Most people enter into marriage believing their union will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, as the years go on, many couples find themselves growing apart.
While approximately half of all marriages end in divorce, many people never see it coming. Fortunately, a downward trajectory can be turned around, if people are willing to keep their eyes open and work at their relationship. Some warning signs may be obvious or glaring, like infidelity or toxic behavior. However, other signs may be more subtle. By recognizing these signs early on, you will have the opportunity to either repair the relationship, or if necessary, prepare for divorce.
Three signs to watch for
Here are three warning signs that a marriage may be at risk for divorce:
- Lack of communication. While sharing every thought or feeling may be unnecessary, a general lack of communication can lead to a breakdown in the marriage. When dialogue consists of quick or one-word answers, it can indicate problems in the marriage.
- A change in values or priorities. Healthy relationships tend to value the same “big” things, for example: religion, money management, and child rearing. A significant change in these values or priorities by one or both spouses can be difficult to accept.
- The “bad” outweighs the “good.” Resentment and disdain can grow slowly over time. While every couple has disagreements or bad days, a persistent feeling of unhappiness in the marriage can be challenging to repair.
What comes next?
If you suspect your marriage may be headed for a divorce, early recognition allows you the opportunity to repair the relationship by seeking out a family or marriage counselor. Family doctors, clergy, and even family law attorneys can be good referral sources.
But where counseling fails, or where divorce is the only reasonable option, people are encouraged to consult with a family law attorney immediately to discuss their options and ensure that the future divorce proceedings go as smoothly as possible.