Ahh, the bliss of divorce court! The airing of dirty laundry, the fighting over assets, and of course — won’t anybody think of the children? — the family tear-down.
If you have been dreaming of such a day, there are four easy steps that practically guarantee your day in court. As a matter of fact, according to John Gottman, these steps, when done right, will push you to the front of the divorce line!
Trick #1 – Criticize
Because nothing says “you’re not good enough” like criticism, it is the foundation of a quick and effective divorce game-plan. When you criticize your spouse, you are not just disapproving of something they did, but you are ensuring they know it is their fault as well. Sincere, disparaging comments, given on a consistent basis about all different issues, builds a solid framework for a short lived and bitter relationship.
Whatever you do, never, ever say the following: “I know that you work hard, and don’t ever mean to come home late. You should just know that when you do, the kids stay up to see you and have a hard time waking up in the morning. How can we avoid this?”
Trick #2 – Be Defensive
Use defensiveness generously to ensure strict adherence to the number one rule of marriage — “It’s never my fault”. Not only is defensiveness the perfect anti-apology tool, but it sends a loud and clear message to your partner that “on this side of the fence, there is nobody to talk to”. A consistent regimen of complete denial of responsibility (as a first response whenever possible) will induce your spouse to feel all alone, helpless, and invisibile.
Never say the following: “Honey, I hear what you are saying, and understand your concerns. Let me think about it and come up with a solution.”
Trick #3 – Show Contempt
If, after all your efforts, you have yet to be “served”, it’s time to bring out the nuclear weapon — contempt. Building off your foundation of criticism, contempt mixes in disdain and loathing to create the perfect storm in your relationship. To be clear: whereas criticism teaches your partner that they are worthless, contempt ups-the-ante by informing them that “I can’t stand you”. And, the cool thing is that contempt can be conveyed in so many ways:
- Speaking with sarcasm
- Using hostile humor
- Sneering or smirking
Steer clear of Henry Neuman’s book Modern Youth and Marriage, where he states:
Disillusion, of course, enters in time. There are no full-grown perfect beings. Sooner or later the frailties are recognized. But there is in most people a better self which the fallible self hides; and the greatest privilege of the married life is to be the one who assists the other more and more to do justice to that better possibility.
Trick #4 – Stonewall like crazy
You’ve tried everything and it looks like your partner is in it for the long-haul. But that doesn’t mean you have to do the work to create a happy marriage. Instead, just stonewall. This is when you shut down emotionally, and refuse to communicate regarding anything relationship-oriented. Although mundane topics are permitted, don’t respond to any questions about how things are going, just act flat as a pancake as much as possible. Walking out in the middle of conversations is icing on the cake.
Never tell your partner that right now is not a good time for you to talk, but that after you process a bit, you will work through the issue like an adult. This would bring hope, respect and confidence back into the relationship, ruining your chances for a hasty separation.
We all know that marriage is difficult and takes a lot of work. But after the fun wears off, who needs it? Practice the above techniques for a quick and speedy end to your married life. The good news is that after the divorce, you can continue using these techniques to ensure that your X never speaks to you again!