Overheard

  • Truth is, most who leave, don’t come back. The chances of reunion are very slim, less than 5 or 10%.
  • I thought they were better; I wouldn’t Stand if the odds were that long.
    70% of MLCers come back at one point or another.

There are a variety of statistical claims; in my newbie days I used to spread the statistic that 80% of MLCers will return eventually. I had heard it from several people, but since we all pretty much hung out in the same Internet community, it was likely that it was from a single source. I’ve also seen people claiming long shot odds. Statistics can be helpful when used wisely and with caution, but they are also dangerous. Reporting that 70 or 80% return, or that 90 or 95% do not return is not even about accuracy. Though I don’t belief in false Hope unless you are telling your child your dead puppy has gone to the vet and might make it, I do feel that the high return statistic is a dangerous misuse of Hope. The danger of the negative return statistics is people will relinquish their choice in reconciliation on the basis of odds. Maybe lower odds are a result of a belief in lower odds which facilitates less effort.

Your marriages will not end or rebuild based on statistics. If you get to rebuild, it will be based on the work you do Paving the Way–the Unconditionals: Grace, Forgiveness and Agape, the Releasers: Detachment, Letting-Go and Surrender; your Self Focus: peace, strength, hope versus expectation etc. If your marriage ends in divorce–or permanent separation–it will not be due to a failure on your part. You may do everything necessary but your MLCer gets to choose too and he or she may still choose to stay away. You may also someday choose to not rebuild your marriage, deciding you no longer want marriage to that person.

But what do the statistics tell you about reasons? If it is true that only 10% return, why is that? How many of the 90% of couples who do not reconcile are due to the abandoned spouse choosing to not reconcile? How many are due to the MLCer’s fear that his spouse will say no? How many abandoned spouses do not Stand but kick’em to the curb immediately? How many do not learn healthy Standing techniques and instead beg and plead across the doormat?

What the statistics do not show you is what worked and what did not work towards reconciliation. Maybe 70% reconcile who join Stander’s Internet forums or chats, read this or maybe break dancing at midnight under a full moon increases reconciliation odds–who knows. Maybe there are certain behaviors which will increase the odds of reconciliation, in the least avoiding certain behaviors increase the odds.

But even so it is not something from which we can collect reliable statistics. Reliable statistics require data from multiple variable points for distillation.

The divorce rate hovers between 40 and 50%. But aren’t there some groups with a higher rate of divorce than others? Atheists have a lower rate of divorce than those claiming a religious believe or affiliation–yes atheists. Factors of age, education and income have a significant effect on the divorce rate: a woman over 25 with a college degree and an income has lower odds of divorcing than an uneducated woman under 25 who has no independent income source. If all you pay attention to is the general statistic that 40-50% of all people who marry will eventually divorce, you are not looking at your personal odds.

The odds of reconciliation increase if you focus on your Self, forgive, set boundaries and love your spouse without condition etc. They increase as you detach from the emotional cycling while maintaining your love. But I don’t have a statistic to offer you as proof. But the other great thing about Standing is that it is what you need to do for your Self. It helps you heal and learn better problem-solving skills than running away and avoiding. Standing better prepares you for future relationships while sadly your MLCer is risking more failure.

What are your thoughts about relationship statistics?
How have statistics affected you?
What is your attitude about statistics?
Do you think statistics are something that we can do nothing about?
Or can we change them?


Comments

The Case Against Return Statistics7 Comments

  1. Statistics never tell the entire story as you pointed out. I have been separated from my h for 18 months now, his choice not mine. H is living with OW for 17 of those months. She is nothing like me, I have Bachelors degree, she HS diploma, I am 53 she is 45. I did mostly everything for H she does very little. I guess you could say she is the direct opposite so I guess this allows h to never compare. Until h can take a look at what he did and why he left those statistics mean nothing to me. 70%, 80%, 90% doesn't matter when it is YOUR life that is affected. I keep hearing and reading that most affairs last around 2 years so as I approach that statistics I wonder how accurate it really is. He spent 30 years living with me so how can they even compare one life to another. Anyway I no longer worry about the stats!

  2. Good for you!
    I've heard a variety of statistics about affiars. the stat that makes sense is that most last 6 months…but an MLC affair can last an average of 2-3 years. So if the 6 month statistic covers all affairs, the actual non-MLC average may be less than 6 months…it just gets confusing when you start to add the additional data points and they are about groups and I'm me, not a group!
    My recent post The Case Against Return Statistics

  3. Well maybe in 10 years we will be able to have some statistics from the people that post on hero's spouse and maybe we will be able to either confirm or deny what you have written.

    That would be my hope!

  4. Well I have been married for 19 years next month. In process of divorce. My other half has proven in last two years of marriage to be an habitual liar. This makes me question when the lies began, were there any truths…. We have 3 girls, the eldest two are fully aware of his lies and activities!!! You realise how many people, especially woman, are true friends. Since separation five months ago I feel well, am no longer repeatedly lied to. I no longer have to pretend. He lives with the OW, yet lies continuously to our kids. I know he’s cohabiting as I have found his car repeatedly hidden about 800 yards from her home, 15 miles from his alleged rented property. Now is mire painful as I watch my children hear and react to the continuous lies. I am always there to pick up the pieces, mop up the tears etc. Mlc men are selfish monsters who need to be banished, however life isn’t fair and the left behinders are the ones who are treated like paranoid outcasts. I love my children, my home, yes to a point my lonely life. He has no responsiblity, no financial commitments… I have none of these. I am winning, growing stronger by the day. I would love to be loved again, yet that’s a hard pill to swallow when your true love rocked your world.I was fickle as a teenager. I married meaning every vow, I will never marry again as if I did I would be a hypocrite… Through sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part… If you don’t mean it, don’t do or say it!!!!! I Know we are in the 21st century, however life is too easy come easy go,I love to have fun, be bad(sometimes),however we need to understand what commitment and responsibility really mean.

    Take care, a confused left behinder. Xx

    • People can write their own vows or revise traditional vows. I agree, they don't have to say 'til death do us part.' My cousing got married a few years ago. Her husband is atheist and they wrote their own vows. They were some of the most beaituful vows and it was the most beautiful ceremony I have ever attended–and Rilke poetry. But they did not talk about forever. I did and I meant it. I don't want them to get divorced either but at least they honored the vow by not saying it if they don't beleive it. They may intend it but not feel it is a guarantee and I respect them for that.
      My recent post Dr Phil’s Midlife Crisis Episode- My Feelings About the Show and Guests

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