It’s divorce season.
The antithesis to December’s engagement season, divorce filings begin to spike in January, peaking in February and March.
But it’s not the gloomy weather that does couples in.
It’s the post-holiday jolt back to reality that has them questioning their future together.
“What I find is that most people in December want to get through the holidays. Nobody wants a divorce summons put into their stocking,” Jacqueline Newman, a managing partner at a top New York City divorce law firm, told Business Insider.
But once the holiday glow has waned and spouses settle back into old habits, many people flock to Newman’s office to get a better idea of what a divorce would look like.
So how can you tell if you and your partner are on the precipice of a permanent split?
While there are no hard and fast rules — by no means do any of these indicators guarantee you’re destined for divorce — there are a few signs that could indicate you’re in troubled waters.
You stop talking
Newman often sees clients who have experienced a complete breakdown in communication. Spouses stop sharing their issues, let alone talk them through.
“It gets to a point where you’re not speaking anymore, and then you start to not care that you’re not speaking anymore,” she says. “Or one person cares and they get angry about it and the other person doesn’t want to deal with the anger because they’re exhausted or they have their own anger issues. That will lead to ultimately indifference.”
Your expectations of marriage aren’t met
Failed expectations of what marriage should like can leave spouses feeling unhappy or unfulfilled, a trend that especially holds true for men, in Newman’s experience. “It doesn’t pan out the way they want,” she says.
For example, after kids come into play, oftentimes one parent will want to stay home to take care of them, leaving the other parent as the sole breadwinner. While the money-earning spouse is under pressure to support the family themselves, the one who stays home feels the stress of raising kids and managing the household. This change in dynamic can cause both partners to lose sight of where the other is coming from.
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