When you’ve been married for a long time, certain red flags might start to become the norm. This can include a variety of things, many of which I will mention below.
While a shift in the dynamic between you and your partner is not always a bad thing, there are certain conversations you should have with your spouse in order to avoid heading to divorce.
The most important element of any relationship is communication. If you’re not talking with your spouse, then you will find a major shift in your marriage. Marriage without an exchange of thoughts, emotions, and feelings is unsustainable. The key here is openness, honesty, trust, and forgiveness. Without any of these, you might be on your way to a divorce.
According to these experts, these are the top 5 predictors of divorce.
It could be said infidelity is a symptom of a bad relationship. According to Crystal Rice, a social worker, and life coach, “Sometimes, yes, people who cheat do so simply for the sex. Sometimes, it’s not about the relationship but just because the cheater doesn’t respect the marriage. It’s just a cough with an easy fix. But in most cases, infidelity occurs as part of a spider web of other things – a feverish connection with some other person that fulfills some unmet need.” This “unmet” need could be a variety of things that ultimately boils down between you and your spouse. When faced with an issue such as infidelity it might be wise to seek counseling or some other third party.
Sadly, money has a very ugly tendency to cause a lot of couples to split. This can range from anything such as different spending habits or different financial goals. According to Steven Vertucci, a family attorney in Colorado, “This is especially true if there is one sole breadwinner in the house or someone makes considerably more money than the other. Some good ways to combat this issue is to set up financial goals with your partner so you both can achieve financial unity.”
Having a set dollar amount on spending or putting a little aside every month can increase confidence in you and your partner’s spending habits. This will also be beneficial to improving your mood and increase your overall motivation.
As mentioned earlier, this is a very common root cause to all relationship problems. Lack of communication in a relationship can lead to resentment, isolation, and frustration. Good communication with your spouse can be the backbone to a good marriage. According to Bryn Collins, a licensed psychologist, “Boundaries mean you respect the other’s rights. Good boundaries keep us from abusive or aggressive behavior. Good boundaries mean you know where to draw the line between OK and not OK, physically, emotionally, verbally and in all other ways. Good boundaries make good relationships.” Healthy communication starts with paying attention to each other, setting a goal to resolve an issue and not letting one partner dominate.
4. Arguing Constantly
No one wants to be in a relationship that involves constant arguing. It’s unhealthy, stressful and extremely draining on you and the people around you. A lot of couples who fight too much tend to constantly argue about the same thing. A major reason for this is they feel they are not being heard or are under-appreciated. This also falls under the umbrella of communication and respect.
5. Weight Gain
Another very common reason for divorce tends to fall on to the more shallow end of the spectrum – appearance. While this may seem very superficial, it’s a major cause of divorce because it can lead to other issues such as lack of intimacy and insecurity problems. A significant amount of weight gain can take a major toll on your self-esteem which can lead to you to feeling depressed or not good enough.
According to Brene Brown, a social researcher at the University of Houston, “shame is very painful and focuses on our self worth and sense of belonging. Shame says ‘I am fat and unworthy of love’. Guilt focuses on behavior and says ‘I overate and feel miserable’. Shame interferes with our connection to self, as well as to our partner.”
Finding a balance between you and your spouse should always be your goal. Finding common ground and placing communication on the forefront will hopefully help you and your partner maintain a healthy and balanced relationship. Before you give up, try to fight for each other. The best way to have peace of mind is knowing you tried your hardest to not give up.
Coming from a divorced family herself, Alana Redmond is interested in topics relating to divorce and family relationship dynamics, as well as how social media and technology will affect the future of human relationships. She also writes content for family law firms. www.yelman.com