During the past nine years, I have represented hundreds of clients in divorce cases. Most people want the assurance that the breakdown of their marriage was not entirely their own fault. In order to efficiently represent any client going through a divorce, I have to know all the details leading to the end of the relationship. Over the past few years, I have noticed that marriages fall apart for a multitude of reasons. Many happily married people come to me and ask what the signs are that a marriage may be headed for divorce. Based on my experiences as a divorce attorney, I have compiled a top ten list of signs that your marriage may be headed for divorce. Some entries on the list are filled with funny euphemisms. Some are more serious, but all have played major factors in the divorces I've handled.
RED FLAG #10: If your spouse is facebooking with his or her high school sweetheart on a daily basis, you may be heading for a divorce. While I don't personally believe it poses an issue if your spouse has occasional contact with an ex-lover, the contact seems to become a problem when this communication is substituted for communication with the spouse and/or if this communication is hidden from the other spouse. Many people wonder 'what if' when faced with the doldrums of everyday life. It is easy to imagine that your life would be better with that college sweetheart or that high school football star that got away. However, what one fails to realize is that a new relationship brings new issues.
RED FLAG #9: If you spouse has gained more than 20% of his or her body weight, you may be headed for divorce. In every marriage, it is important for each spouse to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Part of keeping the passion alive is maintaining the physical presence that attracted your spouse to you in the first place. When one spouse no longer cares about his or her appearance, the other spouse can lost interest quickly. The old adage of "what it takes to get her, it takes to keep her" is actually true.
RED FLAG #8: If you spouse is donning sexy new underwear all of a sudden, you may be headed for divorce. If your spouse makes a drastic change in his or her underclothes, you have to wonder why. This is one of the all-time biggest signs of an early stage of a new affair.
RED FLAG #7: If your spouse lies around all day and yet house needs cleaning, you may be headed for divorce. Being married is not a time for laziness. Each partner needs to do his or her part to share in the household chores. It is never permissible for one spouse to do everything in the marriage whether that is child-rearing, earning income, or maintaining the home.
RED FLAG #6: If your spouse is secretive with his or her cell phone, you may be headed for divorce. In today's society it is very easy for one individual to maintain one persona to his or her spouse and another to others. Cell phone and computer use does not make it any easier. Many of my clients felt their marriages unravel when their spouse began to be overly secretive with cell phone usage.
RED FLAG #5: If your spouse makes you write down everything you spend money on, you may be headed for divorce. This is a classic sign of a controlling and emotionally abusive spouse. Marriage is about sharing love and life experiences not monitoring your spouse's every move. Control is never a healthy weapon in marriage. Each person is an individual and must be treated as an adult.
RED FLAG #4: If your spouse no longer wants to have sex with you, you may be headed for divorce. Sex in an integral part of a healthy marriage. It provides a way to connect with your spouse on an emotional as well as physical level. Sex is good exercise and promotes healthy well-being. If your spouse no longer shows sexual interest in you, it is imperative to try to find out why and work on the issues. Often lack of sex leads one spouse to resent the other spouse over time.
RED FLAG #3: If your spouse spends more time on the tennis courts than spending time with you, you may be headed for divorce. It is very easy for a married person to find oneself completely absorbed in the activities of everyday life. In order for a marriage to have a chance at succeeding over time, each spouse has to put the marriage first. Making time on a daily basis to connect with your partner is an absolute must. If you spend more time focusing on other people or other activities, then your marriage is bound to suffer.
RED FLAG #2: If your spouse cruises singles bars after work, you may be headed for divorce. The 'singles scene' should have a danger sign posted at every corner bar. It takes a person of high integrity and moral footing to be able to withstand the singles who do not believe in marriage or respect it. If your spouse is constantly going to singles bars alone, one has to wonder if he or she divulges their true marital status to the other singles out there.
RED FLAG #1: If your spouse wants you to swing with your neighbors, you ARE headed for divorce. It amazes me how a seemingly innocent and loving couple gets drawn into this lifestyle which almost always leads to the ultimate demise of a marriage. It begins when one spouse has fantasies of 'swinging' but the other spouse does not. The unwitting spouse gets sucked into this lifestyle by promises of good sex and a happier marriage. It often leaves the less enthusiastic spouse feeling guilty, less attractive, and vulnerable.