Video:5 Common Causes for Discord in a Marriagewith Dr. Paul Hokemeyer
Divorce is a serious issue. In this video from About.com, licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Paul Hokemeyer,talks about 5 signs a marriage might be in trouble.See Transcript
Transcript:5 Common Causes for Discord in a Marriage
Hi, I'm Dr. Paul Hokemeyer, I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist in New York City. I'm here for About.com to talk about the five common things that cause discord in a marriage.
Factors That Help Determine Whether a Couple is Heading for Divorce
To determine whether a couple is heading for divorce, I look for the following five things. The first thing is: do you fantasize a lot about life without your spouse? The second thing is, are you having sex? If you're not having sex, there's no intimacy in your relationship. The third thing is do the costs exceed the benefits of a relationship? The fourth thing is, do you have a hard time tolerating your spouse? Have you lost the capacity to empathize with them or feel compassion for them? And the fifth thing is, do you feel like you're the only one who is trying to solve the problem?
Are You Fantasizing About Life Without Your Spouse?
It's perfectly normal for all of us to think about life without our spouses. But if you're spending a significant amount of time fantasizing about it, and you're using that to make yourself feel better a majority of the time, then that's a sign that your marriage is in trouble.
Are You Being Intimate?
If you're not having sex in your relationship, that's another sign. Intimacy is very important to a relationship, and sex brings intimacy and trust to a relationship. If a relationship no longer has trust, vulnerability or intimacy in it, then a relationship is heading for divorce.
Do the Costs of Marriage Exceed the Benefits?
Do the costs of a marriage exceed the benefits? Take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, and list out the costs of the marriage, and then list out the benefits. If the list of costs exceeds the lists of benefits, then your marriage is heading for trouble.
Is There Compassion?
Another thing we need to look for is one spouse is having a hard time being compassionate toward another. Compassion is what makes us closer to another person, and what makes us able to be there for another person. If your relationship is in a such state that you no longer have compassion for your spouse, for their struggles in life, for their stresses, for the pain they experience, then it's critically urgent that you get help for your relationship, because it's definitely heading towards trouble.
Do You Feel Like You're the Only One Trying?
If you feel like you're the only one who is trying to solve the problems in your relationship, then your marriage is heading for a divorce. In working on a relationship, both parties need to be present, and both parties need to participate in finding a solution. If you constantly feel like you're going toward a well that's empty and dry, your relationship is going to end up in divorce, because you need that compassion, you need that collaboration with a spouse to move forward with your relationship in a healthy constructive way.
So in closing I want you to remember that just because you have some of these things in your relationship doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to get divorced, it's signs indicating that you're heading towards a divorce.
For more information about these signs, please visit About.com