Every marriage is a work in progress. Even the happiest unions encounter rough patches from time to time. These challenges can sometimes feel insurmountable. Staying in an unhealthy marriage can be mentally, physically, and emotionally detrimental. There is some solace in recognizing when a marriage is beyond repair and taking steps to end it as amicably as possible. For someone is who is seriously considering ending their marriage, an experienced and compassionate divorce lawyer can provide invaluable assistance.
What are the Signs that a Divorce Should be Considered?
Arguments that never go away. For a marriage to work, both people must be committed to working through differences and disagreements that inevitably surface occasionally. Left unresolved, these issues are bound to resurface, opening the door to frustration and resentment. According to Psychology Today, it is important to resolve arguments as they happen, rather than avoid them.
To resolve disagreements effectively, a marriage counselor encourages couples to approach disputes with a compassionate heart, open mind, and a genuine desire to make progress. When spouses stop empathizing with each other and use fights as a chance to get nasty and vindictive, minor conflicts become nasty blowups. At this point, marriage is not a top priority. When children, work, friends, and hobbies all take priority over the marriage, it is a sign the relationship is in trouble. It is not easy to make time for each other when children enter the picture or work becomes especially demanding. However, quality time is a critical component of any relationship.
An independent lifestyle. Along those same lines, a spouse who pulls away and begins building a life that does not include their spouse has emotionally withdrawn from the union. This could range from going out on the town without their spouse to keeping a separate bank account. Making major decisions without the other person is not good for a partnership.
Divorce fantasies. According to a study by the National Divorce Decision-Making Project, one in four married people think about divorce. Their odds of going through with it depend in part on how strong and persistent those thoughts become. Someone who is content and fulfilled in their marriage may not spend much time wondering what it would be like to be single. However, if those thoughts consume a person’s time and energy, divorce is more likely.
Respect is gone. Respect is a foundation of any meaningful relationship. Lack of respect takes many forms, and all are toxic. A spouse may not ask their partner for input on important decisions. Conversations that were once civil turn into nasty personal attacks. Lies and infidelity are major signs the respect is gone. Left unchecked, disrespect turns into contempt. In marriage, it is so important to choose words carefully. Hateful things said during a moment of temporary pain or frustration cannot be taken back. A spouse who finds themselves on the brink of saying or doing something cruel should pause, take a few deep breaths, and consider a less combative approach.
Emotional disconnect. Divorced couples often describe a feeling of loneliness in the days, weeks, and even years leading up to divorce. Two people who were once the best of friends grow to feel more like roommates over time. Conversation becomes forced and superficial. This emotional disconnect is a common sign divorce is likely.
Lack of physical intimacy. Emotional distance tends to coincide with a lack of physical connection before divorce. Spouses who fall out of love stop being affectionate with their partners. However, this is not always due to a lack of love. Without good communication, their spouse ends up feeling unwanted. Feelings of rejection can seal the fate of an already fragile union.
Can I Save My Marriage?
Couples who do not know how to tackle issues head-on tend to avoid discussing problems until it is too late. However, recognizing that a marriage needs help is the first step to saving it. If any of these signs of divorce sound familiar, marriage counseling may be a good place to start. Therapy helps break negative patterns, brings underlying issues to the surface, and offers skills and techniques to rebuild the relationship. If both partners are open and eager participants in therapy, that is a positive indication the marriage can be saved.
How to Fight Fair
It may be surprising, but there is a healthy way to argue. Discussing issues in a positive and productive way can resolve them for good. The following tips are offered to fight fair and forgive quickly:
Approach the conversation mindfully. It is best to start by asking a spouse if it is a good time to talk. The couple should go somewhere quiet, away from household activities. The partner with concerns should explain what is wrong, how it makes them feel, and what they need from their spouse. To find a good solution, both people need to be engaged. Nothing is accomplished when one or both partners are defensive, distracted, or emotionally shut down.
Notice painful triggers and reactions. Even when a spouse’s grievance is valid, anyone hearing they are the reason why there is a problem in the marriage may feel attacked. Criticism can trigger feelings of shame and pain. Self-awareness of how and why tough conversations trigger those internal hurts can help every partner respond more effectively, without taking them too personally.
Respect the need for a time-out. When disagreements become heated, both spouses should feel secure enough in the marriage to share authentic feelings and concerns without retaliation. The couple should focus on what happened and how it made both partners feel, not about personality flaws or history. Couples must be empowered to put a discussion on hold if it seems overwhelming, painful, or unproductive. A partner who does not want to talk should be respected; the matter can be discussed at another time.
Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?
It is wonderful thing to repair a marriage on the brink of divorce. Unfortunately, that was not the case for nearly 40 percent of married couples across the United States last year. Anyone thinking about ending a marriage should make an appointment with a trusted divorce lawyer in their community as soon as possible. If divorce seems inevitable, it is important to look forward to the new beginning ahead. Although ending a marriage is never easy, good legal counsel, family therapy, and support from loved ones can all help couples come out on the other side of divorce happier and more hopeful than ever.
Morristown Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Provide Exceptional Counsel and Support for Clients Divorcing in New Jersey
The Morristown divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. take a personal approach to managing your family law matter. Our team is experienced in managing high-asset divorces, child custody and support issues, and same-sex couples litigation. Call us at 908-575-9777 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Somerville and Morristown, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.