Life does not stop after divorce, it begins anew!
If you have ever seen Gone with the Wind, then you know that when Rhett Butler says the infamous line, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” to Scarlett O’Hara, he has crossed the line of giving a shit about her anymore. Unfortunately, this sentiment is shared by the many people that file for divorce. The once treasured relationship has gone south permanently, and one or both of the spouses cannot see their way out other than divorce.
As in Rhett Butler’s case, Scarlett kept mistreating him, believing she loved someone else, to the point of no return. And, when she finally realized she did love Rhett, it was too late for him. He had given up hope and was tired of her childish antics. For some, like Scarlett, they cannot see how good they have it while they have it, or believe the grass is greener elsewhere, only to realize too late that it’s not.
We have all had those relationships where we are putting in much more than our 50% share, while our spouse is barely at 10%. However, in good relationships it evens out and can oftentimes be overlooked if we are aware that our spouse is dealing with a lot. Conversely, there are those relationships that are built on one of the spouses doing the majority of the relationship work and that gets tiring even for those that are self-less.
Perhaps you can identify with Rhett and have had it up to you neck with your partner. Or, maybe you can identify with Scarlett. Have you or your partner given up on your marriage or relationship but don’t know it?
Here are 10 signs to look out for.
1. Eye rolling. How many times have you caught yourself or your partner rolling their eyes? It’s a sign you do not take your partner or their suggestions seriously. Your partner may even laugh about it initially, but eventually, the eye rolling will become bigger than the Black Hole. Experts agree that this seemingly innocuous pastime is a sign of things to come.
2. Taking each other for granted. According to a 2013 poll in the Daily Mail, couples start taking each other for granted three and a half years into their marriage. Once the honeymoon period is over, many couples often let bad habits take over, and forget to go the extra mile to make each other happy. Spending time with friends takes on a renewed interest, less kissing, cuddling, and hand holding, less spontaneous gifts bought, slacking on chores, dressing down more often than not, and less sweet phones calls and texts just to say hello. These are some of the most common signs of a relationship failing.
3. There’s always tension between the two of you. Are people stressed when they are with you and your spouse because the two of you get over-emotional, defensive or aggressive and switch tones from friendly to adversarial in a nano-second? This not a good sign, not to mention you will be kicked off the invitee list for future events.
4. Avoiding conflict and avoiding resolutions. Sometimes, it’s easier to overlook a few differences rather than pick a fight over it. But if you find yourself grumbling or eye rolling to yourself about something, be it the dirty sink or the clothes lying around, but you still avoid talking about it to your partner, it’ll do more damage than good. The rage and resentment that accumulates inside you would start to distance you from your partner.
5. You’re always arguing. In a relationship, a certain amount of arguing is normal. Arguing all the time is NOT normal. If you’re always in a state of conflict, that’s NOT a healthy way of relating to another person, especially someone you live with. If the arguments start increasing in frequency and you cannot reach a middle ground, then you are clearly on a path of falling apart.
6. Loss of trust and respect. Respect for each other is crucial in a relationship. If you don’t respect your spouse, s/he will start to shy away from giving suggestions or even playing a part in the functioning of the relationship which will then lead to checking up on each other. When trust and respect start to wane in one area, it can become open game in all others. This is usually when a spouse will begin to spy on their spouse. It may start with checking email, then progress to their cell phone calls, text messages, social media, suit jackets, pant pockets, pocketbooks, and on and on. All this does is deepen the fragility of the relationship. If you want to know something, just ask. You may not get an honest answer, but at least you are not stooping to snooping. Blanket trust should be an essential in relationships and if you do not trust your spouse it is usually a signal that help is needed in the relationship.
7. Silence. Talk may be cheap and silence may be golden, but not in a relationship. Communication helps you both open your minds and assists in creating a strong bond. But if you spend you nights watching television together and not talking, but yet you both manage to keep tabs on all your social media accounts, this lack of communication will disconnect you further from each other. And soon enough, both of you won’t have anything to share with each other because your minds and ideas are so far apart.
8. Sex, or lack thereof. One recurrent theme you will likely read about from many divorced couples is how they became nothing more than roommates over time. Sex was either an occasional thing or nonexistent for years. Both of those scenarios do not bode well for the longevity of a marriage since sexless marriages tend to disintegrate any chance for love to continue.
9. You’re always wondering whether you should be with this person. Like Scarlett, if you’re always thinking of what could have been with someone else or thinking about leaving on a regular basis then you should leave. That behavior is just torturous to the other person.
10. You feel dread when they are near. If you or your partner withdraws when you are near each other, that is a terrible sign. If you look at your spouse with hatred and disdain, and find everything about him or her repulsive, this would be a clear-cut sign that you are not just falling apart, but like Rhett, you frankly don’t give a damn anymore. And, that is a clear-cut sign it’s time to leave.
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