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Tell-tale signs you may be headed for divorce

Every relationship is different, but some issues that crop up for a couple can prove to be a sign that a divorce is on the horizon. According to Mindy R. Smith, in a recent column for the Huffington Post, there are some signals that a marriage may be coming to an end, and understanding these signs can help couples better prepare for what the future holds.

Some indicators that could point to a divorce are those relating to potential infidelities, writes Smith. For example, if spouses are on Facebook constantly chatting with old flames, if they are heading to bars more frequently or if they no longer want to be intimate, a divorce could be coming soon.

Relationships are also in trouble if laziness takes hold, says Smith. Spouses sometimes change appearance or gain weight, but if one partner gains more than 20 percent of their body weight, problems could be on the horizon. In addition, one spouse should not be the only one with responsibility, as this could cause irreparable damage.

“It is never permissible for one spouse to do everything in the marriage whether that is child-rearing, earning income or maintaining the home,” Smith explains.

According to Ask Men, a spouse paying close attention to finances and bills could also be sign that a relationship is on the rocks.

Low-conflict couples still susceptible to divorce

Thanks to the seemingly endless stream of celebrity news and political gossip, high-profile divorces are often discussed. These marital splits are often filled with betrayal, adultery and various other scandals.

However, divorce experts throughout the country are finding that these Hollywood-style, high-drama divorces are not the norm. In fact, author Pamela Haag estimates that nearly 60 percent of divorces in the U.S. are break-ups of couples considered “low conflict,” according to the Chicago Tribune. In these cases, the pattern is a slow wearing-down of the relationship and the intimacy until couples are more like cohabitating strangers than lovers.

“The ambient noise of life takes over,” Edward M. Hallowell, director of the Massachusetts-based Hallowell Centers for Cognitive and Emotional Health, told the publication. “There’s no big conflict; couples have just lost touch with each other, lost the fun, lost the moments of sustained attention because we live surrounded by this buzz.”

Some of the culprits of this growing disconnection between spouses include technology, negativity and unequal power, states the news source.

According to Psych Central, couples who report fighting excessively will rarely see change in this dynamic, but couples who report little to moderate conflict levels have a better chance of changing their situations. Spouses in low-conflict relationships commonly have personalities classified as validator or avoider.

Dealing with divorce can be made easier with a few steps

When a marriage falls apart, it can be easy to personally fall apart with it. But Sarah Kelsey, an editor for the Huffington Post, explains that people going through a divorce can dwell on the deaths of their relationships or take steps to heal.

One of the first steps to gracefully navigate life after a divorce is to cancel your plans, Kelsey explains. Life rarely works out the way one thinks it will, so people are better off enjoying the moments and not remembering all of the plans they put in place while they were married.

Admitting personal shortcomings can also lead people down the path to post-divorce redemption. No one is perfect, and admitting faults can help one figure out how or why a relationship crumbled so the same mistakes won’t be made again.

However, Kelsey warns that people should not entirely blame themselves for a divorce. It may be beneficial to forgive an ex-spouse, but it is sometimes even better to forgive one’s self.

It is important to remember that divorced adults are allowed to date, and to love again. Ask Men just advises that people don’t rush into anything.

Good divorces are difficult but possible

A divorce can be painful on many levels, both emotionally and financially. But a “good” divorce is possible by carefully navigating the emotional mine field, according to a family lawyer in a recent column for the Huffington Post.

The first step to a clean divorce is for spouses to respect one another and treat each other with dignity. While this may be one of the most difficult experiences in the life of a relationship, both partners must remember that they once were in love.

The lawyer also suggests that both parties truly determine that the marriage cannot be saved. Reserving divorce as a last resort after counseling and other attempts at reconciliation will help the process run more efficiently.

When children are involved, they must be the most important piece considered in the divorce, the attorney explained. The best interests of the children should be the top priority.

“This is difficult, and too often people in the heat of emotion will do things to put children in the middle,” he writes.

Courteney Cox and David Arquette had one of the most amicable divorces in Hollywood after being married from 1999 to 2010. The pair remained friendly to raise their children, even taking vacations together. The ex-couple also starred in Scream 4 after the divorce.

Business strategies ease child custody issues

When it comes to child custody issues, it can be easy to let emotions take control. With children, it can be an emotional roller coaster for parents going through a divorce. But according to Julie Ross and Judy Corcoran in a recent Huffington Post column, if parents consider custody issues with a business mindset, the process will be much smoother.

Negotiating with an ex can be difficult, but it is important to think of the relationship as a business partnership rather than a former emotional and physical connection. Picking battles can lead to a more productive process.

“Whether you’re battling over the kids’ camp plans, the visitation schedule or unhealthy eating habits, consider your children to be your most valuable assets and your ex as a client with whom you must work in order to keep those assets intact,” the family experts explain.

Another business strategy that can benefit child custody conversations is to find a neutral location to hold negotiations. There’s a reason business professionals take clients out to lunch or meet in a public place. Coffee shops, park benches and museums are wonderful, calming and public options.

According to Help Guide, it is important for divorced parents to separate feelings from behavior. If a parent must get feelings out, it is advisable to do so with friends or therapists instead of to an ex or in front of a child.