At our family law firm in Cardiff we hear many sad stories of couples who have been stuck in a loveless marriage for many years and for different reasons did not previously want to seek a divorce. We also hear from people who want advice about planning for a divorce that they don’t go through with for many years to come.
Loveless marriages happen for a wide variety of reasons and people also stay in them for a wide variety of reasons.
For some couples it is a gradual process of simply growing apart. For others there may have been a trigger that has affected one party, such as losing a job, an illness or death of a parent that has led them to question their situation, or for others there has been a sudden discovery of an infidelity or one partner being bi or homosexual.
For all the reasons of a marriage breaking down, there are just as many reasons for people staying in the marriage and not choosing to divorce. For some they may not feel financially able to go split, for others they may worry about their reputation, some people do not want to split to protect their children, some want to maintain their wedding vows and some simply do not want the disruption.
Making the decision to stay in a marriage after you have been betrayed, or you have accepted that your relationship has broken down is just as brave as going through with a divorce. You may find yourself accepting that your partner is a serial adulterer, or having to cover for their double life.
Many people in loveless marriages maintain an appearance of outer calm and happiness and even close friends do not suspect that anything is amiss. This is difficult and tiring, especially alongside dealing with private emotions.
How you get through with a loveless marriage will depend on your situation or your personality. If you are together for the children then you may have mentally decided when you will consider getting a divorce. If you are staying together for financial reasons, then you may start retraining, or applying for a promotion.
The one thing that many of our clients mention is that they for a long time they have been fearful of the day when their partner changes their mind about the marriage and wants to divorce and they know that the day will come. It may be because their partner has met someone else or another life event that acts as a trigger.
Even if you have come to a stalemate with your spouse that could last a lifetime, it is well worth speaking to a family lawyer to find out what financial information you will need in order to protect yourself during a divorce. Understanding your partner’s finances will be vital to a fair settlement, should the day arrive when things do finally end. You may never need the information, but it will give you confidence in the future, whatever should happen.