Surrey family specialist solicitor, Lewis Hulatt, consultant with Major Family Law, the divorce and family law specialists, comments as follows: I have lost count of the number of times that I have seen and heard other solicitors say that they are ‘surprised and quite frankly shocked’ at some minor action of an estranged spouse that their client views as inappropriate.   Experienced family lawyers should not easily be surprised and indeed difficult to shock.    However, the behaviour of estranged spouses can seem shocking to those involved, if not the lawyers.

I recently went to see a business consultant who includes Myers-Briggs personality type analysis in her work and we discussed whether being different personality types was positive or negative for couples. There are sixteen combinations of what amount to our ‘default settings’ as to how we deal with the world and sometimes a couple is very different, yet complementary.  For them, it fits with the romantic notion that the other ‘completes me’.

If a relationship is like a machine, then the teeth on the gears can mesh and drive it on, but sometimes those gears grate instead and it grinds to a stop.  It may not be because either gear wheel is ‘wrong’ or broken, but if they are out of sync then it no longer works.

Sometimes, relationships can be fixed and understanding our differences (such as shown by the Personality -Type indicators) can help in that. Also, when it breaks down and somebody thinks that the other has ‘completely changed’ it may be that there are modes of behaviour locked away in their personality type that have come to the fore – perhaps under external pressures. Understanding what went wrong can reduce the confusion that often accompanies relationship breakdown.

Solicitors cannot fix those things, but it helps if our clients are less confused!

This is not an advertisement, but my tutor in this was Hilary Cotton of HEFC Coaching @htgwatch and she was delightful clear in explaining Personality Type Indicators..