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What are irreconcilable differences, anyway?

If you have not heard the shocking news, a reality tv show star is divorcing her athlete husband of a whopping 72 days. I know, it’s become downright strange to watch the circus that is surrounding this entire pop culture phenomenon. You are probably like me, tired of seeing the letter K, right?

I have read a lot of commentary about this entertainment news story, but I can’t figure out why people are trying to find meaning in it. I mean, the behavior of celebrities and public figures doesn’t always reflect on what we do and think in the real world does it?

In this case, though, I have to acknowledge that a lot of us are marrying for the wrong reasons and many are divorcing quite quickly. There even seemed to be a trend of having “starter marriages” to sort of try on marriage like it’s something we may or may not keep. When things don’t go like we want or expect, then everyone likes to site irreconcilable differences. A legal term that is about as vague as Herman Cain’s debate responses.

What are irreconcilable differences, anyway? It seems that going into a marriage with a distorted view of what marriage is supposed to be has convinced us that it’s not worth the work it takes to make it last.

Do you think that you know – definitively, what is irreconcilable to you? Would you be able to know when it is clearly over?

Why do you think our marriages have such weak foundations (not referring to the Hollywood ones) today that cause them to come undone?

By Wise Diva, Misadventure in Atlanta Dating Blog

246 comments Add your comment

Love and Life

November 1st, 2011
8:06 am

SlimNu

November 1st, 2011
8:23 am

Good morning all,

All these tv marriages/reality marriages surely doesn’t fall into the line of “Good publicity”. Call me brainwashed, call me crazy but I am still one of the few who have hope in the state of marriage. So it doesn’t make me feel good to see it being taken so lightly or ‘tried on’ like a pair of shoes at a department store.

As far as what is “irreconcilable” to me would probably fall somewhere along the lines of abuse, incest, murder etc…On the radio this morning they were discussing some of the shortest marriages, and what could possibly happen in such a short period of time that would make a person throw in the towel so soon. We never really know the real deal behind the scenes story so it’s hard to say if that makes sense or not. Seems as if you should spend more time trying to get to know your partner, than filling that time up wedding planning, or else before you know it, you’re waking up realizing you’re “Sleeping with the Enemy”.

It doesn’t seem like we take anything too seriously these days. It’s all becoming watered down, like a clone of a clone of a clone…a copy of a copy of a copy. Houston, we’ve been compromised. *sigh*

Harder...please.

November 1st, 2011
8:37 am

Lack of communication – the root cause of all irreconcilable problems and weak marriage foundations.

Mike P

November 1st, 2011
8:56 am

@WD: “A legal term that is about as vague as Herman Cain’s debate responses.” A cheap shot WD, and you know it.

GracieL

November 1st, 2011
8:58 am

Here’s an example from my starter marriage: One of you remains sober most of the time, opting to enjoy alco-beverages in moderation from time to time, and the other one starts hammering cold ones at 5 PM every weekday (10 AM weekends), goes through the brief, happy, beer-in-hand phase before settling into the mean/violent stage for several hours, then passing out cold at 9:30. Moderate drinker is responsible for hauling multiple can-filled recycle bins to curb every week. (Tip: Praying every night, “Dear God please help me be a good wife and make this work!” is pointless.)

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

November 1st, 2011
9:00 am

@Harder

I would revise that to the lack of [desire] to communicate.

We all walk around with our preconceived notions of other people’s motivations (usually a projection of our own – but that’s another discussion).

When you’re in a relationship (married or not) understanding your SO’s motivation is a key element in daily happiness; and that comes via communication – more appropriately – the desire to communicate.

When the differences become “irreconcilable” is when one partner decides to stop communicating. This can stem from a variety of reasons but the lack of willingness to ‘talk things out’ is pretty much the end of any relationship.

Corrollary: think of the friend that keeps going back to a disfunctional relationship, yet asks you for help and ignores your warnings. Eventually, you’ll get tired of talking about it; and that friend kinda fades from your life.

