Marriage has traditionally been an institution designed to enable white, heterosexual, middle-class males. But as we continue to move forward, we see the voices and love of other ethnic groups, lifestyles and genders more empowered by matrimony. Read more
Every day I come across couples in the process of divorce that say, “I was so blinded” or “How could I have missed all the signs?” When I hear about their relationship, it shocks me that they are surprised at all. We as a society get caught up in the idea of “true love” and “happily ever after” that we are blinded by our unhealthy, unhappy relationships. A diamond ring and giant party do not make a relationship last, and you should be aware of the signs that lead to relationship failure before you head down the aisle. Below are seven signs that you are in the wrong relationship and should end it before it’s too late.
- Your partner is secretive and paranoid with their phone
Number one sign that your significant other is cheating: hiding and protecting their phone. The only reason your partner is gripping onto their phone for dear life is because there is something they don’t want you to see. If this is the case, it means they are already keeping secrets from you and therefore will feel comfortable doing so in your marriage. Lying and lack of trust are one of the top reasons people get divorced.
- Your partner is secretive about the relationship on social media
If your partner is secretive about your relationship on social media, ask yourself why? Most likely it is because they are either ashamed to be with you or he/she doesn’t want people thinking they’re taken – just in case something better comes along. If this is the case, you should definitely reconsider getting married. Both people in the relationship should be proud to be with one another and want the world to know. Also, you don’t want to have anyone second guessing as you exchange those rings because if they are, you’re doomed.
- You two play power games to be the one “wearing the pants” in the relationship
Power play is never going to work in a marriage. If you find your partner becoming distant or trying to make it seem like they care less about you than you do them, it’s time to break up immediately. This shows that your partner is insecure and incapable of being in an even, committed partnership. They will never be on your team. If you or your partner will only put in enough effort to keep one another on the edge of comfortable, your marriage will fail miserably.
- Jealousy is a constant issue
When people get jealous to the point where they become angry and aggressive, or depressed, it is usually a sign of trust issues. Whether this jealousy comes from a place of insecurity or is a general trait of the person, it shows that when push comes to shove, the person does not trust their partner. As mentioned, trust is arguably the most important quality for engaged couples. If you don’t trust your partner or they don’t trust you despite other people’s actions, most likely this will blow up in the future and you will end up searching for a divorce lawyer.
- You never turn to each other for emotional support
Who do you want to call to vent to when you have a bad day? If your significant other wasn’t the answer you should just end it now. If you don’t feel comfortable leaning on your partner for emotional support now, you will drown when the actual tough stuff starts to happen. Marriage isn’t easy people.
- You can think of several friends or colleagues whom you’d rather be in a relationship with
If you or your partner spends time daydreaming about other potential partners then remove that ring and cancel your wedding. If you aren’t in the “you and only you” mentality now, you will never be while you’re with this person. That feeling doesn’t magically grow over time.
- You blame your partner for your life not being as satisfying as you’d like it to be
Placing blame on one another for the unfortunate events that are taking place in your life or for your personal stagnancy and lack of growth is a big red flag. First of all, if this is happening, you two clearly aren’t facing life as a team and you are probably insecure with who you are and where your life is going. Run away from that altar if your fiancé blames you in this way, if you don’t, you’ll be miserable later, and you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.
So, if you face any of these traits with your partner, you should begin to consider your options to make a happier life for yourself.
Ask any child of divorce and they will agree, they were victims of a more difficult childhood and they still – 20 years later – admit that their parents’ divorce causes struggles for them.
Divorce is an all too common occurrence that can cause families to put their children at an emotional risk every day for the rest of their lives. According to Psychologist Judith Wallerstein, who followed a group of children of divorce for 25 years, divorce is not a sudden obstacle the child faces, but a life changing occurrence that alters their self-views and their opinion of the world at large.
As a divorce lawyer, I’m forced to see the fall-out of shattered relationships and the struggles each spouse has coming to terms with what they perceive as failure, loss and sometimes abandonment. Years of research have showed us that the children in these situations are at obvious risk as well – suffering future feelings of insecurity and self-doubt as a result of absentee parents.
What disheartens me the most is on the front lines it seems that the children most at risk are the ones whose parents are the least likely to take the time to talk about the child’s feelings, academics, problem-behavior or insecurities. In fact, these are the same parents I see that use their children as a pawn while waging war against their spouse.
If a child turns to alcohol and drug use or their academics falter, many parents berate and scold the child without taking into account their own culpability.
So what can be done? How can we mitigate feelings of failure, inadequacy and insecurity from a child while their parent faces the same emotions? How can a parent, determined to turn a new leaf with a new love, move on from the pain of divorce without forcing the child to be emotionally scarred.
- You Cannot Control Your Spouse
You love your child, and you do not have control over how your spouse shows their love. If your former spouse misses a sporting event or forgets to pick your child up from school, your child assumes they are to blame or that their parent doesn’t love them. This will be the most heartbreaking journey of your life, and while it may feel good in the moment to fault the other parent, you must remember that the best thing you can do is show the child love. They do not need you to support their doubt in someone, but build confidence in themselves.
- Let your Child Express Him or Herself
This is a sad situation. It is upsetting and hurtful and difficult to manage. You know that, your spouse knows that – and your child should know that too. If at every juncture, your child is unable to express their anger, frustration or sadness because they are told, “It will be OK,” “Don’t worry,” or “It is better this way,” they will feel as though their valid emotions are inappropriate and wrong. Support your child and let them grieve how they see best. Allow them to face their disappointment without you sugarcoating the situation or cutting them off with your own disappointment. This is a difficult point to balance – but an important one to grasp.
- Don’t Make Your Child Feel Guilty
Many parents subconsciously make their child feel guilty for spending time with the other parent. Children are all too good at reading the room. Greet the other parent with a smile, and let the child feel confident in spending time with you and your former spouse. Feeling awkward about coming home from the other parent’s house is an issue as well. It may be difficult to hear about your spouse and his or her new flame, but this is still your child’s life and their reality. Take an interest in their weekend. A good rule of thumb is to pretend you are asking about their time at camp or at a grandparent’s house. You don’t need to know if Grandma and Grandpa were holding hands or happy – you want to know if your child felt happy and fulfilled. Remember, it’s not a time for gossip, but silence can send the wrong question as well.
- Encourage Your Child to Use Their Voice
If Mom or Dad has been negligent in spending time with your child and they have voiced their concern to you, encourage them to speak with the offending parent. Many spouses will take this upon themselves and attack the absent parent or put them on the defensive. Embolden your child to politely tell the other parent that they would like to spend more time together. This communication will better serve them in the future and teach them not to keep their feelings bottled up.
- Get Help
Divorce is one of the few life situations where I see otherwise smart, capable, whole parents – totally unable to navigate the emotional turmoil they have caused. The havoc wreaked is of their own making, and leads some to feelings of guilt and failure. Due to the parent being unable to properly handle the weight of this parenting conundrum – I highly recommend that each family should see a children’s psychiatrist or family therapist. Each parent needs an objective, unbiased observer that can hear the child’s pleas for help and assist the spouses with a post-marriage relationship that is suitable for their situation.