Marilyn Stowe’s book Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice from a Top Divorce Lawyer, now in its second edition, provides a detailed guide to all aspects of the divorce process including legal and personal advice from someone who has seen it all.
In this extract, she discusses how to deal with your feelings if your marriage hits a rough patch. Is it worth trying to make it work or would you be better off bringing the relationship to an end?
Talk to one another! Discuss your feelings. Take your time; don’t rush. Explain why you are so morose, sullen and uncommunicative. Discuss how saving your marriage can preserve the set up you thought would be there forever.
Don’t expect miracles, but don’t let anger take over. Don’t lay blame. It’s a waste of time. Remember what brought you together in the first place. Look for the good in one another, rather than the bad. Can you still laugh together? Have you really reached the end of the road? Or has the road turned a sharp corner? Don’t look back. Look forward. Your spouse may not be worth staying with. A Leopard doesn’t change its spots.
Not everyone is emotionally strong enough to take the pain for continuing gain. Not everyone believes that the ups and downs of years spent with an equal partner are worth preserving. Not everyone should decide that sometimes – just sometimes – what we have only becomes really valuable when we are about to lose it.
And if it is just too late for this, and you know or feel that your relationship cannot, should not or will not go on? If that’s the case, don’t let guilt cloud your decision and give yourself permission to go. It’s your life and all the other members of your family will adapt. Whilst I didn’t create this situation, it’s my job to help you get there as best I can.