Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

doomed

Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

When you see a disaster is eminent, the best plan is to get out before it’s too late. After that, it’s all triage. Nowhere else is this truer than when entering into a bad marriage—the consequences of which can follow you for years. Sometimes we’re blinded by love. At other times, something arises that cannot be reconciled. Either way, when the divorce is final, we often look for easy things to blame. We feel confused, overwhelmed, hurt and angry. But usually there are many things that lead to the decline and dissolution of such a relationship. Enjoy love but keep on the lookout for important warning signs. You may be able to duck a bad situation or likely recognize when your relationship is heading south. Do you remember your first fight? Few couples do. Well, maybe some women do. In any case, lots of couples fight about the same things, money being the topmost issue, confirmed in several studies. But if you start fighting about money early on, say as you’re boarding the plane on the way to your honeymoon, the marriage could be in trouble. That’s according to research out of Kansas State University. That’s because arguments about money early on affected the marriage even years later. Fighting about money was the “top predictor for divorce” regardless of socio-economic status or income level.

If you got married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas at the spur of the moment, surprise–you might not make it. But if you dated for three years before deciding to get married, you have a 39% less likelihood of seeing the inside of a divorce court, according to researchers out of Emory University. Couples who dated for three years had far better odds than those who dated for less than a year. Are you both teetotalers? Or perhaps you both like to party until the wee hours. If you’re drinking habits diverge sharply, your relationship might soon too, so say University of Buffalo researchers. If one spouse drank heavily, the couple was more likely to get divorced. But the same results weren’t true when both partners tipped the glass often. Apparently, it’s the mismatch rather than the habit that causes strife.

Did you two talk about a prenup before marriage? If so, you are more than likely to keep your money when you two go your separate ways. That’s because the longevity of the marriage isn’t the utmost concern to both parties. Couples that don’t share a bank account are 145% more likely to divorce, says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The reason is financial generosity and sharing is conducive to marriage. It makes you a unit. Keeping things for yourself and separate is not, though of course we all need some individuality. Still, complete separateness denotes something. How much did you blow on the wedding? Some events seem to cost more than a mortgage nowadays. But one Emory University study found that the more you spend on the wedding, the less likely you will have staying power. That’s because spending more gave each elevated expectations for the marriage. When you aren’t ready for problems when they inevitably strike, there are no coping strategies set aside to deal with them. Those who coughed up $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than those who spent $5,000-$10,000. Social networking sites have us all interconnected. They influence us more than we think. In fact, one study published in “Social Forces” Journal found that if a friend or neighbor got divorced, that person was 75% more likely to get divorced themselves. For ways to make you marriage strong whether entering into or already in the thick of it read, The Marriage Guide Book: How to Make Your Marriage Thrive by Vanessa Pagan.

Should you have a Prenuptial Agreement?

prenup

A prenuptial agreement is a legal document signed by both parties previous to them getting married. In that states what assets they came to the marriage with and what will go to which partner should they end up divorced at some point in their future. Since the division of assets is one of the most contentious points in a divorce, a prenuptial agreement, or prenup as it is called is meant to act as a modicum of protection. Some people feel they are necessary in a social climate where 50% of marriages end up in divorce. Others believe that it is setting a wedding off on a negative tone. It may plant the seed that the marriage is doomed to fail, instead of encouraging the couple to work on the marriage and get through difficult situations, so say detractors. If you are planning to get married, should you have a prenuptial agreement? And how do you know if it is right for you? Remember that both parties have to sign the document for a prenup to go into effect (wikihow.com). So discuss the pros and cons with your partner and see if it is right for both of you.

Often when one member of a couple has a significant income or net worth, they want to protect it. If that person has children from a previous marriage, or others involved who stand to gain or lose out due to a contested divorce, a prenup may put those others at ease and help them to accept the marriage. How do you two interact with one another? Is this a marriage of deep love and commitment or one of convenience? Is this a trophy wife or husband or a partner whom you plan to spend the rest of your life with? These issues should be considered carefully. Even when the relationship is solid, many people get a prenup just in case. There is no shame in doing this. But you need to talk with your future partner to see how they feel. Do some soul searching, too. Research prenups online. If you are ready or want to find out more, do some research on attorneys in your area who handle prenuptial agreements and make an appointment. Make sure the attorney you choose is respectable and has a good reputation. Many times attorneys will give you one free session. See if you can come with your spouse-to-be and get all of your questions answered before deciding to move ahead. If you decide a prenuptial agreement is for you, stick with your decision. Don’t back out of it.

Recently Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome (RAIDS)

RAIDS

When affluent partners divorce, there’s the possibility that one party will have to pay alimony or spousal support to the other.  This often occurs when one party makes most if not all of the family’s income while the other either doesn’t work at all or earns a very small percentage of the family’s total income.  When the more affluent spouse is told to pay a percentage of his or her income to the ex-spouse, this demand is very often met with adversity.  It’s natural that any person wouldn’t want to be financially responsible for another who is no longer involved in their lives.  Some in this situation are so against the idea of having to pay this kind of money that they purposefully find a way to make substantially less income in an attempt to alter the payments.

This phenomenon has been termed Recently Acquired Income Deficiency Syndrome or RAIDS.  The more affluent party claims that they no longer make enough money to pay such high amounts of alimony and or child support, bringing about the need for a renegotiation of payment amount.  A divorce case was brought up in the New York Law Journal where a husband paying alimony suddenly was making substantially less money from when he was still with his wife.  A ruling was made based on what is called the “present income” rule, whereby a spouse pays less in alimony based on a drop in income.  It was also noted in the article that if a court believes a person to have voluntarily created a situation where they made less money in an alleged effort to pay less alimony that a court would not simply allow that person to pay less support.  If in the situation where you’re the person being paid support and you believe your ex has voluntarily placed him or herself in a situation in an attempt to pay you less, be sure to gather as much evidence as you can to support this claim.

“Everyone has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

Everyone has a plan

Expect the unexpected, be prepared, and look at each situation from multiple angles to prepare yourself for various outcomes.  All of this sounds like good advice that we’ve heard before, but of course we always want our plans to work out flawlessly.  Most people go into a marriage without a plan for divorce because the intent is to be united with this other person until the end.  When there are talks of prenuptial agreements, many find this to be “unromantic” or view it as preparing for the worst, almost as though it’s dooming the marriage to failure.

For those of us who have gone through a divorce without a plan of action for if/when the marriage would end, however, we now realize that a prenuptial agreement would have been helpful to say the least.  Learning from the failed marriage, we must also see that we cannot fully predict how the divorce proceedings will play out either.  We may not get what we want and there could be an unexpected turn of events that leaves us paralyzed as to what our next move should be.  Not that we should anticipate for the worst to happen to us, but we should know that we’re not immune to losses.  Being prepared can be your best weapon in any situation.  Getting punched in the mouth will still hurt, but you’ll already have a plan for how to get back up and continue fighting.