Every marriage has its ups and its down. Most even have their share of arguments. But what you say in an argument can make all the difference when the dust settles and things go back to normal. So, before you hurl words, consider if what you are saying falls into one of these three “mindsets” that experts say are common core issues in marriages headed for divorce.
“Everything Is Your Fault”
This toxic mindset is not just damaging to your marriage, it is inaccurate. Even in the worst of situations, the blame never rests with just one person. This applies even to relationships in which there is infidelity, abuse, neglect, and deceptiveness because, even if the other person is harming you, you are choosing to stay in the marriage instead of filing for divorce. Therefore, you must accept your part of the blame.
If the problem is simply a matter of differing opinions or hurt feelings, you may be able to talk matters out by expressing your feelings instead of laying blame. The use of “I” statements and “feeling words” are especially beneficial in conveying those emotions. Though it takes a bit of practice (and a lot of patience), it can be done and it may even diffuse arguments.
In toxic situations, counseling may be helpful in sorting whom is responsible for what, but know that you will have to shoulder your part of what is wrong in your marriage. If, at the end of it all (or if your spouse is unwilling to go to counseling), you have a choice to make: stay or go. If you are unhappy and changes are not likely, then you really only have one choice.
“You Are Not Doing Your Job”
In a day and age where gender roles are beginning to fade, you would think that assigned “jobs” in the marriage were no longer an issue. This is quite far from true, however. Many individuals struggle with fulfilling their “role” in a marriage because of stress, job losses, depression, death, or lack of ability. Pointing out those shortcomings in roles—even if they are agreed upon—only devalues your spouse. In turn, this leaves your spouse feeling even more hopeless and helpless than they already do.
Instead of arguing about unfulfilled roles, consider how and why things have changed. Work with your spouse (instead of against them) in coming up with realistic goals, compromises, or changes that may alleviate pressure, stress, or feelings of self-doubt. Above all, practice kindness, empathy, compassion, and patience when dealing with touchy subjects that may affect the self-esteem and self-worth of your spouse.
“Why Am I with You?”
Out of all the toxic mindsets to have in an argument, this one is probably the most damaging because it suggests issues with personality rather than an issue of choices or behavior. No longer are you questioning your spouse’s dedication, willingness, or even love for you. Now you are saying that, at the core of who they are, they are simply just not enough. And that is nearly impossible to come back from.
If you ever feel that your argument is headed down this slippery slope, disengage. Issues can always be discussed later, after all, and the real truth of the matter is, unless you have a valid reason for feeling it, there is little chance that you do not love your spouse for who they are.
Seek Legal Help before Filing for Divorce
At the end of the day, there are just some marriages that cannot be saved. Some issues are too big. Some couples are better apart. Regardless of which category you fall under, it is important that you seek the assistance of a qualified divorce attorney to ensure that your rights are protected during the proceedings. This need is further amplified if there are minor children involved.
At Mulyk Laho Law, LLC, we strive to ensure communication and aggressive representation are combined to offer the very best possible outcome for our clients and their children. We have extensive litigation experience, and always offer the highest level of accessibility possible. To schedule your free consultation with our experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys, call 630-852-1100 today.