How do you prevent divorce and keep your relationship happy? Relationship experts agree: It's all about the little things that happen every day. Over time, these can build up and create irreconcilable differences.
According to law firms, 1 in 10 divorces are caused by bad habits that become addictions. JMW Solicitors mentioned gambling, alcoholism, shopping, and pornography as some of the prime reasons for divorce. But it starts long before that. Spouses claimed lack of respect and lower personal hygiene caused a rift in a married couple's relationship.
"Research shows that there are a lot of little things people do that can indicate serious problems in relationships," says Carrie Cole, a couples therapist from Texas.
Although it seems bleak, couples can stop divorce in its tracks by changing certain behaviors. According to The Telegraph, approximately 13,000 marriages could be saved if both people commit to breaking bad habits.
Here are 7 things you need to stop doing in your marriage:
1. Trash Talking Behind Your Spouse's Back
A frustrated comment to your office buddies about your wife or hubby might seem innocent, but in reality it paves the way for issues down the line. "Women may fall into this habit if they're surrounded by people doing the same thing," Carrie Cole says. "If your close group of girl friends are constantly talking poorly about their own husbands, it may feel more normal for you to chime in and say, 'You think yours is bad? Listen to mine.'"
Complaining about your spouse can fuel negative thoughts and promote anger towards him or her. "It shows a lack of respect for him and your connection, even if he never finds out," Carrie says.
2. Fighting When Emotions are Running High
Beware, because an emotion-driven fight usually doesn't end well. Extreme anger, frustration, or sadness can cause either partner to say something they'll regret. Not only that, but experts say women are often the first ones to "raise issues aggressively."
Research shows that women tend to react emotionally to situations, whereas men will often let their emotions "settle down" and think about the conflict before reacting. Regardless, it's always a good idea to pause before a fight before chewing out your partner.
3. Not Greeting Each Other When You Leave or Return
Remember the days when the two of you had romantic hellos and goodbyes? Maybe you've been together a long time, and "Honey, I'm home" doesn't seem to matter all that much. Wrong! One of the key ways to keep your marriage healthy is to always acknowledge each other, especially during leaving and coming home.
“Make a point to say hello with a kiss when you come home from work — not just a quick peck on the cheek — to truly say hello and convey good feeling and happiness at seeing your partner at the end of the day,” says relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer.
Go to the next page to see more telltale signs your marriage is headed for the rocks.