Therapist and writer Susan Gadoua has written several books on divorce. Her own parents got divorced when she was only 19 years old. With age and years of practice, Susan has become convinced that many couples begin to behave very similarly… on the eve of divorce. And this is what they do.
They demonize each other
“He is the most terrible person I have ever met”, “it is impossible to live with her”, “he is able to drive an angel crazy”…
The partners, whose relationship is rapidly approaching the abyss of divorce, are constantly talking about the spouse’s “nightmarish” nature. From their words, one derives an impression that the partner is a monster who interferes with other people’s life.
The surrounding people nod sympathetically and secretly wonder how the interlocutor managed to get into a relationship with such a monster. The partner’s shortcomings, which no one has paid attention to before, are exaggerated to the size of a universe.
Take a closer look at yourself: if you suddenly start telling your friends what a terrible husband you have, what terrible flaws he has, it’s time for you and your lover to sit down to negotiate and discuss what’s going on.
They don’t discuss their needs and feelings
Unfortunately, it is perfectly natural for many couples to talk about problems in relationships with anyone from colleagues (who cares?) to neighbors.
But the one who is really involved in the relationship crisis usually remains in the information blockade. As a result, there is no contact, the partners do not know about each other’s needs and do not understand what the problem and the cause of conflicts are.
Feelings, expectations and the need for understanding, support and empathy are usually hidden behind criticism. It is necessary to speak, even if the conversation seems difficult and unpromising. It is not necessary to talk about difficult things. Sometimes you just need to say that you need support or help, for example, with household chores.
If this is the case, your husband cannot read what’s on your mind. Feel free to have needs and even grievances – this is completely normal. It is not normal to be silent about what worries you.
Try to say “we” instead of “I”. For example, instead of saying “I’m not coping with household chores,” ask “how can we ease the burden around the house?”
They stop spending time together
Having a vacation separately from one another is a useful thing – if only you spend the rest of time together. Talking about the money you spend on groceries while doing the dishes isn’t exactly what will help keep a relationship going. The couple begins to feel that the best way to avoid problems and quarrels is to stay away from each other.
But this is not the case. On the contrary, you should try to find time only for the two of you. This idea may seem ridiculous to those who have been in a relationship for a long time and have left the candy-bouquet period far behind. We recommend that you first try to go back to the beginning, and only then criticize this method of reunion.
Make an appointment with your partner, meet him on a neutral territory. It will be strange at first, but soon you will realize that it really brings you closer together.
Looking for solutions to problems outside of marriage
The first thought that comes to the minds of a couple on the eve of divorce is to break up and start over with another person. The second option is to stay married and find an emotionally, psychologically and sexually suitable person on the side.
Many people think this is the perfect solution. The marriage is preserved, for example, for the sake of children, and their own needs are met on the side. This option is most often confusing. The partners bury their heads in the sand again, avoiding problems.
Alcohol, adultery and other options to escape from an unhappy relationship will not make you happier, this has been tested by time and by many divorced couples.
The solution to the conflict is in yourself. First, you need to try to eliminate what prevents you from being happy. Talking about feelings and expectations will help dot the i’s.
They consider their situation hopeless
Susan Gadoua considers this attitude towards marriage selfish and immature. It’s like running out of a burning house and not calling the firefighters – why do something, since the fire has already started and nothing can be saved.
The relationship itself will not change if it is allowed to take its course. “I’d rather divorce than communicate with this monster” – how can I be sure that the next prince will not turn out to be the same monster after five years of the relationship? It happens due to the fact that someone hesitates to talk about emotions and needs out loud or considers it useless to spend time together.
Try to take the first step – if the relationship is dear to your partner, he will definitely respond