When a couple enters into marriage, the aim is for marital bliss and to stay together ‘until death do us part’. Unfortunately, unforeseen problems such as pressures at work, illness or financial concerns can cause friction in a marriage and ultimately this can lead to divorce. Subsequently, this can impact the whole family both physically and emotionally…
This was the case for John, a Head of Sales for a large electrical wholesaler. His job in sales involved lots of travelling and after 22 years of marriage, John made the agonising decision to end his marriage. Sadly, the electrical sector has a very high divorce rate of 69.8%. The number one reason behind this is excess travel – a fundamental part of John’s sales based role.
John loved his wife and cared for her a great deal, however, he felt the relationship had changed over the years and that they no longer had anything in common or to talk about. This had left him feeling depressed and trapped in not only his marriage but in the family home. It was a particularly difficult time for John given the fact that they had three children together, aged seven, nine and eleven. It was an incredibly heartbreaking decision for John to make.
His wife urged him to make the marriage work, suggesting holidays together and couples’ therapy. John felt guilt-ridden as there was no real reason to end his relationship with his wife as she had done nothing wrong, but the feeling of guilt began to eat away at him and hurt an awful lot.
The guilt that John was experiencing began to take its toll on him. He wasn’t sleeping well, not eating properly and as a consequence it began to affect him physically. It also impacted his performance at work. He felt evil, selfish and even guiltier when he spent time with his children as he felt as though he was about to ruin their lives forever.
Guilt had manifested in all areas of his life and it had not only affected him, but his wife and everyone around them, making everyone feel unhappy. John’s employer could see that his behaviour had changed, so they got in touch with EIC for help.
After the Charity had spoken to John, they felt the best course of action was to offer him counselling. The reason for this was not to save his marriage, it was to allow him to resolve, cope and manage his feelings of guilt that were beginning to build up more and more.
Counselling was also highly recommended to John to give him the chance to take time to deal with what had happened and to forgive himself as things had not been right in the marriage for a number of years. As with all relationships there are often two sides of a story and faults on both sides. It was important that John did not absorb all of the guilt and dwell on it.
With assistance from EIC, John was brave and took much-needed steps to move on and leave the guilt behind him. It was vital not to prolong the pain for his wife in what was a very challenging time for them both.
John is now separated from his wife and they are going through an amicable divorce. Relationship breakdowns and divorce can impact people in different ways, every case is unique. In John’s situation, it manifested itself in feelings of guilt which affected his whole family, as well as his standards at work.
It is important to remember that you can support someone experiencing many different emotions – guilt being one of them. EIC is always on hand to help support people in the electrical industries, whatever they are feeling, and will help them progress in moments of turmoil. Ultimately, this often helps the people closest to them deal with the circumstances too.
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