Divorce lawyers know a thing about marriage. These are the people who are given reasons behind the breakdown of a marriage every single day. It’s not a bad idea then, to listen to what these lawyers think are the signs of a marriage that won’t last.
Jason Levoy, an attorney, and divorce coach in New York lists the silent treatment as an indicator to the breakdown of a marriage. "It's a bad sign if a couple bickers and it results in the silent treatment. Sure, fighting is healthy in a relationship but when it turns from playful to serious on a regular basis — and it ends in stonewalling — that doesn’t bode well for long-term success.”
When you’re always resorting to the silent treatment, you’re building a wall that will only get bigger with time. Fighting can be exhausting but it’s better to resolve the issue than to add more distance between you and your partner. Try writing a letter, sending an email or get a professional to help you resolve the issue if it keeps getting in the way.
For Randall M. Kessler, an attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, a couple's sex life plays a huge factor in marriage ending in divorce. "This seems obvious and it is. People can go without sex, but the bottom line is that we are living creatures and sex is a natural desire."
Kessler adds how "there are relationships that endure without sex, but as a divorce lawyer, it's not a shock when a client tells me they have gone years without having sex with their partner." Sex, and every form of physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling and caressing are important to maintaining intimacy between two people. Couples don’t need to have sex every day to be happy together, nevertheless, sex is a key component in a relationship.
For Lisa Helfend Meyer, a divorce attorney in LA, opposites seem to be the ones asking for trouble. She explains that it's when a couple has nothing in common that problems may arise. "While it's true that opposites attract, don't assume that the qualities you fell in love with are going to keep a marriage together."
"For example, if someone is an extrovert and loves going out until the wee morning hours and the other spouse likes a warm bath at 7 p.m. followed by a glass of milk and a good book, there is no way the couple can sustain this lifestyle distance." Opposites can bring out the best in each other. Often, this is the primary attraction between two opposites, so the couple has to find common ground to enjoy a few things together for distance to remain at bay.
Christian Denmon, a divorce attorney in Tampa, talks about the downside of having a career. "It can be a problem when a partner always puts his or her career above everything else, including the relationship. This tends to be true, regardless of the agreement the couple has come to during marriage."
Denmon adds an example, saying, "my firm has represented laser-focused military members, whose partners initially agreed to take a backseat and raise the family so the military member could advance. But over the years, the stay-at-home spouse begins to resent the situation. Even the strongest relationships decay over time when one person puts their career aspirations ahead of the relationship."
For Karen Covy, an attorney and divorce coach in Chicago, contempt in a contributing factor. "Eye-rolling, belittling and treating each other with disdain are key indicators that a relationship will eventually disintegrate. While spouses don't have to always see eye-to-eye to have a happy marriage, they do have to respect each other and appreciate their differences, rather than viewing those differences as being signs that the other spouse is stupid or wrong."
Denis A. Cohen, an attorney, and mediator in Marina del Rey says that a lack of respect for each other's love language is a sign of divorce. "Knowing your partner's love language — being aware of how he or she feels appreciated — is crucial for long-term success in marriage. Although spouses may love each other, they may not feel loved if they have different love languages. For instance, if one spouse shows love by doing helpful things or by buying gifts, but the other receives love through verbal affirmations, loving touch or quality time together, the love may not really be received."
Puja A. Sachdev, a divorce attorney in San Diego, says not being honest about where the money is going is a sign of divorce. "A marriage is a partnership and each person should be accountable to the other for their family's finances. When the finances are split, it's easy for both partners to overspend."
Sachdev adds how "a couple can keep separate or joint bank accounts, but when there is no transparency on how money is being spent and saved, it's nearly impossible to set and reach financial goals like buying a home or planning for retirement. It becomes a growing frustration." Being honest about where the money is going is important because financial matters are often a cause of major stress.
For Douglas S. Kepanis, a divorce attorney in New York, not fighting is what can get you in trouble. "Many spouses tend to avoid awkward situations and problems by either 'shading the truth' or ignoring something that has been on their mind. This leads to resentment."
"This person is your best friend, confidant, and lover," Kepanis adds. "You should be able to accept one another's comments without destroying the bonds of matrimony." Fighting can be healthy because once the issue is solved, you can grow closer to your partner. Just don’t go saying something you regret. As the wise Kevin Bacon once said, “Keep the fights clean and the sex dirty.”