Divorce no longer just applies to the traditionally married, it now applies to the break up of any relationships where we were once invested.
These days kids can divorce their parents, and many people describe the loss of life long friendships as a divorce. They describe a division of assets right down to who gets to keep which friends.
Wouldn’t it be great to hear from Divorce experts what they see as a the tell-tale signs that a relationship won’t make it? Guess what! We can…and with some courage, we may even be able to intervene!
Notice how many of these relate to feeling not seen, not heard or not feeling like we matter to the other person.
For a quick recap:
- Silent treatment (don’t matter)
- Lack-luster sex life (read also as lack of physical intimacy)
- Very little in common
- Career comes before family (not safe, don’t matter)
- Contempt for one another (feel not seen for all the things we are doing right and consequently lack safety)
- Don’t respect each other’s love language (sends message of our way or the highway, so feel not seen and like we don’t matter)
- Not honest about spending (money represents power in our society, so secrets about this can feel like especially big betrayals, threatening safety on the level of emotions and also of having enough wealth for survival)
- They don’t fight (we don’t fight when it is not worth it, or often when we learn fighting is dangerous or not allowed, we often tap out or detach instead and the breeding ground for resentment and hurt can go unchecked for decades).
These behaviours, intentional or not, make us feel emotionally unsafe and fear is the breeding ground for resentment, hostility and detachment. Over time, it gets harder and harder to come back from months or more commonly, years of that.
So do a quick survey of your closest relationships, notice if any of these tell-tale signs are present with people you care about and take steps towards changing the unhealthy patterns for any relationships worth saving, and give yourself permission to cut your losses with the others.