When it comes to marriage and divorce, relationships can end for a variety of reasons. While the most commonly reported issues are arguing and conflict, finance, and infidelity, there are certain unacceptable behaviors that can cause serious damage. These behaviors may have even begun when you are dating or during your engagement but will continue to develop over time and get worse.
Understanding which behaviors are red flags can help you decide to pursue a better relationship with someone new. Ultimately, what is acceptable in your relationship is up to you.
What Our Clients Tell Us
There are many unacceptable behaviors in a marriage that can lead to divorce. Ranging from seemingly harmless behaviors such as disrespecting someone’s boundaries, to something more considerable.
Boundaries are unique for every individual and every couple. Married couples often establish boundaries regarding personal privacy, time with relatives, how to discuss marital issues with each other, and autonomy both inside and outside of the relationship. If your partner doesn’t respect your boundaries it may be a sign of an unhealthy relationship.
Another red flag is gaslighting. Gaslighting is a term that loosely describes when someone is manipulated into questioning their own reality. Victims of gaslighting are deliberately given false information in a way that makes them question what they know to be true, often about themselves. Gaslighting is also a common trait among controlling partners and, as such, gaslighters escalate their behaviors over time to gain further control.
While gaslighting is distinct, there are other signs of a controlling relationship that are more subtle. A controlling relationship is one in which a partner dominates the other in an unhealthy, self-serving way. If your partner intimidates you, makes you feel insecure or guilty, humiliates you in public, or is inappropriately jealous, you could be in a controlling relationship. Controlling behavior can sometimes transition into an abusive relationship, which includes verbal, physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and psychological abuse. If your partner is abusive it’s important to speak with professionals to learn how to exit the relationship safely.
Your Personal Story
Each marriage is different, and what’s acceptable for one couple may not be for another. But if you recognize any of these unacceptable behaviors in your marriage and are considering divorce, seek a deeper understanding of your options before taking the next step. Divorcing a controlling or abusive spouse is difficult, especially in marriages with children or those where one spouse controls the finances.
Even more importantly, you should have an ally on your side regardless of who initiates the divorce. If you are looking for a family law attorney in Orange County, contact Buncher Family Law for a strategic consultation. We’re committed to getting you the best possible outcome that you deserve.