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Warning Signs You Might Be Headed For A Divorce

No one enters into a marriage expecting to divorce later. However, as everyone knows, not every marriage ends up working out.

As any couple can attest, marriage takes hard work and commitment. But, there are more factors that contribute to the success of a marriage. Our Raleigh divorce lawyers are sharing some of the top contributing factors that they see lead to divorce.

A crack in the ground to represent a crack within a marriage

Warning Signs Your Marriage May End in Divorce

So many factors contribute to the dissolution of a marriage that to discuss them all would require several pages. After all, you can always look to the thousands of self-help books and articles on the subject, proving that the public is hungry for ways to save their marriages.

Our Raleigh divorce attorneys deal with unhappy couples every day and have a little insight into what derails most marriages. Here are some of the most common warning signs that a marriage is headed for divorce.

Priorities are in the Wrong Place

Over time people change, and often, so do priorities. A new job, children, even supporting ailing family members can lead to an unhappy marriage. If one spouse focuses most of their attention on areas outside the marriage, then the marriage is no longer a priority. Drifting apart can easily occur if both partners do not make a distinct effort to place each other as a priority.

Successful marriages require that each partner adapts to changes in goals, hobbies, and other areas that are important to the partner. Obviously, there is a healthy degree of change and compromise. Don't mistake compromise with a partner who is taking advantage.

Here are some signs that a marriage is not a priority:

  • Spending less time together
  • Not putting in the work that marriage requires
  • Changes in behavior toward shared chores and events
  • Lack of effort toward household responsibilities
  • No interest in having "date-nights"

Condescending Gestures and Response

If a marital relationship has lack of respect, then condescending gestures can be a big part of the divorce equation. Eye rolling, laughing when a partner makes a serious comment, and negative facial expressions from a spouse can be a clear indicator that there is a lack of respect.

Any contempt by a marital partner is a bad sign. Contempt and resentment are major factors of divorce and without addressing the issue, can lead to increased hostility over time. Basically, the condescending member of the household carries themselves in a manner that they believe they are superior to the other spouse.

Be aware of these actions:

  • Mocking
  • Calling each other names
  • Derogatory humor
  • Sarcasm with intent to hurt feelings


Lying is a clear indicator of trust issues. This should be an obvious sign to anyone that is questioning their marital situation. Even minuscule lies can lead to distrust, which can create an emotional environment that will destroy a marriage.

Lying is a clear indicator of trust issues. This should be an obvious sign to anyone that is questioning their marital situation. Even minuscule lies can lead to distrust, which can create an emotional environment that will destroy a marriage.

Being Overly Critical of Your Partner

Pointing out flaws in your partner may seem like a way to help them make the necessary changes needed to establish a happy marriage, but the reality is it won't. Most likely the person receiving the criticism will become annoyed and unresponsive. Constant "nagging" can result in a frustrating situation for both individuals and can cause resentment to build.

It is best to openly discuss the issue with your partner without pointing fingers. Find common ground to appeal to your partner's understanding of why a given situation is problematic. This approach can help to attacks on you or your partner's character.

Lack of Affection and Intimacy

Whether it's related to sex or simply an intimate connection, lack of affection can be a killer for any marriage. This doesn't mean that you have to spend every waking moment in an intimate setting with your partner. However, if your relationship lacks intimacy on a consistent basis, then it may be a sign of problems in the relationship. Overall stress, job requirements and child rearing can lead to less intimacy, but their is a fine line between normal marital situations and those that lead to divorce. Avoid simply becoming a "roommate" with your spouse to avoid divorce.

Not Communicating and/or Putting Up an Emotional Wall

A healthy relationship is predicated on the need to openly communicate with your spouse. Sharing information about your daily lives helps to keep your spouse informed of important events in life and also create a certain level of intimacy. By not sharing details about life with your spouse, there is a definite sign that there is a disconnection growing. This can lead to "un-coupling" and stonewalling.

What is Stonewalling in a Relationship?

Withdrawing from a conversation or an unwillingness to communicate is known as stonewalling. This practice is used in order to avoid conflict with a spouse or can be a response to detach emotionally from a rift or situation in the relationship. There are many ways a person can stonewall, such as:

  • Physically removing oneself from a situation or conversation
  • Changing the subject of a conversation or argument
  • Short answers like Yes, no, maybe, etc.

Repeating the Same Arguments

Often in marriage, arguments can be repeated time and again. The issue is that often, without a resolution, the argument begins to escalate into name calling, belittling behavior, and one person shoulders most of the blame in the argument. This is an unhealthy practice that couples should look to avoid. The cyclical nature of the argument does nothing to help the relationship progress, but rather can lead to many of the warning signs listed above.

Seek Professional Assistance if Your Marriage is Heading for Divorce

As always, we encourage anyone in a marriage to attempt to salvage the relationship that you entered into. Getting married is a major life event, and most couples truly do enter into marriage with the hopes to last forever. But, the reality is that not everyone can live happily ever after. When this occurs, it is best to seek help from an experienced professional. Whether this from a divorce attorney, a mental health practitioner or a member of the clergy, getting some form of guidance is helpful.

Divorce and separation do not have to be, "go it alone" endeavors. It is highly discouraged to go through your divorce alone. Emotions run high and the laws are challenging. Without help, you may be facing an uphill battle for custody, alimony or property division. A trusted legal professional can help you through the difficult and painful process of divorce.

Contact a Raleigh Divorce Attorney If You Are Considering Divorce

Our Raleigh law firm has the experience you need for a positive outcome to your case. If you need a separation agreement, child custody support or need help with your legal rights to property, or attorney's know how to aggressively negotiate without adding more problems to the situation.

Contact our family law firm by completing the form below or calling 919-301-8843.

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