It can be a shock when parents decide to divorce, and while some divorces seem completely out of the blue, others don't come as much of a surprise. Although it's hard to really know what marriages will last, there are some interesting signs that can indicate your parents are headed for divorce. If you feel like your parents' marriage is rocky, it can be helpful to pay attention to these signs, as they not only can help prepare you for what's to come, but they can also make you aware of the mistakes to avoid in your own marriage down the line.
"How each couple handles conflict will look different," says Melody Li, licensed couples therapist (LMFTA), over email. "Some couples may yell and scream but will make up promptly after. Other couples may appear calm and collected but may be harboring resentment or distance between them. What’s most important to remember here is that it’s not the children’s responsibility to check or ensure that the parents' marriage is okay."
Whether you just want to be realistic about your family situation or you're trying to take not for your own future, here are eight interesting signs that your parents will get divorced.
1They Only Discuss Business
"One subtle sign that someone's parents are likely to get divorced is if their parents strictly discuss much more 'business-related' topics, like paying the bills," says Christene Lozano, LMFT over email. Typically, this means they no longer have many interests in common and only discuss things they have to.
2They Spend Nights Away After Fights
"Another sign is if one or both of the parents spend several evenings away from the home after an argument," says Lozano. Every couple fights sometimes, but it's cause for alarm if one parent suddenly goes MIA.
3They Don't Share Laughs
"A sign that someone's parents are likely to get divorced is if the parents stop laughing and joking with one another," says Lozano. "When parents are on the verge of divorce, they naturally aren't joking around with one another."
4They're Short With One Another
Parents headed for divorce often appear to be more short with one another or avoid one another. "There may be elevated tension or conflict that keep parents from wanting to communicate due to fear and frustration from arguing," says Lozano.
5Someone Else Is Always Around
Has someone else been hanging around with your parents much more often? "Emotional affairs may be getting closer to the marriage," says Bahar. "For example, a friend, associate or even family member is getting more visible in the marriage family unit."
6They're Taking More Interest In Their Appearance
"Either spouse may begin taking interest in appearance, most likely because they are getting attention from an outside source other than their spouse," says Lisa Bahar, MA, CCJP, LMFT, LPCC over email. "This is due to not feeling desired sexually or emotionally, or their interest in appearance is to continue to get that attention they are lacking in the marriage."
7They Take Separate Vacations
Happy couples want to spend all their free time together. Although it's okay for parents to have their own lives with their friends, all their vacations shouldn't be spent apart.
8They Spend Long Hours At Work
It's not a good sign if your parents spend exceptionally long hours at work. "Generally, there is something of greater interest to keep spouse away from home, for example, an emotional affair," says Bahar.