Sorry for the long post.

‘Sup SlimGoodie: howyoubeendoinShawty

SlimNu

November 1st, 2011
9:03 am

Dan – Howdy, and how are things in your world? I’m good now. Sunday and Monday I spent the day puking due to something I ate. Outside of that TMI, everything is business as usual. ;-)

Kym

November 1st, 2011
9:07 am

Morning,

yes..yes I am tired of the letter K. I mean I don’t know how the media gives this any press..but alas..got to give the people want. Irreconcilable differences means to mean…flat out your behavior is beyond anything I have ever had to deal with, and after many many many tries of trying to straighten it out. I want to get as far away from this joker as possible.

Marriages today really have to do alot with the current generations that are working and living now. Traditionalist, Baby Boomer, Generation Xers and Millennials. And each has a different approach on how they view marriage. My group the Gen X-ers I believe have a better
chance of making it last, than those in the Millennial group because well..most of them are all about the bling and the flash of the marriage. They want the production and the show..and are not willing to put in the work. I mean look at who they have to look too as role models. BB wives(only one is married) Real Housewives of Atlanta(again I think only one is really married and then her hubby..well he is suspect) but I digress…

I have a few more indepth thoughts on this but my caffine has not kicked in.

Kym

November 1st, 2011
9:10 am

See..lack of caffine.. should have read..Irreconcilable differences means to me…

Lady~

November 1st, 2011
9:12 am

Morning!!! Harder…..please great post!

Varinia

November 1st, 2011
9:13 am

I think it goes along with today’s throw-away society. If your tv breaks – you buy a new one. Sock has a hole – who still darns? An employee doesn’t agree with you, even if they’ve been with the company for 40 years? Just fire them and replace with younger and cheaper.

Overall, it’s all about instant gratification today and that includes relationships/marriages being expected to be perfect – or get rid of it – there are always 10 more perfect people on ‘match’

Lady~

November 1st, 2011
9:13 am

I divorced on irreconcilable differences…..GA divorce laws are simple where as in SC and I think NC I would have to be separated a year….ga 30 days………

Randyt (aka...Been There, Done That, Have a Closet Full of T-Shirts)

November 1st, 2011
9:17 am

1) The “trial” mentality (as in “I’ll give it a try but…”)

2) “Expectations” rather than “desires and hopes” (the whole you OWE me mentality and the me, me, me generational attitude)

3) “Loving” more than “liking” (takes just a pulse to fall in love, but it takes really getting to know someone to recognize that you “like” and have things in common with the other. Love will come and go, but if you each actually continue to like each other you can weather the inevitable storms easier)

4) LACK OF MUTUAL RESPECT (If respect is absent or one-sided, sooner or later the “disrespected” party will start to build a resentment wall a brick at a time…I GUARANTEE it and have a t-shirt to show)

Marriage is hard work under the best of circumstances, but without these four elements, it is dangerously close to a guaranteed failure.

Alphare

November 1st, 2011
9:19 am

it’s really a personal preference or priority. For example, some people cannot tolerate others for being lazy. Some people cannot tolerate others for being vulgar.

It’s all about taking what as it is.

Peaches

November 1st, 2011
9:19 am

@The man formerly know as Dan – still…Superior
Well put!! I am that woman who keeps going back… he has walked three times now without ever trying to communicate what might be wrong! His latest excuse “we are just too different” after saying he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me! Fortunate for me, we were never married!

Lady~

November 1st, 2011
9:20 am

randy good post!

Cain 2012

November 1st, 2011
9:21 am

Why do you have to take a shot at Herman Cain?? you racist!

Kym

November 1st, 2011
9:22 am

@RandyT..good post!

Chip

November 1st, 2011
9:22 am

I worked in television for 25 years. There is nothing “real” about these shows — everything is planned in advance. Sometimes the producers manipulate the weak dysfunctional subjects, or sometimes the producers and subjects collaborate, to create the sick high-school “drama” that appeals to the pathetic lost souls who actually watch this garbage.

