Most people know that over 50% of the marriages in the United States end in divorce. When you break it down by the number of marriages, 41% of first time marriages, 60% of second time marriages and over 73% of third time marriages end in divorce court.
In a few cases both spouses make a decision to divorce at the same time. Invariably, one of the spouses gets blindsided when the other spouse decides to get a divorce. Here are some of the warning signs that a divorce may be imminent:
There is No Communication.
A healthy and secure marriage needs effective communication to develop. When spouses begin to engage in poor communication skills such as stone walling, bickering, screaming or even name calling each other, it is a sign that the marriage may be headed towards the end.
One spouse may also stop communicating completely. The spouse could have already checked out of the marriage, or the spouse could have consulted with a divorce lawyer who has advised him/her not to make any statements that can be used in court.
One Spouse is Keeping Secrets.
A flag of an ending marriage is when one spouse begins to keep secrets from the other. If one spouse has become evasive, hides his or her phone, changes password on his or her social media, doesn’t talk about the future or doesn’t make vacation or holiday plans, then he or she may be checking out of the marriage. Making plans within the marriage just may not be on his or her mind.
Spouse is Preparing for Single Life
Sudden focus on appearance, plastic surgery, weight loss, or one spouse who’s been a stay at home parent suddenly having the desire to seek employment, are signs that the spouse may be preparing for the new life after divorce. A stay at home spouse often needs to check finances, ensure there will be child care, and a safe exit strategy before he or she files for divorce, and often a divorce attorney advises such a spouse to seek financial stability before he or she heads to court.
Spouse is more Involved with Children.
If you have a troubled marriage and there are children involved, then a sudden keen interest in your children’s affairs is a red flag that your spouse is preparing for a divorce. Who will be the primary caregiver to the children is a major component of any divorce where there are kids involved. There is a plethora of factors that go into this decision in the courts. Consequently, most divorce attorneys often tell their clients to become more involved in their children’s lives which would explain any sudden interest in being a hyperactive parent.
Examples of heavy involvement include attending parent-teacher meetings, supporting your children at their extra-curricular events, assisting the children with their homework, helping the kids get ready for school, spending quality time with the children on the weekends, and staying up to date on the kids’ grades, friends, and anything that strengthens the bond between the parent and the child. Picking up responsibilities with the children and spending time with them is great. However, if this is a different form of parenting than what has been seen in the past, and more importantly, these activities exclude you, then it is possible that your spouse is preparing for a divorce.
Spouse is Suddenly Well-Behaved.
This may seem counter-intuitive, but this is typical of a partner in a troubled marriage and has consulted with a divorce attorney. Any divorce attorney would advise their client to be well behaved so that they appear to be the reasonable person in the marriage. This may look something like, the two of have been getting into ugly arguments, and all of a sudden, your spouse approaches you in a calm, polite, respectful manner in regards to your issues. This type of change in behavior is a strong indicator that your spouse has been coached by a divorce attorney.
Spouse is Maintaining Separate Bank Accounts.
Your spouse may be trying to hoard access to your financial records in a way that makes it easier to prove or conceal the truth about how much they own and owe in the event that there is a divorce. Here are some red flags to make note of: Changed passwords for online bank accounts; Hard copies of mortgage statements, lease agreements, contracts, bank statements, wire transfer slips and any other relevant financial records are missing, or are not in their usual place; Your safety deposit box key is missing.
Unequal Input in the Marriage.
Marriage is a two-way street where both partners need to invest physically and emotionally. When one spouse doesn’t seem as invested in the marriage than the other, it may be a sign that the partner has checked out. If one spouse works overtime too often, doesn’t spend time with the family as he or she did in the past, or seems like a burden to the other, it may be a sign that the partner is mentally leaving the marriage.
Focus on Things Outside the Marriage.
A sign of an empty marriage is when one spouses start to compensate for the lack of growth in a marriage with things outside the marriage. Some couples compensate by pouring themselves to their children, so that child centered activity becomes the sole content of family life. Others pour themselves into their careers working late at night so that the time with others is minimized. This is also a precursor to infidelity by one spouse due to the emotional disconnect he or she may feel. Emotional satisfaction can often be sought with an affair outside the marriage.
There is no Conflict Resolution.
Couples who have not figured out a way to resolve their issues may be headed towards divorce. When one spouse or both resort to avoiding disagreements or conflicts, it may breed resentment that continues to build over time. With the stress of having children, and having less time to spend together, such resentment builds over time to become a cause for divorce.
Disaffection in the Marriage.
Lack of communication and conflict resolution is usually accompanied by withdrawal of affection. Divorcing people often say that they have “fallen out of love” and depending on how sour the relationship has become, one or both spouses doesn’t really like the other.