Why are we putting ourselves on the path of divorce?
Why can’t we swallow our pride, SHOW UP for our marriages, and try to save them?
BECAUSE we think the grass will be greener perhaps? (We can assure you that it will not be). Imagine yourself with another partner and ask, “Why do I think it will be better? What will be different?”. If you simply blame your partner - they did not fulfill your needs, they didn’t do anything around the house, they aren’t involved in the marriage - just point that finger at yourself. SO MUCH depends on just you:
how you treat your spouse
how you react to your spouse's actions
how you handle conflicts
how you show affection
We encourage you to look at yourself
Because you have 100% control over YOU, and you alone. And the great part is that when you understand that you have control over your actions, you will have control in other areas of your life - including your marriage.
By providing you with the roadmap that very often leads to divorce, you then get to make a conscious decision to follow that path, or say STOP and take a different road.
The impact divorce has on children
If you aren’t sure if your marriage needs ‘saving’, we want to show you the impact divorce has on children.
According to research, the negative effects of divorce on children's health appeared indirectly through
lower levels of school achievement
higher emotional problems
lower educational opportunities
lower earning potential in their own careers
Children are the innocent casualties of divorce. They didn’t choose this path for their parents, they just feel the impact greatly.
The word "Milestone" in this roadmap has a negative connotation
If you “achieve” these milestones they will lead to divorce. The roadmap is based on research which predicts divorce with a 93% accuracy. If you see that you’ve already reached some milestones it’s an indicator that time is ticking! You’ll need to take action immediately to fix your marriage.
For the record, everything is fixable.
The impact divorce has on adults
For adults who get divorced, it can trigger all sorts of unsettling, uncomfortable and frightening feelings. Thoughts and emotions such as
and even suicide rates after divorce are unsettlingly higher, actually an astounding 2.4 times more likely .
Roadmap to Divorce
This roadmap is based on previously done research
And practical experience of our coaches. We can’t force you to come to coaching but we want to show you what can happen next if you don’t get help soon.
If you need proof that your marriage is headed for divorce, follow the roadmap. But be forewarned: it gets more difficult with time to get OFF the road. We’ve sadly seen this too often in my coaching practice. Time does not heal broken marriages, action does. Let’s take a look at the roadmap together, we are confident it will speak for itself.
How are you feeling right now?
Chances are you feel lost and all over the place. You know that your marriage requires help, but you find excuses for why you aren’t ready for coaching. You’re just not sure if getting help will do anything and in this economic climate it is quite risky to invest in something you aren’t sure will pay off.
We understand you and your feelings are valid. But we think the risk is worth it, because the payoff is a happy future - together. Nearly all of our former coaching clients would agree that coaching was one of the best investments they have ever made.
Milestones you reach when your marriage is heading towards divorce
The first milestone or warning sign of a marriage starting on the path towards divorce is when one or both partners show contempt.
Contempt is defined as the opposite of respect and is often expressed via negative judgment, criticism, or sarcasm regarding the worth of an individual. Contempt is poison for any marriage. There are three ways contempt usually shows up in marriage:
Using “You” statements instead of “I” statements. These provoke anger and defensiveness. Example: • “You don’t care about me or my feelings.” • “You didn’t text me like you said you would!”. Examples of “I” statements that reduce defensiveness: • “I feel frustrated when my feelings aren’t heard or acknowledged.” • “I feel worried when I don’t hear from you, and I just want to know that you’re ok and safe.”
Using universal statements with negativity like “always, never, again, every time”. Example: • “You are always angry.” • “You never remember things which I like.” • “You disappointed me again.” It's discouraging because if universal statements are said negatively it feels like only the negative things are ever acknowledged, or noticed.
“Getting personal” by using insults rather than focusing on the issue or the behavior. Example: • “You’re always forgetting about me – do you even have a clue?” • “You never do any chores. You’re useless!” • “You are so stupid!” When you don’t address the problem but instead choose to insult one another it’s a sure sign of contempt.
In your marriage are “You” statements used most often?
In your marriage are you using universal statements like “always, never, every time…”?
Does your marriage have communication problems where personal attacks are over shadow solutions?
If your answer is “Yes” to most of these questions (at least two) you have already “achieved” the first milestone
The second milestone on the path to divorce is deprivation of respect. Lack of respect comes when contempt rules the marriage. The loss of mutual respect can destroy a marriage quickly and more often leads to a stressful, painful and unhappy life for a married couple. By showing contempt to your significant other, or if your partner shows contempt to you, it indirectly says “I don’t respect you”.
