You might think it strange to hear divorce attorneys sharing tips for how to keep your marriage together, but since we have the vantage point of seeing couples (often) at their worst, we can share what we have seen to be the cause of many breakups.
A recent piece in HuffPo took a look at eight “relationship killers,” but we had a slightly different take based on our own experiences. Here are the 10 most-common causes of discord in a marriage, which could potentially lead to a divorce – and some things to think about in case you are unsure about whether or not you are ready to end your marriage:
- Money problems. This is one of the most common causes of divorce. Incompatible money styles (spenders vs. savers) can be disastrous in a relationship – but so can giving one person complete reins over the finances. Striking the balance between your financial needs and responsibilities, and being a little spontaneous, is key.
- Poor communication. Another major cause of discord is lack of communication. The ability to communicate clearly is vital in any kind of human relationship. The work on communicating with one another never ends, so keep at it. It will make you both stronger.
- Lack of affection. Physical affection is one of the ways we renew our bonds with one another, and it is something that each of us needs each day to feel loved and valued. Never underestimate the power of touch.
- The need to be in control of everything. Marriage takes teamwork. Loosening your grip on the reins and allowing the partnership to thrive will be good for you and your spouse. If you are the one being controlled, however, it could be a sign of a larger, and potentially more dangerous, issue.
- Being verbally critical. The honeymoon might be over, but that does not give you permission to criticize everything you don’t like about your spouse. Before you say “you’re wrong,” take a deep breath, and see if you can find another way.
- Lack of sex and intimacy. The deep connection that is found within the sexual relationship is vital to keeping a marriage strong and vital. But sex is not the be all, end all of a marriage, either; intimacy is just as important. Take time to care for one another.
- Disagreements about the children. Having divergent approaches to discipline and rewards can be challenging; after all, no one wants to be the “bad cop.” Working with a marriage counselor can help each of you define your roles and understand each other’s parenting style, and how you can come together and be an effective team.
- Keeping secrets. No relationship will last forever if the parties are keeping secrets from each other. Open and honest communication and choosing to not engage in behavior that you will want to keep secret is important.
- Boredom. You might not believe how often boredom can lead to bad decisions. Both of you need to find ways to keep your relationship interesting. Find common interests and do fun things together to keep the spark alive and to keep learning new things about each other.
- Addictions. If one party develops an addiction to alcohol, drugs, food, sex, video games – or anything else, really – it can make the other partner feel isolated and alone and left with the responsibilities of keeping their lives together. Get help for an addiction before it consumes your marriage.
Of course, rattling off a list of ten tips is easy compared with the hard work of keeping a marriage together and thriving. If your relationship can be fixed in a way that leaves you both happy and fulfilled, then we wish you the best of luck.
However, if there comes a time when you both realize that the relationship cannot be fixed, it may be time to end it. You can trust the Nashville divorce attorneys at Miller Upshaw Family Law to advise you about your options.
The trusted divorce lawyers at Miller Upshaw Family Law, PLLC are dedicated to helping people in the Nashville area during a challenging time of their lives. On Woodland Street in historic Edgefield, our Nashville office is not far from the courthouse, and offers free parking. You are welcome to call us today at 615-454-9899 or contact us to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney.