How do you know a marriage is over? Is it when one spouse moves out, when there’s constant bickering, or when someone simply stops trying? While most couples long to save a rocky marriage, sometimes the wisest choice is to split.
If you’ve constantly approached your spouse about problems—or are unable to communicate at all—it might be time to talk to a Columbus divorce attorney.
A phrase made famous when Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin decided to “consciously uncouple” in 2014, this refers to spouses who have disconnected from the relationship. Elayne Savage, PhD, author of Breathing Room: Creating Space to Be a Couple explains that, “If you’re no longer spending any time together, if one or both of you is spending all your time at work, with friends, online—and if feels like a relief not to be with each other—it’s a sign that you’ve already disengaged from the marriage.”
Jeanne Byrd Romero, a California life coach who has been giving workshops on conscious uncoupling for the past two years, says, “It’s really a way of moving out of blame and shame so people can transform the experience into healing and peace.”
It takes two to sustain a marriage. If one spouse repeatedly brings up an issue, asks for help and makes it clear that the marriage will not last unless they both commit to solving it, and the other spouse refuses to go along, the marriage is in trouble. “One partner can’t do all the trying on his or her own,” says Alisa Bowman, author of Project: Happily Ever After. If you’ve expressed your feelings and it’s been a year with no progress, it may be time to consult a divorce a Columbus divorce attorney.
“Lack of personal, intimate exchange in a marriage is a very bad sign, especially if you are talking to others,” says Savage. If the only conversation you’re able to muster concerns everyday errands, and not the hurdles your marriage is facing, you’re in real trouble.
“When we don’t listen,” says marriage and family therapist Sharon Rivkin, “we hear a word that triggers us and then we’re off and running with our argument.”
And when someone doesn’t feel listened to, she says, that person doesn’t share the most intimate parts of his or her self, at the risk of being vulnerable. In addition, problems can’t be worked through unless both partners are aware of the issue.
While many adults enter marriage knowing whether or not they want to have children, for some that isn’t the case. Being on the fence is OK, says Bowman. Red flags arise if one of you dreams of having kids, while the other clutches to an unwavering “no.” Starting (or not starting) a family is a life goal the two of you should be able to agree upon.
Master Certified Relationship Coach Cathy Meyer writes that if your spouse becomes overly defensive when you express a concern, if you dismiss your spouse’s needs, or if your spouse criticizes your beliefs, you’re at high risk for divorce. “If either of you engage in negative defense mechanisms when attempting to solve a problem, you are building more problems and solving nothing. This can be the kiss of death for your marriage.”
At Babbitt & Dahlberg, we’re here to help. Our Ohio divorce attorneys have more than 45 years of combined experience, plus national recognition by organizations like Best Lawyers in America, the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and Super Lawyers that speak for themselves. Get in touch with our team today.