Financial stresses on some families cannot be underestimated. Couples who are already struggling with the emotional aspect of their relationship may find it difficult to take important decisions about their future family finances.

If you find yourself in this situation you can use the opportunity to check out the strength of your relationship. Is the fact you can’t work collaboratively to address practical problems a reflection of the difficult choices to be made or might it reflect a deeper communication issue between you?

Families often work as teams with adults ‘stirring the ship’ . When those adults start to feel less emotionally connected to each other, it can become harder to come to an agreement on practical things because we’re likely to spend more time trying to get a partner to agree to our way of doing things rather than listening to each other and understanding how the other person sees a situation.

Over time both partners can begin to feel that the other person isn’t listening to them. What usually happens then is, we believe the person doesn’t value our point of view, doesn’t care for us etc, thereafter our behaviours reflect our belief. That’s how cycles of poor communication and defensive behaviours can start. In fact, the unconscious process of detaching ourselves from our partners can take a long time to build and is quite often not even recognised until someone like me says “look back when did you feel things were starting to go wrong?”

Often people will pinpoint an event many years past, i.e. the birth of a child, the death of a parent or child, the loss of a job or change in roles, settling back from an expat lifestyle, different lifestyle choices etc. It’s ironic that it’s the lack of collaboration at these relationship points as well as every day things that can put our intimate relationship at risk. The people who want to know more about divorcing using a Collaborative Law service are usually open to reflecting and learning from their experience of their ending relationship, so they are better placed to create a relationship that works for them in the future.

© Adriana Galimberti-Rennie