When it comes to separation,
reasons why couples get divorced are varied, as well as the problems that might have led them there. While every couple and situation is different, divorce attorneys will tell you many of the couples they've worked with have some pretty interesting similarities. After all, nobody knows the inner workings of divorce as well as they do.
Divorced couples often have traits in common," Divorce Attorney Allison Maxim, owner of Maxim Law Firm, tells Bustle. "But it really depends on the type of divorce they had in the first place."
For instance, Maxim says, couples with children who settle their divorce by agreement and remain amicable after the fact will likely have the four following traits: good communication regarding shared assets or children; flexibility with visitation or parenting time schedules; overall good co-parenting where kids are put first; and a willingness to have open discussions or use mediation if a difficult issue arises.
On the other hand, couples with children who go through conflict-filled divorces where negativity and distrust still remains will likely have the following five traits: poor communication; inflexibility related to the children's time with each parent; denial about how they contributed to the conflict in the relationship; and fear or mistrust of their ex.
"Every divorce is different," she says. These are just some of the more typical commonalities she sees. Here are some other traits divorced couples have in common, according to other divorce lawyers.
communication is super important to have if you want a healthy and successful marriage. But could a lack of it really lead to divorce? According to Family Law Attorney, Raymond Hekmat, definitely. It's actually a trait many divorced couples have in common.
"I've had clients who have left their marriage because their partners were either not present to have productive discussions about their feelings, or would invalidate those feelings altogether," Hekmat tells Bustle. "Many times, these discussions are extremely difficult to have, but are necessary for a healthy relationship and marriage."
Along with a lack of good communication, Hekmat also says defensiveness is another common trait he's seen. "People
sometimes take things defensively when their partners express their feelings about the relationship in hopes of mending things," he says. "When someone takes comments defensively, rather than opening up the communication, it hinders the growth and communication between partners." So when one partner can't seem to ever get on the same page as the other, it's not hard to see why divorce became an option in the first place.
Keeping Finances A Secret
"This is something I repeatedly see in many failed marriages," Hekmat says. "The breadwinner of the family keeps all finances private, to the point that their spouse has absolutely no knowledge of the family assets, income, or debts." Since shared finances affect both partners in a marriage, keeping finances a secret from a partner is not a recipe for success.
One Partner Controlling The Other
Critical and controlling behavior can be definite relationship killers. According to Hekmat, it's a common trait he's witnessed among couples he's worked with.
"When someone is overly critical of their partner, the partner may have a continuous feeling that they are continuously failing as a partner which can lead to issues of depression and lack of self-respect," he says. "Nobody wants to be controlled by anyone or anything else, even more so their partner in life. I have seen many clients who escape their marriages in order to find themselves, and prove to themselves that they are worthy of love and success."
Viewing Marriage As A Work In Progress
Marriage and divorce is tough. Interestingly enough, renowned divorce attorney,
Vikki Ziegler tells Bustle, divorced couples come out of their marriages all believing marriage needs constant work.
"Couples that have been through a difficult breakup all say that marriage has its ups and downs," Ziegler says. "Unless you work on the marriage daily it will likely not survive."
For couples who've been through divorce, many realize just how hard marriage really can be, and it's a mindset they carry on to future relationships. Although they were not able to make a previous marriage work, they come out knowing the effort necessary to make their next partnership last.
Feeling Like They've Found Hope After An Extremely Tough Time
As Ziegler says, divorce can be an extremely harrowing experience. "It’s like fighting in a war zone," she says. "You get bruised and battered with little or no energy to move forward when it's over."
But time heals all wounds, and many people do come out of it more mature, confident, and ready to move forward. "This does, and I repeat does take time, self-improvement, therapy and the like, but [things can get better] and most divorcees have this common experience," she says.
Feeling A Renewed Sense Of Life
Many, if not most, divorced couples Ziegler has worked with end up finding a renewed energy post-divorce. "Many shed the emotional weight and emerge feeling better than ever," she says. "Afterwards, there's a drive and hunger to attract a new type of partner who you want to love and laugh with. I find that most people find (and wed) a new partner within three years after their divorce."
According to the attorneys above, there are definitely some common traits among couples who've been through divorce. In general, divorce isn't the end of the world. It may mean the ending of one chapter of your life, but as Ziegler suggests, it's just the beginning of the next.