It’s not common for one event to cause a divorce — marriages often dissolve as a result of a series of factors, events, and behaviors that accumulate over time. If you believe your marriage may end in divorce, look for these common warning signs.
#1: Lack of Communication
This is a broad factor, but communication is vital in a marriage and is often the root cause of many marital issues. Without effectively communicating about important aspects of your relationship, from finances to emotional experiences, you and your spouse are not aware of each others’ emotions or expectations, and resentment can grow.
#2: Personal Attacks
Criticism can be constructive, and it can be harmful. If you notice that your arguments devolve into personal attacks instead of addressing the issue or behavior at hand, it’s time to re-evaluate how you are communicating. Personality or character-based attacks can significantly harm a relationship, leading to lower self-esteem and provoking further arguments.
#3: Financial Problems
Money is stressful, and financial issues are likely to arise during a marriage. However, couples who do not communicate about their finances may experience additional problems. Without establishing clear financial expectations and developing a financial security plan, couples can face resentment, blame, and more marital strain.
#4: Lack of Trust
Both emotional and physical cheating can dissolve trust between a couple, as well as other lapses in faith or judgement. If you can’t trust your spouse, you cannot be as vulnerable and open as you should be able to — which can make both spouses unhappy in the marriage.
Drug and alcohol addiction are sensitive issues, and if your partner struggles with addiction, he or she needs professional help. Untreated addiction can lead to lapses in judgement, financial issues, and a dissolution of trust — all of which can harm a marriage.
During a disagreement, it’s important to communicate your concerns clearly and effectively to your spouse. However, stonewalling, or physically or emotionally withdrawing from an argument, can cause additional issues. Instead of addressing the problem, it continues to build inside each partner until an inevitable explosion occurs.
#7: Lack of Common Interests
The saying “opposites attract” isn’t entirely true. Having shared interests is important to a couple, helping them spend time together, learn more about each other, and continue to develop their relationship. If you and your partner no longer have any shared interests, you may lose interest in each other as well.
It’s natural to want to defend yourself, but making excuses during an argument or trying to avoid responsibility can harm a relationship. If your spouse argues with you when you try to provide valid criticism, or you notice yourself getting defensive, communication issues may harm your relationship.
#9: Feelings of Contempt
If you feel contempt toward your spouse or feel like your spouse expresses contempt toward you, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship. Eye-rolling, mocking, name-calling, sneering, and many other types of nonverbal behavior can express contempt, which can cause both spouses to feel disrespected and unhappy.
#10: Disagreements Surrounding Children
Whether you disagree on whether or not you want to have children, how to raise the children you do have, or struggle with infertility, child-related relationship issues can harm a marriage. Communicating differences in parenting styles or familiar desires can be a struggle, especially if you already experience communication issues.
During divorce proceedings, you want to protect your best interests, and an Indiana divorce attorney can advocate for you during difficult conversations. If you believe your marriage may end in divorce, speak to your divorce lawyer as soon as possible.