Dealing with the end of a marriage can be a very difficult time for Illinois couples. Avoiding a divorce can be a primary priority, and there can be some common social beliefs and myths that can intensify pressure on a couple and work to undermine their marriage. Keeping some of these myths in mind can potentially work to protect a marriage before irreconcilable differences develop.

Couples receive extensive messages from society in general, as well as from family and friends, about what a marital relationship should look and feel like. For example, many people urge couples to practice active listening and the use of “I” statements to resolve differences, but studies have shown that the use of particular communication techniques did not necessarily impact the level of happiness in a marriage. Instead, underlying approaches and principles can be much more important than the phrasing used in a conflict.

People all have their own quirks, flaws and baggage. Expecting others to alter their fundamental makeup can be a fruitless attempt; instead, mutual respect and tolerance can go a long way. Another common problem that can arise in a marriage is score-keeping, or the expectation that all efforts will always be shared 50/50. Of course, both parties should try to have equal amounts of care and commitment, but physical, financial and other types of obligations can shift widely over the course of a lengthy marriage.

While keeping these guidelines in mind can help to protect a relationship that is healthy overall, they can also underline the importance of ending a relationship that is beyond repair. When it is time for a divorce, complex matters like child custody, spousal support and property division can and will arise. A family law attorney can work to protect a divorcing spouse’s interests and secure a fair, just settlement.