Divorces rarely happen out of the blue. Couples don’t go from happy and content one day, to filing papers the next. Typically there is a long build-up to divorce, even though one party may be oblivious to it and think everything is fine.
Noticing the warning signs gives you an opportunity to try and save your marriage or to start preparing if you think it is already too late. Consider these:
The ratio of good or bad interactions is tilted to the negative
One researcher looked into the ratio of positive to negative interactions between married couples. He found:
- Happy couples had 20 positive interactions to every negative one
- Conflicted couples had a five-to-one ratio
When they were close to divorcing the ratio was 0.8 to one. That’s to say they had slightly more negative interactions than positive ones.
You feel unhappy most of the time or for a long period
While unhappiness can occur for many reasons, prolonged unhappiness is a serious problem. If you are not sure whether it is your marriage or something else making you feel that way, consider getting counseling.
You avoid each other as much as possible
Remember when you were a kid and your parents or teachers told you that if you have nothing nice to say then it’s better to not say anything at all? Some married couples find themselves in this situation and go to elaborate lengths to avoid having to say anything to each other. They alter their schedules or fill them up with other things just so they do not need to spend time together.
If these signs sound familiar, maybe it is time to get legal help to learn more about how a divorce would work given the specifics of your situation.