When you started out together, it seemed that you and your partner formed a perfect bond. You liked the same restaurants, films, political candidates and you rooted for the same teams. In fact, being with this person made you feel you were part of a team that could face the many challenges that marriage offers.
However, with the passing of time, maybe you've started feeling your spouse has become more of an adversary than a teammate. But you still remember the times of laughter and intimacy and hope those old feelings can be recovered. Perhaps they can, but right now is a good time to assess the current state of your relationship as well as the shape it will likely take moving forward.
A psychologist who has invested a great deal of time investigating the reasons that relationships falter cites four predictors of an impending divorce. The following are questions to ask yourself based on those predictors:
- Stonewalling. Do you or your spouse try to block out one another when important or uncomfortable matters become open for discussion or argument?
- Defensiveness. When tough situations arise, do either of you typically play the victim card?
- Criticism. Do you or your spouse consider an annoying habit of the other as being indicative of a major character flaw?
- Contempt. Has your partner openly displayed a superior attitude toward you or vice versa?
All marriages have some degree of tension and it is easy to get annoyed with one another for any number of reasons. But when the kinds of negative behaviors such as those listed above become predominant to the point that you feel constantly unhappy, you may want to consider the possibility that your relationship is irreparable and that a parting of the ways is best for all involved.
If you are in a quandary about the next steps to take in your life, you may want to discuss your options with an experienced family law attorney. The attorney can advise you on the divorce process and what to do in preparation should you decide it is the measure you want to take.