I effed up my first marriage, I’ll admit it. I’ve been married twice. When my first husband and I were first married, I thought he was the perfect man for me. We were SO in love, SO passionate. I was so caught up in how good it all felt that I didn’t realize until the marriage was over that I had never really been committed to the relationship, I had never thought about it as a long-term thing. I look back on how self-absorbed I got, how obsessed I was with competing in triathlons and realize that we had drifted apart way before our relationship ended. The truth is, once the novelty of how amazing we were together wore off, there really wasn’t anything left. We were just too different.
There were dead giveaways early on that, had I been paying closer attention, I would have known that we never should have gotten married to begin with.
Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my husband and family now. I really do. And I’ve noticed a sharp difference in this marriage. We are both working towards a shared future.
When my first marriage dissolved into nothingness, I had to ask myself some really hard questions about what my role in that relationship was all about. I realized I was the one who messed it up. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but I did. Looking back, there were signs all along the way that we shouldn’t be together, but the depth of the emotion we shared blinded me to all that.
So, how do you know that the person you’re with is probably not the right one for you? Here are 5 things I should have paid closer attention to.
1). YOU CAN IMAGINE YOUR LIFE WITHOUT THEM
I was in the process of building my business when I was married the first time. I was totally focused on creating a career for myself that would give me the life I wanted and deserved. And he didn’t fit anywhere into that. He was never even a consideration when I was doing all my planning. I actually forgot about him! If you’re not factoring that person into your long term goals, that is not a good sign.
2). YOU’RE NOT EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN YOUR PARTNER
We were SOOO into each other in the beginning. We just could not get enough of each other. But honestly, that’s not really an emotional investment. An emotional investment is long term. It’s a commitment. It’s knowing that sometimes you’re going to get so pissed off at each other, you’re going to hate each other. Commitment and emotional investment is when you look at that person, think ‘I’m going to hate you sometimes, but I love you and I am going to wait out those times when I hate you.’ If you can’t make that kind of commitment to your partner, it’s probably not going to work long term.
3). MORE AND MORE OF YOUR ACTIVITIES DON’T INCLUDE THEM
I became totally obsessed with competing in triathlons. I was training pretty much all the time. He wasn’t a part of the team, so he was left out and he missed me. I was selfish about competing and didn’t make time for him. When the fun activities you choose to do include your spouse less and less, and you’re opting to spend time alone or with other people, it’s a sign that you are pulling away.
4). YOUR VALUES DO NOT ALIGN
When the passion of our marriage started to fizzle, I began to realize that we weren’t really friends. We didn’t have a whole lot in common. You can be really attracted to someone and even be madly in love with them, but if your values do not align, you’re not going to have much to talk about. In my marriage now, there are things that we don’t see eye to eye on, like eating Vegan or using eco-friendly cleaning products in the house, but we share enough of the same values to respect each other’s choices when it comes to stuff like that.
5). YOU STOP HAVING SEX
Sex isn’t the be all end all of a relationship but it is the most intimate form of the communication of love we humans have. It IS important. Every relationship hits a dry spell for sex every now and then. Someone is sick or working really hard, someone’s under a lot of stress. It happens. But when it stops being a spell, when it becomes the norm, and when you don’t talk about it, it becomes a problem. If you or your partner just aren’t interested in each other sexually, and can’t seem to get the spark back, this is really something that needs to be looked at and talked about before bad decisions are made.
I learned a lot of really important lessons from my first marriage. I regret a lot of actions I took and didn’t take. I didn’t focus enough on my first husband and we drifted apart.
Hayley Hobson is an author, speaker, business coach, yogi, Pilates instructor, and holistic nutritional expert based in Boulder, CO. Her unique and intelligent style promotes strengthening while softening—empowering her clients to heal not only their physical bodies but their hearts and minds as well. To learn more about her nutritional courses, events, and custom programs, visit hayleyhobson.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.