HuffPost recently asked me to comment for a piece called "8 Signs A Marriage Won't Last." The one I gave them became number two on their list. But it got me thinking and I thought of a few more that I now share:
1. Sex (the lack of it-this is the one from the HuffPost article mentioned above).
This seems obvious and it is. It's a human need and if a spouse refuses sex, eventually the partner will find and have it. People can go without, but the bottom line is that we are living creatures and sex is a natural desire. Yes there are relationships that endure without sex, but as a divorce lawyer, it is no longer a shock when a client tells me they have gone years without having sex with their partner.
2. Appreciation (the lack of it).
So often during my initial consultations I hear a desperate desire by a spouse to be appreciated. Many have given up hope of feeling appreciated. It seems it is almost a basic prerequisite of a decent relationship to feel that you bring value to the relationship. When one is not acknowledged, it hurts and it resonates and it is a clear path to the end of a relationship.
3. Extreme catastrophe or tragedy.
It would be nice to think that tragedies bring people together. However I often see people whose relationships are torn apart by a family tragedy. They often express their anger over the tragedy in damaging ways and very unfortunately, that often means the end of the relationship. These are the worst situations I see as there are simply layers of tragedy. It takes a very good relationship to withstand a tragedy.
4. Different financial backgrounds.
While growing up in different financial circumstances isn't always fatal to a marriage, it often is something that can't be overcome in the long run. Arguments about what to spend the family's money on can be huge and if someone grew up more financially secure (or even if they didn't) and spends a lot while the other seeks long term security and saving for the future, these are often irreconcilable differences.
5. Different religions.
Yes often times love can "conquer all." But often, especially once children are born and decisions about which faith in which to raise them arise, differing religious beliefs drive people apart. Especially if the in-laws are less than understanding about it.
There are indeed many factors or signs that marriage will have difficult hurdles, but recognizing what brought a couple together, focusing on and appreciating that, may just be the cure to any of the above potential ailments. And if not, protect yourself and learn as much as you can about the process.