London divorce solicitors are all too used to dealing with the breakdown of marriages, so what goes wrong?
The waiting room of a family lawyer in London often isn’t the happiest of places. Even if it’s too late to learn from your own experiences and save your marriage, though, someone else can learn from yours. A divorce solicitor sees many people come and go and hears all the stories of what works — and what doesn’t.
So how do you avoid the waiting room and lead a long and happily married life? Whether you’re just starting the rest of your life with someone, or you already have your tin, silver, or golden anniversaries under your belt, it’s never too soon to learn something new and start applying it in your daily lives. From your engagement to your mortgage and first home together, to the birth and upbringing of your children, here are a family lawyer in London’s tips for a long and happy marriage.
Sign a Prenup — and Yes, They Can Be Romantic
Finances are the leading cause of stress in relationships. Whether they’re caused by different incomes, different outgoings, or a buildup of resentment about the poor distribution of income and effort that’s in your marriage, financial disagreements are never pretty. If you’re planning on proposing, or if you’ve popped the question and are planning your wedding, a prenup is as important as house insurance.
A prenup lays out both of your expectations about what belongs to each of you, and what’s shared that should be divided. In the unfortunate event that the marriage breaks down, the prenup will help the court to decide who gets what. A prenup should be written with the security of both parties in mind.
Lifestyle clauses are also becoming increasingly popular. While these aren’t legally enforceable, it’s a good way to sit down together and work out your expectations of one another in a relationship. These are made popular by celebrities, such as Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, who added infidelity clauses to their prenuptial agreement.
When you sit down with your family lawyers in London to work out what both of you want, it’s a great time to plan the boundaries of your future and make sure you’re on the same page. When married, it will give you extra security to know that things are taken care of already if something goes wrong. They may not seem the most romantic thing, but phrased gently and approached lovingly and respectfully, it can be more planning your future, than expecting a breakup.
Keep Some Things Separate — From Friends to Finances
As mentioned above, financial stress often plays a big role in break-ups. There’s no easy way to solve this; separate bank accounts may not be the answer, but neither may joint ones. As shown when different couples are asked how they handle their finances and what works, transparency and communication are key.
You may want to share everything with someone else, but keeping your own hobbies, friends and interests is important if you want a successful marriage. These are the things that develop you as an individual, which is what makes you attractive to the other person. When you stop developing yourself, you stop developing your relationship and you risk losing the passion in your marriage.
Learn to Communicate Early On
If you can communicate about your finances and hobbies with each other, communication on other matters should also be easy. Communication in a marriage is something that has to be learned, though, rather than considered automatic. We spend so much time online — messaging, texting, Facebooking — that we often forget to really be present with the other person. It’s so easy to read the wrong tone in a message that you read on a screen. A lot of arguments between couples could have been saved simply by picking up the phone and communicating — yet we rarely do this, because it feels like we’re in contact all the time.
We’re facing a breakdown in communication in our generation, as social media is giving us an escape from the problems in our lives. Excessive Facebook use has been proven to cause divorces and break-ups, so if you feel like you never really communicate your needs to each other and get heard, it’s time to start before a family lawyer in London is hearing you instead.
Make Time For Each Other
When he went undercover to discover why married women have affairs, relationship expert Charles J. Orlando discovered that not feeling appreciated or like attention was being paid to them were the leading causes. Complacency, and forgetting to still make the effort that sparked each other’s flames in the early days, is a quick way to lose satisfaction with each other and your marriage.
Making time for each other can mean anything from making time to be intimate in the bedroom, to making time to be intimate in your conversations. Find someone who can look after the kids for the weekend every few months so you can both go away and remember how to be with each other. You’ll then avoid the ’empty nest syndrome’ which divorce lawyers in London see breaking up so many married couples. When their children head off to college, couples realise they no longer recognise each other or know what to do together. By the time you realise and try to fix things, it can be too late, so make time for each other now, whatever it takes.
If you have a happy marriage, now more than ever is the time to put the work in. Remember the reasons you fell in love and what you used to do with each other to show your appreciation, then check in with yourself that you’re still doing so. By communicating and showing your appreciation, you’ll be in for a long and happy life together.
*This is a collaborative post*