This milestone usually affects men more. Respect is like air in a marriage for men, without it they can not breathe. Of course respect is important for women as well, but when men don’t feel respected in their family they often give up. According to Dr Emerson Eggerichs, as a woman gets louder, a man gets quieter. Soon she may be screaming at him with venomous words that he’s never before. This is because, as a rule, women have learned to fight with words, while men tend to retreat. Whenever a wife is complaining, criticizing, or crying, she is sending an encoded message: “I want your love!” And whenever a husband is speaking harshly (or sometimes not speaking at all), he is sending his encoded message: “I want your respect.” Respect is a crucial part of any relationship.
Do you feel disrespected by your partner?
Are you turning down most of your partner’s ideas or does your partner usually turn down your ideas?
Are you or your partner sharing negative things about each other with your family, friends, or co-workers?
If your answer is “Yes” to most of these questions (at least two) you have already achieved the second milestone and are on the path to the next one.
Using "Turning Away" approach
The third milestone on the path to divorce is taking the turning away approach. As research describes it, this approach is a pattern of ignoring another’s bid or acting preoccupied. A person in these instances might comment and point to that impressive sports car, but his spouse wouldn’t bother to look up. Turning away on a regular basis is quite destructive. This behavior typically results in early divorce among married couples.
The turning away approach usually shows up when contempt in marriage is at its peak and respect is thrown out of the window. This approach indirectly states “I don’t care about what you say, or what you care about.”
Does your spouse mostly ignore you when you say something that’s not a necessity, for example, “The weather is beautiful” or “I think I will go take a walk” or “I was thinking about cleaning the house”? (or do YOU do this)
Do you feel that your partner doesn’t fulfill your emotional needs?
Do you feel unheard in your marriage?
If your answer is “Yes” to most of these questions (at least two) you have already “achieved” the third milestone and are on the path to the next one.
Increasing distance and isolation
The fourth milestone on the path to divorce is “Increasing distance and isolation between partners”.
In Dr Gottman’s research, distance and isolation are stated as indicators of unsuccessful marriages which eventually will lead to divorce.
It’s important to understand this is about couples who avoid self-disclosure or any affective expression; they stay hidden, distant, and emotionally disengaged. It can be past patterns of constant conflict which have triggered this reaction or just avoidance of the conflict. In both cases, it’s an indicator of divorce.
Do you or your partner (or both) avoid speaking because of possible conflict?
Do you feel like you’re living with a roommate rather than a spouse?
Do you feel that you can not be honest in your marriage?
If your answer is “Yes” to most of these questions (at least two) you have already achieved the fourth milestone and are on the pathto the next one.
Decay of marital friendship
The fifth milestone which leads to the path of divorce is a “decay of the marital friendship”. This indicator was also mentioned in John Gottman's work and it usually comes after distance and isolation between partners.
When you feel distant from your significant other your friendship naturally will start fading away. Symptoms of this decay can vary from lack of communication to lack of connection. But most importantly at this stage, you don’t feel close to your significant other.
Do you feel that your spouse is more an enemy to you rather than a friend?
Do you not feel close to your partner?
Do you prefer spending time alone rather than with your spouse?
If your answer is “Yes” to most of these questions (at least two) you have already achieved the fifth milestone and are on the path to the next one.
The sixth and final milestone is “Alienation”. The key ingredient in marital dissatisfaction is alienation because of long-standing unexpressed resentments and disappointment. Alienation comes after distance and when your friendship starts fading away.
Taking action is different for everyone but we strongly recommend at this stage to put yourself in the hands of the professionals - if you start individual marriage coaching you will see what impact it has on you and on your marriage.
Are you thinking about ending your marriage to find someone who “truly” loves you?
Let’s answer this one question.
If your answer is “Yes” you are on the verge of divorce.
You, yourself, evaluated which milestones you already *achieved*
Hopefully, you found us before you’re at the end of the roadmap.
But even if you are on the verge of divorce, perhaps your eyes have been opened to see where your marriage is heading. The longer you let this chain reaction go on, the harder it will be to get off this path.
There’s a magical 3-month period that we’ve noticed in our coaching. We see it too often: People come to terms that there is something very wrong in their marriage, they are ready to seek help. They search all possible resources and even finding some, most decide not to do anything out of fear. Our research shows that 80% of people come back to our site after 3 months and with even more desperation than before.
At LionHeart we can predict within days when people will contact us again. It’s an interesting phenomenon that we plan to keep an eye on. Believe me the 3 months of waiting is not helpful for you or your marriage. Time does not heal marital wounds, working intentionally towards change does…. and that is where we come in.
We can help you make those changes!