SALLY SAYS: I WELCOME the introduction of no-fault divorces as a better way for unhappy couples to go their separate ways – but any divorce should always be the absolute last resort.
Only once both partners have tried absolutely everything should anyone consider ending the marriage.
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There are important exceptions — for example, anyone enduring domestic abuse is better off getting out of the relationship as quickly as possible.
Even when a partner has been unfaithful, struggled with an addiction or perhaps the intimate side of their relationship has dried up, there is always a way back to a closer, more trusting and connected marriage.
But of course, both parties have to be honest about the changes they need to see.
Being candid about our true feelings can be much harder than it sounds.
Telling your spouse the truth can be painful, as can hearing what makes your partner unhappy.
But this starting point, coupled with a determination to keep trying, is the way to getting over the inevitable bumps in the road.
I would always recommend involving someone impartial to help couples work through their differences and strengthen their relationship, or go their separate ways with dignity.
We recommend Tavistock Relationships (tavistockrelationships.org) who provide affordable counselling.
Children are the ones who often suffer the most when parents split up, and they are the main reason I would urge a couple to do everything they can to work on their differences.
A recent study by University College London’s Institute of Education found children who experience parental separation aged between seven and 14 are 16 per cent more likely to experience behavioural issues and emotional problems, such as anxiety and depression, than those whose parents stay together.
Those who are aged seven and over are the most likely to be affected.
The study also noted that boys aged seven to 14 are particularly affected, with an eight per cent increase in bad behaviour and disobedience.
For anyone considering divorce, I would urge them to seek help and ask themselves if there is anything else they could try to repair their relationship.
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If the honest answer is no, at least the no-fault divorce system will allow them to move on and bypass the usual blame game that the current divorce system is based on.
If you would like personal advice from one of my counsellors please email [email protected]