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We are probably all guilty of it, but, seeing as it is divorce season, perhaps now is the best time to be thinking about some of the things we do that cause unnecessary bitterness.
1) Mind reading
This one should probably be more reliably called “jumping to conclusions”, because it is impossible to mind read, right? Well, despite the fact mind-reading is nothing more than a phenomenon, many of us fancy ourselves as the next clairvoyant –which is why mind reading comes top of the list.
In all seriousness, attempting to mind read is probably something we have all done at some point. That, and, try to decipher what the other is feeling. What actually happens is, imagining the worst about a situation without any evidence – and then we jump to conclusions.
Why is mind reading a relationship killer? Simply because it can be accusing if used in the wrong way and it is only a matter of time before the other person gives up defending themselves. You can avoid this by asking questions, as opposed to making statements. For example: “do you think I’m irresponsible?” is better than “you think I am irresponsible because I forgot to feed the dog.”
2) Being demanding
This is more than just the “nagging” that each partner probably accuses each other of on a daily basis. Being demanding can lead to aggression, a sense of inferiority and even bullying or depression. Therefore, being demanding makes it on to the list of top 3 relationship killers because it can wear away at someone’s self-esteem, in some cases without even realising it.
Have you ever constantly been told things like “don’t eat that, it’s bad for you” or “maybe you should drink less alcohol”? Did it make you feel like you’d been given some genuine heart-felt advice, or, more likely, did it make you feel like someone was having a dig ? Whilst it was probably the former, the latter makes us react more negatively towards a situation but there are ways to avoid this.
Try framing your comments in a different way, such as “I’m thinking about your health. Do you prefer your meal fried or grilled?” This allows the other person to make more informed decisions and you can communicate your intentions without coming across as critical.
3) Put downs
No one likes to be criticised, yet for some reason, when it comes to our partners, we are always the first to put them down. Whether it’s piling too many dirty dishes in the sink or criticising the other’s behaviours or habits, it is possible to address the situation more positively.
Try using, phrases like “When you .or . . I feel . . .” to communicate how a certain action makes you feel: “When you continue to pile dirty dishes in the sink, it makes me feel like my requests don’t matter to you.”
Simply, what it boils down to is communication. Talk to your partner and recognise issues before they become full scale problems. It might just go some way to preventing any separations!
Divorce Day is on 7 January 2019 – so called because it is predicted to be the day that causes the biggest spike in divorce as the debt mounts up and the Christmas spirit subsides.
If you are considering a divorce, or separation it is essential to contact a solicitor in the first instance to get the right advice. Contact one of our team of specialist solicitors here at Downs to see how we can be of help.