinking about themselves, me, me, me. (If perhaps you have fallen into this trap, please stop it TODAY!)

For the record her husband is a good man. Smart. Faithful. Good looking. Steady. No major deal breaker flaws for sure. She could do a lot worse. Much. As far as I can see, there really isn’t any reason for her unhappiness except her own mental roadblock. And I would be willing to bet that mental roadblock will remain, she will continue to be negative and unhappy, but will no longer have the husband to blame. (Hopefully it will not then transfer to the son, who my heart breaks for having to go through all this.)

Ladies, happiness is an inside job. Don’t be foolish like this woman, tearing your house down with your own hands. That good man may just decide better to live in the corner of an attic with a leaky roof than spend one more day listening to a nagging, complaining wife. And at that point, as this woman has found, it may be too late.

What do you think? Please share in the comments.