Signs Your Marriage Could Be Headed for Divorce

A leading divorce-prediction researcher explains indicators that often lead to divorce.

Divorce Attorney St. Louis

Divorces are stressful. They can wreak havoc not only on the health of a relationship but also on the physical health of the family members. The emotional, mental and physical toll it takes can lead to a host of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, anxiety, cancer, heart diseases, etc.

Earlier, medical practitioners limited their diagnosis to the symptoms of medical conditions and treatment of those conditions. However, today, as some medical conditions have become a symptom of divorce, it has led medical practitioners to predict and counsel patients about the possibility of divorce, the risks divorce places on health, and even refer patients to counseling to prevent divorce and thus reduce the effect of these diseases. Recent research has highlighted the indicators that lead to divorce. In this article, we will discuss some of these indicators.

Positives to Negatives Ratio

In the United States, 50% of marriages stand the risk of divorce. With such alarming numbers, a leading divorce-prediction researcher, John Gottman (Psychology professor at the University of Washington) conducted a study on thousands of couples, noting positive and negative body language, facial expressions, and comments that can make or break a marriage.

According to his study, a successful marriage has a 5:1 ratio of positive to negative interactions. A drop in the positive ratio can increase the risk of divorce. Negative emotions, expressions and body language like criticism, contempt, stonewalling and defensiveness in any relationship are the strongest indicators of divorce.

Midlife Divorces

Another study that was conducted indicated that half of marriages end within the first seven years, midlife, or marriages that reach 14 to 20 years also have a risk of divorce. The 14 years study included 79 couples from Indiana that had been married for 4-5 years. By the end of four years, about 9% of the couples were divorced and at the end of the fourteen years of the study, about 28% of the couples were divorced. The study indicated that marriages ending in midlife indicated suppressed emotions that often lead to divorce.

Traditional Counseling Misconceptions

Traditional counseling includes many approaches that over time have become redundant or simply don’t work. For example, “Active Listening” a traditional counseling approach, often ends in the spouse agreeing to a complaint, showing that they “hear what their spouse has to say” and then repeating the same. In happy marriages, both spouses are more conscious of their actions that lead to arguments and know when to end one.

Traditional counseling also tells a couple to give up on the ‘idealized view of marriage.” However, this has been proved contrary. Couples having high expectations from their marriages lead to high quality married lives.

Other Factors that Indicate Impending Divorce

There are some other factors that can affect the quality of a marital relationship and increase the risks of divorce.

  • It is seen that marriages where the wife has very little or no influence over decision making have higher risks of divorce.
  • The risk of divorce is higher for women who marry younger men, whereas, marriages where men marry younger women seldom have issues.
  • Children also affect divorce risks. While the marital satisfaction drops by 70% in the first few years after children, they help keep the bonds of marriage strong in the long run.
  • Finally, couples that have the same arguments and the same problems have longer-lasting marriages due to the ‘acceptance’ therapy, where the couple accepts the negatives of each other over time.

All these are mere indicators of divorce and there can be different indicators for different couples. If you are considering divorce, you should speak with an experienced and compassionate St. Louis divorce lawyer.

St. Louis Divorce Attorney

Our legal practice is focused exclusively on family law and consists of a staff of experienced professionals who have immense knowledge of all the legal issues that can arise during a divorce. Hundreds of clients have been assisted with the issues of child custody, visitation, and support, as well as alimony, division of joint assets, and much more.

We are dedicated to providing our clients and their families with kind, personalized, and professional legal representation throughout the entire divorce process. Call us today at (314) 801-8488 or fill out our online contact form.