All the reasons you nearly got divorced… and are glad you didn’t

By | June 17, 2024

All the reasons you nearly got divorced… and are glad you didn’t

The golfer Rory McIlroy was getting divorced from his wife of seven years and now, a month later, the divorce is off and everyone has their theory as to why. Cynics say he’s worked out the financial cost, others – including me – reckon that he and Erica Stoll have recognised their ‘irretrievably broken’ marriage for what it really is – a marriage that’s skidded on a hairpin bend in the very bendy road of all marriages. They’ve realised the compelling reason for getting divorced will probably be forgotten in ten years time, when there will be another almost crisis and then another.


We’re not saying there aren’t plenty of very good reasons for calling in Fiona Shackleton – we’re talking about the other reasons couples nearly get divorced and in the end are glad they didn’t.

One of you picking a fight every other night

This can go from nought to axe- wielding in 5 seconds, leading to a walk at midnight or chopping the sleeves off all his shirts. This is called the menopause and will require – let’s not beat about the bush – astonishing levels of patience, kindness and careful management from him.

How to get past it: Marry a decent man/ get some hormone treatment.

Mums going to the mummy side

Having never been the mother of small children I still know what I’m talking about when I say that it’s so not surprising men get fed up when their wives turn into baby bores. Great to have long conversations with other mothers about routines and playmats but if those same mummies and their gentle baby daddies become your entire social life and baby’s latest development is what you’re talking about when you go to bed – someone is going to get bored witless.


There comes a point in most marriages when you start socialising separately a bit (you’re working late/it’s his old friends from uni) and then you’re happily going out separately and sometimes going on holiday with different people, and he loves skiing and you love swimming…and so does Smiley Fit Joe.

How to get past it: Do a lot more together and have holidays together, on your own.

The near affair situation

That’s a deal breaker unless she thinks he’s been a fool and he knows he’s been a fool (or his mum got to him and told him The grass is never greener and he’ll miss his daughter and the stability home provides ).


How to get past it: By reminding each other what they stand to lose and the affair-haver getting a grip.

The snoring years

As you get older sleep becomes an obsession, well known, and then the next thing you know you’re sleeping in separate beds in different rooms. This should be illegal until you’re well into your eighties because you’re just not so in it together if you’re not going to bed together: when are you going to have those party post mortems? When are you going to share your worries and fears if not in the middle of the night? When are you having sex? (The special sex night plan is not working for us. It feels a lot like being a concubine).

How to get past it: Sort out your sleeping habits.

The children are gone, now what?

If one of you thinks, ‘great, more TV’, and the other one thinks, ‘yay! Istanbul minibreaks and a camel safari in the desert’ then this is one of those bumps you need to buckle up for.


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