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'Red flags' that Texans should watch out for in their marriages

The decision by one or both spouses to end their marriage rarely happens suddenly. One family law attorney notes that there are many "red flags" that a marriage could be in trouble. However, too many people ignore or don't recognize them until they become serious issues that leave the relationship irretrievably damaged.

Several of these red flags involve changes in how a couple communicates. For example, constant criticism by one or both people, often over minor things, can be a warning sign. Continuous negativity towards and degrading of your spouse can signal that the relationship needs some help.

While constant negative communication is unhealthy, so is not communicating. When one or both spouses stop sharing their thoughts and feelings, that can be a bad sign. While constant negativity isn't good, neither is not mentioning things that bother you. That's particularly true if you used to be open about these things.

If one or both of you always needs to win an argument, that can be a bad sign. For some people, winning the argument becomes more important than what they are actually arguing about. It demonstrates a need for control and dominance over your spouse.

Some couples discover in the process of raising a family or just going through life that they have different values and priorities. While no two people see eye-to-eye on everything, it's very difficult to live together as a couple when you have different core beliefs.

Lastly, spouses who are no longer interested in sex can be a red flag. No couple can be honeymooners throughout their entire marriage. However, if neither person cares about intimacy anymore, it should be something to look at.

Some of these issues can be avoided by being truly observant of the person you're in a relationship with or by going to counseling together before you get married. Many couples don't want to do either of those because they're blissfully in love and don't want to start looking for problems. However, if they're there, it's likely that they'll show up eventually.

If you are seriously contemplating ending your marriage, an experienced Texas family law attorney can offer guidance to help you prepare legally as well as financially to take the step. You can never predict how a spouse will respond, so it's essential to start looking out for your own interests before you file for divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, "What Causes Divorce: 5 Red Flags to Watch Out for" Steve Mindel, Jan. 29, 2015

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