I suspect the Kardasahians fall into the second category… I’ve no doubt the “marriage” and now the “divorce” have been planned for some time by everyone involved, since they’re all going to make gigabucks off this vile nonsense.

By the way… most of the professional technical crews who work on these kinds of shows have a unique disgust and contempt for the regular viewers. The pros will, amongst themselves, refer to these shows as “s**t-shows” and “loser-vision”…..all the while making their paychecks by creating them… which goes to show that Hunter S Thompson was right… “Television is a shallow money trench; a cheap plastic hallway where pimps and thieves run free, and good men die like dogs.”

MsMarriedUp

November 1st, 2011
9:33 am

Good Morning…and yes Randy, that’s a nice one!

Otherwise my list may have gone something like this…

“I’m bored.” “He raised his voice at me.” “She’s too controlling.” “Nags too much.” “Took off her make-up.” “OMG! Found out He snores!” …you know stuff like that…

Married Dude

November 1st, 2011
9:38 am

I think that a lot of marriages have weak foundations because of two things:

1) Lack of commitment. Too many people go into marriage thinking that if they aren’t “happy” or if “it doesn’t work out” then they will simply get a divorce. Most marriages can be fixed if you acknowledge it soon enough and take some sort of action.

2) Not knowing how to be a good husband or a good wife. This is something that needs to be taught but isn’t. Too many people nowadays have grown up in dysfunctional homes so they have no idea what a non-dysfunctional marriage even looks like, let along how to make one.

Robert

November 1st, 2011
9:39 am

“What are irreconcilable differences?”

As a child we all remember the story of “humty-dumty” who sat on a wall and had a great fall. All the Kings horses and all the Kings men could not put “humpty” back together again. “Humpty” was a fragile egg that broke. Just like relationships sometimes we can never repair or replace the damage caused by our love, lust and desire.

Lady~

November 1st, 2011
9:41 am

Just like relationships sometimes we can never repair or replace the damage caused by our love, lust and desire. <——indeed robert

Trizzle

November 1st, 2011
9:42 am

I’d like to have a real long lasting marriage one day…I still have hopes. I started with one that I thought was going to last, and even after trying to save it (he said he didnt want the responsibility of a marriage anymore) it just wasn’t going to work. I believe in death due us part, but not when his willywonka is dipping into someone elses oven! There are some things I can tolerate, but it’s time to go when that happens! I will not be disrespected just to save a marriage that would never last anyways. :(

Optimus Prime

November 1st, 2011
9:43 am

I think WD would better put it “….as vague as Obama’s reasons for not following through with all of the promises he made just so the sheeple would vote for him when he knew he couldn’t accomplish them.” Cheap shot, WD.

Leggs

November 1st, 2011
9:43 am

Why do you think our marriages have such weak foundations (not referring to the Hollywood ones). = Distorted views on what it takes to make a marriage successful. Seems like many think once the festivities are over and real life begin they look around at their time alone and become bored with the quietness, the mundance routine (so they may think) of two growing together. The first sign of discord have many running, or rather tumbling down the hill to get away.

Weak foundations simply mean they weren’t on the same page to begin with!

THE INFAMOUS DK

November 1st, 2011
9:44 am

I remember feeling like that song middle class rut – new low when i was married.. Our differences were becoming a drag on my life.. I didnt recognize myself anymore.. There were songs i listened to music during that time and it was dark.. Like Nine Inch Nails – Everyday is exactly the same. Or Hurt by Nine inch nails later Johhny Cash.. “I hurt myself today. To see if I still feel..”

