Divorce leaves many people wondering if they should’ve seen it coming. Often, divorce comes as a surprise—even to people who know their marriages aren’t happy. Once your spouse has broken the news and you’ve found a Toronto divorce lawyer, you’ll have time to reflect: could you have seen the signs, and if you had, could you have prevented your divorce?

Common Divorce Predictors

Aside from extramarital affairs, domestic violence and other unmistakable signs, it’s tough to foretell divorce—especially because divorce isn’t a guaranteed outcome. While your Toronto divorce lawyer will tell you that no two breakups are identical, many marriages heading down the path to divorce share common themes and events, including:

  • Constant negativity. When the glass is always half-empty and never half-full, it’s tough to flip things around. Couples who deal with constant negativity often end up talking to Toronto divorce lawyers in an attempt to escape to greener pastures.
  • Contempt. When one party in a marriage feels contempt for the other, that marriage is at risk for divorce. Couples who just don’t like each other often stop communicating and stop trying to move their relationship forward.
  • The desire to “win” at all costs. When you or your spouse must “win” every argument like it’s a major battle, even when your relationship will suffer as a result, you may be closer to divorce than you think.
  • Looking for faults. If you or your spouse could make a career out of finding the other party’s faults and applying them to their every action, you might be well on your way to a Toronto divorce lawyer’s office.
  • Emotional withdrawal. When one or both parties in a marriage withdraw emotionally, it’s generally a good predictor of divorce. Someone who is truly emotionally withdrawn isn’t bothered by disagreements, doesn’t express a desire to have his or her needs met by their partner and behaves thoughtlessly toward the other party.

Notice that arguments, even frequent ones, aren’t an accurate predictor of divorce. Fighting can actually be healthy for couples; as long as fights are fair and the couple makes up and moves on, most marriages are strengthened by the occasional argument.

What Your Toronto Divorce Lawyer Might Say

Many people are blindsided by divorce. If you didn’t see it coming, don’t blame yourself. Although some of these signs are easy for an outside party to spot, they can be almost impossible to see when you’re emotionally involved.

That said, you might still question yourself; that’s perfectly normal. If you’re having a hard time making sense of things, ask your Toronto divorce lawyer if he or she can recommend a local counselor or therapist who can help you gain fresh perspective and let go of any guilt you might be feeling.