Separation is a path you never thought you and our spouse would take, yet you find yourself living alone. Not too much time will pass before you will need to take the next step to end your marriage legally.
Even though the two of you believe divorce is the most favorable option, things have begun to happen that set you on edge. Some red flags may mean you are in for a high-conflict divorce. Explore two signs that you may have to prepare now for a fight.
- Your spouse blames you
When it became clear the marriage was over, your spouse may have passively aggressively begun pointing the finger at you. You may recollect moments when statements made in passing intimated something you did or did not do led to the separation. As the process continues, prepare yourself for these to become much stronger statements. You may hear things like:
- “If only you had made more money.”
- “You are the one who wanted that house.”
- “You took care of the bills, so this is a surprise.”
These statements will anger you, and that is why your spouse is making them.
- Your spouse’s story changes
Perhaps you found out that your spouse is lying to friends and family about what led to the divorce. These accounts make you sound like a monster and your spouse like a victim. In high-conflict divorces, one spouse wants to maintain control of the situation and skews the truth to fit. Winning over others, especially friends and family, will make your spouse feel like he or she has the upper hand against you. Again, the purpose is to anger you and cause you to lose your cool.
It may frustrate you when you hear your spouse blame you or find out that he or she is spreading erroneous information to win support. The most favorable thing you can do to avoid getting sucked in is to step back and reinforce what you know is true. Do not engage directly with your spouse. Instead, use email, text messages or your attorney to communicate. Avoiding confrontation will help diffuse and get through a high-conflict divorce.