I have no space
No room to move around
And this box is getting smaller
I’m trying to get out

How did I get so far
From where I was
When did I decide
To lose my way
Who have I become

I’ve got a new low
All 52 cards in a row
I see now that I won’t let go
No I won’t let go

Well who am I?
A cold shoulder left to cry
You feel bow-wow so do I
Yeah so do I

I’ve been right; I’ve been left
I’ve been wrong; I’ve been left behind
I’ve been up but mostly down

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

November 1st, 2011
9:44 am

@Randy

When I was dating, that “fantasy” vs “reality” about relationships – let alone marriage – was sooo key in the demise of most of those encounters.

And, I’ve said from the git-green that liking my wife was definitely a key to us getting together.

As far as the other two points, all 4 you presented have IMO a common theme, folks not taking the time to have real life conversations. Stuff about bills, cooking, shopping, cleaning, what they want that relationship to be… I mean, I’m all for “let thing flow,” but without defined expectations (or the ability to communicate those expectations), relationships ‘flow’ into isht slowly.

@Slim – thanks for the image. I have been dreaming of fish….you sure…

oneofeach4me

November 1st, 2011
9:46 am

Yeah Randy said it extremely well this morning. Taking advice from someone who has been there, done that, and has t-shirts to prove it is pretty easy!

I just want to add that Alphare has a good point too. In any relationship or marriage EVERYONE will come with some sort of baggage. Whether it’s emotional baggage, or childhood baggage, college baggage, you get my drift. It’s all about who’s baggage you are willing to put up with the most. Not to say marriages shouldn’t be happy, majority of the time they should be. But don’t for one second walk down that isle during the “newness” phase and think that everyday will be like that one. Reality of marriage is, you have to work at it EVERYDAY. So make sure that when you do walk down the isle with that person, you take it seriously and know that you will try everything you can to the point of exhaustion before you walk away.

sfw

November 1st, 2011
9:47 am

Romance movies and books give women the wrong idea of what a relationship should be and porn has the same effect on guys :)

Leggs

November 1st, 2011
9:47 am

Good morning!

THE INFAMOUS DK

November 1st, 2011
9:48 am

Yeah but as i look back over it… Should we have gotten a divorce. yes but not for the reasons i thought at the time. We shouldve gotten a divorce because we never shouldve gotten married in the first place. Yeah we loved each other but we were doing it for the wrong reasons. We looked good together on paper. We were the IT couple that had their ish together.. But both of us were selfish beyond means and type A personalities that would not give an inch edge wise. When there is a type A personality in the relationship.. Somebody has to take a back seat. A type A personality usually cant be in the back seat and if they are they wont be for long.

THE INFAMOUS DK

November 1st, 2011
9:49 am

Morning everybody!!

oneofeach4me

November 1st, 2011
9:49 am

“2) Not knowing how to be a good husband or a good wife. This is something that needs to be taught but isn’t. Too many people nowadays have grown up in dysfunctional homes so they have no idea what a non-dysfunctional marriage even looks like, let along how to make one.”

Now THAT is a serious issue!!! I know that if I had been shown what a non-dysfunctional marriage looks like, it could have been easier. I had to learn and so did my partner, which is why it took us being together for 11 years before we got to the point of “divorce is not an option”.

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

November 1st, 2011
9:49 am

@Leggs/DK

Folks kill me talking about marriage like it’s something from a tv or movie.

The main piece of advice I got before getting hitched was to realize (and help her realize) that things aren’t always gone be fun and games; nor are they meant to be.

My uncle asked me: “what happens on a cold Friday night, when after the bills are paid, y’all have to sit there and talk to each other? Thought about that?”

Yeah, that isht crazy on what some folks think marriage is.

SlimNu

November 1st, 2011
9:54 am

In life, no matter how you try to avoid it, at some point some of the things you do will fall into a routine of sorts. Are we all just living for the “Honeymoon Period”? IF so, then marriage definitely will not be for you, nor will any long term relationship. Plus, many of the ones complaining of this probably isn’t trying to contribute much on keeping it interesting other than looking outside for that stimulation.

