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What Consistent Behaviors in Your Marriage May Lead to Divorce?

By Nottage and Ward on February 1, 2012

There are many potential factors that contribute to a divorce. The most common of these are usually infidelity, financial issues, and conflicting goals. Lying and cheating are obvious behaviors that can lead to divorce, but there are also a handful of less obvious behaviors which, if consistent, can end a marriage.

According to The Huffington Post, although there are countless reasons why a relationship ends, researchers identify five behaviors that, if repeated over time, have the power to end a marriage:

  1. Nagging – Repeatedly requesting that your spouse to do something, which they ignore, can lead to annoyance, frustration, and eventually resentment.
  2. Contempt – Openly disrespecting your spouse and/or committing other hurtful actions, such as name calling and putting him or her down.
  3. Criticism – Repeatedly attacking or complaining about your spouse’s character or personality instead of effectively discussing what is actually bothering you in a mature fashion.
  4. Stonewalling – Shutting down or withdrawing from the discussion or the relationship, whether physically, emotionally, or mentally. This can lead to resentment on both sides for long periods of time.
  5. Defensiveness – Always defending yourself when your spouse makes comments or criticisms about you, instead of openly discussing those comments or criticisms. This can also include consistently disagreeing with your spouse and/or issuing a complaint about them as a rebuttal.

All of these behaviors have the potential to build years of resentment, frustration, and unhappiness if they occur repeatedly. In fact, according to a Gottman Relationship Institute study of over 1,000 married couples, when the last four of the aforementioned behaviors are present in a marriage, that marriage has a 94 percent chance of failure.

Research studies and statistics, though helpful for an overall look at relationships, do not predict the future of every relationship. Divorce is usually the result of a combination of dozens, if not hundreds, of factors and is usually the last resort. But, unfortunately, some relationships just do not work anymore. If you are considering a divorce in Illinois, the experienced divorce lawyers in Chicago at the family law firm of Nottage and Ward can help you understand your legal rights and options. Call us at (312) 332-2915 for a consultation today.

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