When it comes to love and marriage, the statistics are a bit harrowing. We’ve all heard the old warning that half of all marriages are doomed to fail. Although divorce rates have actually been decreasing in recent years, they remain significant enough to make people uneasy about committing.

As a divorce attorney, Alexandra Geczi has helped a lot of people work through one of the most emotionally volatile times in their lives and spared no effort to ensure that they benefited from the best possible outcome. In the process, she has gained valid insights into what leads so many couples to divorce in the first place. The reason why the divorce petition was filed does not always tell the whole story — the real issue is often the environment that fostered the marriage breakdown.

With that reality in mind, here are four relationship insights that practically all divorce attorneys have come to recognize.

Communication Is Key

A healthy relationship requires the ability to talk to one another in an honest and respectful way. When disagreements arise – and they will – it is important to clarify your needs and boundaries in a manner that does not accuse or put the other person on the defensive.

Perhaps your spouse is always working late or going to the bar with colleagues for a few drinks after work. Instead of complaining – “You never eat dinner with us anymore!” – own your feelings by saying something like, “I really miss having dinner with you and talking about our day.”

Remember that it works both ways. When your spouse has needs or concerns they want to respectfully discuss with you, listen with an open mind, and compromise if possible.

Have Realistic Expectations

Books, movies, and fairytale weddings can all instill in us a set of unrealistic expectations. Time and experience usually help us debunk most of them, but there are others that can linger and prove toxic to your relationship.

One of them is relying on your partner or spouse to meet all your needs. You expect them to know what’s on your mind without having to tell them first, and many partners become frustrated and angry when they don’t. Another problematic trend is to expect an almost-spiritual level of perfection. We’re human beings, and as such, we are all flawed and make mistakes.

Life is not a Hallmark movie. It has its up and downs, and so do the best relationships. When you accept that and are prepared to have a mature and empathetic response to the difficult times, then your relationship will be all the better for it.

Be Willing to Compromise

Even if you’re with the person of your dreams, you will inevitably run into situations where your wants and needs don’t perfectly match. Unless you’re both willing to compromise when this happens, the relationship can easily be weakened by discord, miscommunication, and dissatisfaction.

The solution is to learn how to best meet your partner’s different needs without being compelled to sacrifice your own. Try to meet them in the middle, or offer to do things their way this time if they return the favor next time. For example, if your spouse really wants to go to their parents’ home for Christmas Day, you could agree but ask that you both spend New Year’s with your family.

Don’t Take the Other Person for Granted

Although many people passively accept being taken for granted as part and parcel of being in a long-term relationship, no one likes it. Sooner or later, resentment will start to creep in.

When you’ve been together a long time, you’re going to be more comfortable with each other, but this doesn’t mean that your relationship has to lose its luster. Think about how you and your partner treated each other at the beginning, and what mattered to you as a couple. Perhaps it was saying “I love you” a lot, praising one another for accomplishments, or having a romantic dinner once a week. Identify these cherished traditions, and keep them up.

No one is perfect. Not you and not your spouse or partner. There is always a lot of work involved in maintaining a relationship with someone, but good communication skills, realistic expectations, and a willingness to solve problems together can make the results well worth it. At Alexandra Geczi, PLLC, we wish you and your partner all the best as you continue to build your life together. If you ever need a divorce attorney, you know who to call!