Dan – You must just be craving fish because this Slim Jim isn’t not ‘with child’. This I KNOW for sure. ;-) But when or IF that happens, I will definitely send you and the MRS a baby shower invite because, afterall, it takes a village to raise a baby….and lots of gifts :lol:

DK- Damn dawg, those are some strong lyrics…

THE INFAMOUS DK

November 1st, 2011
9:54 am

Dan the Automator – I find its useless talking to someone whos never been married about marriage. You will never know what it is until youre in it.. These words “But youre my wife/But youre my husband” changes everything. The expectations on what everybody thinks should be happening changes..

THE INFAMOUS DK

November 1st, 2011
9:57 am

Oh married one

November 1st, 2011
9:57 am

Dan, you just got in it. No matter the advice given, at this state you know nothing yet. When you’ve gone a few years down the road of good times and bad, come back then and tell us what you think. Get into the long haul of it all and THEN tell us what you think.

THE INFAMOUS DK

November 1st, 2011
10:00 am

Marriage is ebs and flows. Your marriage has to be “SKRONG” enough to survive the valleys. Keep folks out ya business and deal with each other.

Lady~

November 1st, 2011
10:00 am

wow interesting……chuckle

lucinda

November 1st, 2011
10:02 am

“Irreconcilable differences” =

1. Domestic Violence
2. Drug addiction
3. Child Molestation

It takes years and years to “recover” from any of these, and an amazingly strong will to do so. Sucess rates for recovery are abysmal. Any of these three is “irreconcilable” in my book. Not only is the chance of “recovery” almost nill, but I’d always wonder WHY that person ever stepped into any of these behaviors in the first place,

Jump on me about ‘committment’ if you want, but any of these 3 guarantee I walk away.

Innocent Bystander

November 1st, 2011
10:04 am

American Standard Dictionary: Irreconcilable [Layhme Exque-suh]

Adjective. Lack of interest in expending effort to achieve a desired result. See also Shallow and Lazy.

Leggs

November 1st, 2011
10:04 am

Exactly, Dan!

Someone like K probably realized that now she can’t come and go the way she wants. She has some to answer to as he (and I don’t mean this in a negative way). There are checks and balances in all relationships. If you aren’t accountable to that person, or you don’t even want to be, then you need to remain alone. It’s a give an take. Heck, she knew he wasn’t working or whatever the gripe was before they got married. 72 days is no time in the real world. Must be an eternity in make-believe land of Hollywood.

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

November 1st, 2011
10:04 am

@DK – Unc been married since before I was a gleam in my momma’s eye, so yeah, I trust him.

@Oh married – “Everybody has a plan, til they get hit” – Mike Tyson. It shouldn’t take me getting knocked out to know how to avoid the right/left combo.

Point is, wether one week or 100, sometimes seeing life objectively helps.

Thanks for the advice, I’ll keep posting as I choose and you do the same.

Lady~

November 1st, 2011
10:06 am

shallow and lazy are good descriptors IB!

Lady~

November 1st, 2011
10:07 am

Vet 101

November 1st, 2011
10:07 am

@Cain 2012 – Truth is All Conservatives are Liberal behind closed doors. Get over it!

The man formerly know as Dan - still...Superior

November 1st, 2011
10:08 am

From what I heard on the Bert show, simply isht like:

He wanted kids, she didn’t,

He wanted to live in Minnesota, she didn’t,

He wanted her to have his last name, she didn’t;

^^are things that should be discussed before thinking about asking the question, IMO. Sounds like either they bout as shallow as a puddle, or Chip had a point.

THE INFAMOUS DK

November 1st, 2011
10:09 am

Dan – well you have to have someone you can talk to but I would leave it to counseling. An unbiased opinion. You never want Unc to know the inner workings of your home because one day somethings might happen that make Unc really not like your wife. You guys wouldve made up and everything is peachy but in Unc’s eye that chick aint ish.. So keep it surface with Unc and get counseling if you need it. It works.