ON THE BRINK
YOU South Africa|20 May 2021
How can you be sure it’s time to end your marriage? You shouldn’t call it quits until you can say these things with certainty, experts say

THE decision to divorce is probably a bigger, more difficult decision than the one to get married in the first place. There’s a lot to consider, and a lot at stake – especially if you have children.

There are times when fixing the problems in a marriage is simply not possible. But it’s also true that it’s not uncommon for couples to go through a rough patch. So how do you know when it’s really not salvageable? The advice from these experts is that you’ll know you’re ready to divorce when . . .

YOU CAN VISUALISE YOUR PARTNER BEING INTIMATE WITH SOMEBODY ELSE – AND IT DOESN’T BOTHER YOU

We have three different brain systems for mating and reproduction: feelings of deep attachment, ecstatic romantic love and the sex drive. In most good relationships, all three of these neural circuits are firing at one time or another.

When you honestly no longer care if your partner will be kissing, walking arm-in-arm, laughing, holding hands or making love to someone else, your brain is ready to depart and move on.

Dr Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey in the US

YOU’RE SURE YOUR PARTNER ISN’T GIVING UP ON THE RELATIONSHIP ONLY BECAUSE THEY THINK YOU ALREADY HAVE

When relationships break down, both people can become convinced that the other person wants out. It’s easy to jump to conclusions about what your partner is thinking or feeling, and when we’re in pain it can be difficult to see that the other person is hurting, too.

A counsellor might be able to help you bridge this gap and in doing so, re- establish the connection you once had.

Bill Hewlett, counsellor and child specialist in family separation

YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND THE NEEDS OF YOUR CHILDREN

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