Ryan and Sylvia are co-founders of Night Owl Cinematics (NOC), a local production company. They are also a couple. Well, they WERE a couple.
Their divorce video on YouTube was viewed nearly one and a half million times. And yes, hard as I tried to resist the temptation, I watched it too. You can watch it below if you have not yet done so.
And in a way, I’m glad that I did. Not because I am happy that their 10-year marriage has come to an end but because there are so many lessons couples can learn from them…about how not to end up the way they did.
I can understand that the juggling act, having to sustain all the roles and relationships in our lives, can be very hard. For Ryan and Sylvia, being business partners compounded the problem for them.
I was actually amazed that the couple were able to pin-point the reasons that led to their marital breakdown. Half the battle is won, as they say, when you can recognize that you have a problem or the problem itself. If only Ryan and Sylvia had devoted themselves to finding solutions to those problems (which are not major ones, by the way), they would have been able to save their marriage. And more than save their marriage, they would go on to have a lasting and satisfying one.
They claimed at the start that “it wasn’t a big fight or big argument that triggered this divorce.” And I believe them because it usually does not happen that way. Rather, according to Sylvia, they found themselves going in different directions and having different goals in life. This is to be expected because we are growing. Growth brings change, and change brings growth. Whatever path life takes the individuals within a couple, they can continue to support and help each other fulfill their respective goals. That’s real love.
At the 8:20 minute mark of the video, Sylvia said that basically their relationship “took a backseat” to their work and careers. Sadly, they are not the only members of this club. Many marriage are on cruise mode. Especially, when the kids arrive. Couples now have to divert their limited reservoir of energy to what is most urgent, leaving them little to no energy for each other.
Keeping a marriage alive does not require tonnes of time and energy really. Dr John Gottman, author of the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, recommends couples form Rituals of Connection. Rituals of Connection are, as the name implies, repeated acts that are built into the daily routine to facilitate and enhance emotional connection.
Ryan and Sylvia were together practically 24/7. They live together and work together. Yet, in spite of this, it is so easy to not ‘see’ and ‘hear’ each other.
I am confident that this marriage can saved. Why do I say that? Because Ryan and Sylvia still love and trust each other. That’s a very important foundation to have. On it, Ryan and Sylvia can build a wonderful life together, for themselves and their children one day.
I would be very happy to work with Ryan and Sylvia. The good news is: It’s not too late.