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Does money really destroy marriages?

Posted on in Divorce

Does money really lead to that many breakups between spouses? According to the statistics, it’s the second-most common cause of divorce in this country. (Only infidelity causes more marital splits.)

Money woes are, somewhat logically, a big problem for many couples. The bigger the pile of debt that a couple has to manage, the bigger the strain on the marriage. Aside from the stress and frustration of all that debt, couples may find their relationship fraying simply because they have to put all of their energy toward work — just to keep the bills paid. Plus, the subject of money (or debt) may become a couple’s primary topic of conversation — which doesn’t exactly keep a relationship warm.

But debt isn’t the only money trouble that a couple can face. Not talking about money concerns at all is just as destructive to a relationship as talking about money all the time. When couples don’t discuss their financial situation, debts and goals, that can lead to differences in expectations — and create a source of anxiety for one or both parties.

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You may have been considering divorce for a while now, but actually approaching your spouse about the issue can seem overwhelming — and a little scary. Most people don’t cope well with major changes and disappointments in their lives, and there’s no guarantee that your spouse will be receptive (or even aware that there’s a real problem in your marriage).

Here are the steps you can take to ease the process:

  1. Be sure this is what you want. If you haven’t already seen a therapist, consider doing so before you take the next step.
  2. Plan what you intend to say. It’s not over-the-top to write out your thoughts. Doing so can help you clarify your feelings and decide what you should and shouldn’t say in this early conversation.
  3. Start by addressing your mutual dissatisfaction with your relationship. The odds are very high that your spouse isn’t totally happy, either. You need to frame divorce as a healthy alternative to staying in a destructive and unpleasant relationship.
  4. Be very clear about your intentions. If you’re still willing to work things out, you shouldn’t be having the “divorce talk” yet, so don’t give into your spouse’s entreaties to try couple’s counseling or other rescue methods.
  5. Don’t try to work out all the details. It’s okay to offer your spouse some reassurances that you’ll willing to work toward a fair and peaceful split, but don’t commit to any particular vision of how that will work just yet. You both need time to get your bearings.
  6. Stay calm (even if your spouse does not). If your spouse starts to get angry, verbally abusive or overwrought, suggest that it’s time to take a break and retreat. You can resume the discussion when they’ve calmed down.

If you and your spouse can’t find happiness together, seeking a divorce frees you both to try to find happiness apart.

There are many reasons to seek a divorce, but if you have the misfortune to be married to a narcissist, you may expect the process to be even more problematic than it otherwise would be.

The reason for this is that most divorcing couples try very hard to avoid the contention and acrimony of a protracted court battle. But for the narcissist, this doesn’t matter nearly as much as winning — at all costs. Read on for some things to know when divorcing a narcissistic spouse.

They love to play games

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What are ‘grounds for divorce’ in Texas?

Posted on in Divorce

People get divorced for all kinds of reasons — but at least one of those reasons has to serve as “grounds” for the divorce. In Texas, the grounds on which your divorce is based can have a significant effect on your actual divorce process, so it’s smart to understand your options.

No-fault divorce

Like most other states, Texas allows for a “no-fault” divorces. If you and your spouse have been living apart for at least three years, you can use this option. Even if you haven’t, you can still file a no-fault divorce on the basis that your “marriage is insupportable due to discord.” It isn’t necessary to spell out the specific problems that you and your spouse have with each other, which makes this one of the most compassionate and practical ways to end a marriage.

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Divorce rates are up in Texas: Here’s why

Posted on in Divorce

Texas divorce courts are a little busy right now. That’s not particularly surprising, given that much of the nation experiences a surge in the number of newly filed divorce petitions around this time of year.

Why does it happen so regularly (and predictably) every year? Most attorneys say that it comes down to several different reasons, depending on the couple:

  • Some couples have already agreed to divorce before the new year starts. However, they don’t want to break the news to their children, family or friends until the holidays are over because they know the situation will detract from the holiday celebrations.
  • Some people quietly come to the realization that they’re unhappy and use the new year as a starting point for their “new selves.” Much like a commitment to get healthier, eat better or exercise more, deciding to finally leave an unhappy marriage is part of their New Year’s resolutions.
  • Some couples (or individuals) were on the fence about their marriages and may have talked to attorneys before the end of the year — but decided to give their relationship one last chance. The stress of the holidays, combined with an unusual amount of “togetherness” can either make or break a marriage that’s already on the rocks.
  • Some couples delay filing for purely practical concerns: They want their tax filing status to remain the same and they want to use their tax returns to finance the divorce or their move to a new place.

The next big rush to the courthouse happens around summer when the kids are out of school and family vacations are over (but before the holiday rush starts again). If you’ve been thinking about divorce, find out what your next steps should be.

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