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Schism and Skew: Common Marital Disasters

In every marriage, there comes a time when both people must face certain positive and negative aspects of their relationship. Excluding perhaps an incredibly limited minority of individuals, nobody makes it through life without changing or hitting bumps along the way. Marriage is tough. But when do those bumps become blocks? Divorce lawyers commonly see a variety of marital struggles when advising clients. Some are serious and some are not. When it comes to the children, Florida courts primarily focus on what is in the best interests of the child to determine custody matters. However, there are two little known marital conditions that can subtly destroy any marriage. For those who identify with either condition, it may be worth discussing the matter with a trusted therapist and/or family law lawyer to figure out what indeed is best for the children.

Whatever you say – Marital Skew

Marital skew is a psychological term for when one spouse caves in and denies any negative or maladaptive behaviors or qualities of the other spouse. This is quite common in cases involving domestic abuse, whereby the abused spouse is unable to acknowledge the failures and limitations of the abuser and simply cannot accept that the abuser is doing something wrong. Admittedly, this is an extreme example. More often, it is as simple as one spouse taking a submissive role in the relationship and overlooking the faults of the other spouse. While marriage requires a lot of compromise, marital skew goes a little further, creating a situation where children and others can recognize the problem with one parent, though the other parent is entirely oblivious and in denial.

Perhaps a husband is unfaithful and having repeated affairs. His children know, his co-workers know, even his wife’s friends and family know. Everyone tells his wife, but there is nothing anyone can say to convince her, because she has built an internal system of belief that does not allow her to see his negative attributes.

Let’s stick it out for the kids – Marital Schism

Marital schism is far more open – yet just as painful. This condition is marked by a poor marital quality, where both people recognize that the marriage is failing. Both people know they are unhappy, yet they remain married out of a perceived benefit to their children. It is certainly true that children often suffer in a divorce. However, this marital condition can be far more harmful to children than a divorce. Over time, the parents reach a level of malcontent acceptance with each other. They often compete to see who can “love” the children more, lavishing praise and making the children feel they can do no wrong.

Children of a marital schism grow up in a household where they are loved, but where the parents do not love each other. Many children begin to test their parents and pit them against each other, forcing the unwitting parents to fight over who buys the nicest toys, who is more liberal with rules and restrictions, and so forth. Eventually, the children grow up to see their parents as little more than a means to an end, a method by which to obtain things, money, or attention. Though these outcomes are the worst-case scenario, couples facing divorce should speak with an experienced lawyer to discuss the realities of dissolving a marriage so they can make an informed decision.

If you are considering seeking a divorce, or have more questions about the process, don’t hesitate to contact Goodblatt · Leo in Orlando. Reach out today for a confidential consultation on your case.

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