Hey dummy, you can’t save your dumb marriage

Believe it or not, there are people out there that think they can save your doomed marriage from its inevitable divorce-y end. OK, they don’t ACTUALLY think that, but they think they can convince you of it and/or they want to sell you something. The people trying to sell you something are usually pastors, but not the real kind, the kind that appear on TV and try to sell you books. These TV pastors would be happy to sell you a book entitled something like, “HOW TO SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE FROM THE BRINK OF DIVORCE BY FORCING THE DEVIL OUT OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND ACCEPTING GOD’S LOVE.” (Note: To be safe, don’t buy any books that we haven’t written.)

Other non-pastor people might write articles about saving your marriage, for seemingly no other reason than to make you feel like a failure. These people aren’t doing it for money. They just want the satisfaction of feeling superior to you. Maybe one of these people *believes* they’ve saved their own marriage from the brink of divorce, but what they don’t know is that the only reason their husband is acting happier now is that he has a secret 25-year-old girlfriend.  Here’s the real deal, ladies and gentlemen: you can’t save your marriage from the brink of divorce. You CAN’T! If your marriage is already on the brink of divorce, it’s because someone (either you or your spouse) no longer cares. Maybe you or your spouse NEVER cared. Maybe you’ve both been miserable the whole time. Maybe you or your spouse fell in love with someone else. Or one of you just got bored and wants to start over. That’s ok. It happens. But don’t blame yourself. That isn’t going to help ANYONE.

Here is a list from a real, live article we found that provides you with a list of ways to save your marriage. The author gives 7 things you can do to save your marriage telling you that “chances are good” you can fix it even if you really feel it’s headed for divorce. This author is lying to you. Here are her 7 brilliant ideas:
1) Say “I love you”— Good thinking. If you only tell your spouse, “I love you,” after reading a listicle, your marriage is definitely salvageable.
2) Accomplish something together— Here, the author actually suggests–FOR REAL– that you do yard work together or spruce up the bathroom. First of all, who actually uses the phrase “spruce up”? Secondly, we’ll give you one guess as to how many marriages have been saved by caulking a bathtub together. Yes, you guessed right.
3) Give a gift— This can be okay. It’s not going to save your marriage, but gifts are nice. However, we would change the suggestion just a bit. We should change it to “Receive a gift.” There’s nothing wrong with a nice parting gift before you go your separate ways. Maybe a vacation or something. But not one that you have to go on together. Gross.
4) Have sex— If just reading this made you retch a little bit, your marriage is over. Our condolences.
5) Flirt-– Now, THIS one sounds fun! Who doesn’t like flirting? Wait, what? Oh, they mean flirt with your spouse? Ugh. No, this is a terrible idea. If your spouse doesn’t want to be with you anymore, no amount of flirting is going to change his or her mind. In fact, they’ll probably just feel sorry for you. You don’t want to be that person. The person who is the sad pathetic puppy dog, flirting away, while your spouse secretly looks for apartments on craigslist. Don’t be that puppy. Be a sexy puppy who gets divorced.
6) Take over a job— By this, the author means, if you are a man and your wife is always the one to do the dishes, maybe YOU should do the dishes. Granted, she’ll probably like it. But will she feel inclined to stay married to you because of it? Probably not. She’d probably rather just buy plasticware and divorce you. But nice try!
7) Commit— When the author says “commit” she apparently means do something like renew your vows or have a ceremony of some sort. Can you even wrap your mind around that? Here, let us set the scene for you: You and your husband have been on the outs for months. Well, if you’re being honest, years. You don’t sleep in the same bed. You don’t have date nights. He stays up all night playing World of Warcraft and you chat with your friends online about how much you hate your life. He always forgets your anniversary. He’s been taking secret phone calls in the bathroom and you’re pretty sure he isn’t a government spy or anything that would explain that sort of behavior. You’re sad and unhappy. He’s sad and unhappy. So then you read an article online and decide to have a ceremony to recommit to each other. You say:
“Husband. I know we are living miserably, and have been for years. I know we’ve talked about divorce. But I think we should go out in the backyard and pick wild flowers. Then we should hand them to each other under a full moon and say vows to each other to re-commit to our marriage. I am sure this is the answer to our problems and will result in long lasting love.” He won’t hear you say this of course, because he is wearing headphones while playing World of Warcraft. But at least you tried, right? Ok. Now you can file.
Bathtub caulk: saving marriages since never.

Bathtub caulk: saving marriages since never.

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5 thoughts on “Hey dummy, you can’t save your dumb marriage

  1. MSchiller says:

    You gals are just the tonic for crazy magical thinking along the lines of “maybe if I just tried a little harder my husband will love me more than Ketel One Vodka” or “maybe my dead dog will come back to life.”

    • DivorcedAndLovingIt says:

      Accepting you can’t change your spouse puts you one step closer to a free, fun, new life full of margaritas! Join the club!

  2. I can’t express how much I love this. I read all these books at the end of my marriage that made me feel like such shit for “giving up” and “not fighting for the marriage.” I put myself through such emotional agony, trying to feel differently than I felt, trying not to be repulsed by my ex, trying to put on a happy face for the kids. And my then-soon-to-be-ex (I was the one doing the leaving) was reading this awful book about how if you just keep trying to show what a great person you are, things will get better. It was sad and scary, like fighting a zombie with a shovel. It was such a relief when I arrived at my final philosophy on the whole thing, which could be summarized in 4 words: fuck all of that.

  3. Susan says:

    Haha! I had a very similar story to Kathleen!!! I still hear “Divorce is wrong. We made a vow in front of God” blah blah. Well, when it turns abusive I don’t think God approves! Love the article! Thanks for the much needed laugh!!! Cheers!!!

  4. Joy says:

    OMG- thank you all so much for this. After 27 years of a descent into sullen and distant relationship, interspersed with explosively angry reactions from him, I called it quits. He suddenly sees the light and has been reading a book called “Fighting for your Marriage” and now gave me a copy for my birthday (tomorrow- age 51). It’s actually pretty great advice- if he had only acted on any of it 14 years ago after we saw a marriage counselor for a few months, maybe this would have worked. But after many attempts on my part to fix things and being met with arrogance, contempt and anger, I just don’t love him any more. My skin crawls at the thought of his touch. And so I go looking for some criticisms of the book and VOILA I find this site. Thank you all, I really needed to see other people are where I’m at, and it’s a crazy ass waste of time to work on something this dead. “Like fighting a zombie with a shovel”- that is priceless.

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