Rarely do both partners reach the decision to divorce at the same time. Usually one of the partners decides that she just can't live with the marriage any longer, and despite the loss and feeling of failure that most times accompanies divorce, decides that it would be better than staying in the marriage. The non-filing spouse may quickly agree that divorce is the best option. In some cases, the non-filing spouse is completely shocked arguing that they have an acceptable marriage and is he/she is "crazy" to want to put the family through a divorce.
The view of both parties is very important because the way it is managed generally determines whether the divorce will be amicable or bitter.
Marriages break down over time. Each time a sarcastic or hurtful remark goes without repair or apology some of the bonds that holds a couple together breaks away. Each time a spouse fails to identify an emotional need of the other and attend to it, a little more of the relationship disappears. And each time sex is refused or avoided because one of the partners feels emotionally disconnected the process accelerates.
So how does one tell that the marriage is to the point of divorce?
The next time you are in a restaurant, look for the sad couple eating dinner in silence, making little or no eye contact and have little or no conversation. They are completely disengaged. Sometimes it may not happen at all because there are couples who are held together by nothing but fear.
Here are six signals of an impending divorce. There are probably much more but these are some red flags.
1. No Conflict Resolution
When parties just avoid communication and conflict or bully the other into submission. Someone has given up. There will be a loss of respect and gradual withdrawal.
2. Emotional Disengagement
Emotional engagement is a minimum requirement for intimacy. Has the discussion of feelings, one's own feelings and the other's feelings absent from the conversation?
Withdrawal of affection. Divorcing people say that "they have fallen out of love." And depending on how poor the relationship has become one or both probably don't like each other very much.
4. Lack of Sex
When a couple has not had sex in a long time it is usually a reliable indicator that emotional disengagement is occurring. It is another indicator that the partners take no pleasure in each other and that the bonds are rapidly eroding if not already gone.
5. Increased Focus Outside the Marriage
Some couples compensate for a bad marriage by pouring themselves into their children so that child-centered activity becomes the sole content of family life. Others focus on their careers working late every night so the time with the other is minimized. And as emotional satisfaction is sought exclusively outside the marriage the probability of an affair increases.
6. Preparation for a Single Life
Preparing herself or himself by getting in shape, losing weight, attending to hair and clothes and other things to enhance appearance is a tell-tale sign. And particularly with women who have stayed home we often see a new interest in refreshing or acquiring a career to be less dependent on the earnings of the husband. Activities outside the home without the other spouse along with beginning to build a social network as a single rather than as a couple is a sign.
What to Do?
If you see yourself in this scenario it would be an understatement to say that your marriage is in serious trouble. I cannot say the marriage is over, but I can say that these signals, or at least most of them, are present in almost every divorce case I've handled. At a minimum, If you can't have that talk with your spouse without it deteriorating into blaming and recrimination it is time for a conversation with one of our attorneys. If you are heading for divorce, the sooner the two of you face the issue and plan for an amicable separation, the better your chances of achieving a good divorce if at all possible. Contact our divorce attorneys for a consultation now.(312) 648-6115.