Can You Predict Divorce?
No one thinks they’ll get divorced when they’re engaged to be married. They’re excited. They’re in love. They’re in lust. But 40 to 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce and the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. So there are a lot of people who are surprised to find themselves part of that unhappy statistic.
How does it happen? Sometimes break-ups are attributed to something obvious. He slept with a neighbor. She is a workaholic. He is an alcoholic. But these issues, while surely deal breakers, are often symptomatic behaviors of a deeper problem in the marriage. In fact, some behaviors are fairly reliable indicators that your marriage is headed for trouble.
- 1. This is one of the biggest indicators of the end of a relationship. After all, if your partner treats you with contempt, he treats you like you are beneath his consideration. Worse, he scorns you, disdains you, disrespects you. You are not worthy to be in his presence, and you won’t be for long if this is how he feels.
- 2. Ignore your partner and he’ll go away. Blow him off, don’t listen to him, don’t care about what he says or what he feels. Pretty soon, he’ll get the message that you truly don’t care about him. If you want to show him that you do care, listen with your whole heart and mind when he’s trying to communicate with you. Acknowledge how he’s feeling. Make it a priority to spend time with him and be fully engaged with him.
- 3. Yes, at first you make physical connection constantly, often at an intensity that is impossible to sustain over the long term. And that’s the trouble. Busy work schedules and kids and all sorts of responsibilities require immediate attention, and showing affection to your partner takes a back seat. So make a date to have sex and put it on the calendar if that helps. And don’t forget, affection can take the form of a backrub or a gentle touch as you pass by each other in the hallway. Just don’t take the physical part of your relationship for granted.
- 4. Everyone says it because it’s true—communication is critical to a good marriage. That means you have to find the courage to communicate negative feelings even when you hate conflict. If you shut down and refuse to work things out with your partner, you will only leave him frustrated and alone. And when you do not express your negative feelings, you bottle up resentment. That is not good for the health of your marriage, but neither is constant criticism. Try to find a balance of communication that is much more positive that negative. And keep yourself open to discussing your problems.
If you find any of the above problems in your marriage, take note. If you and your partner are still committed to each other, you can work on changing to healthier behaviors. A good counselor or therapist can help.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Psychotherapist. If you need safe, effective therapy services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: http://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.