The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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4 Signs That Your Illinois Marriage Is Heading Toward a Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorney

When you first tie the knot, you have this idea of living happily ever after with your new spouse and that a good marriage will come easily and naturally. What many people do not realize, however, is that a strong and happy marriage is the result of years of communication, trust, and a lot of growth. There are arguments and conflict in every relationship; it is not necessarily conflict itself that is the marker of a marriage that will end in divorce. Conflict can be healthy because it can help ensure both you and your spouse’s needs are being met, but that conflict has to be dealt with in a healthy way. Psychologists say that there are four specific behaviors that take place in a matrimonial union that together can be a telltale sign of a broken marriage that is headed toward divorce. 


This refers to the act of attacking your spouse’s character, rather than giving him or her feedback on something he or she did that you did not like. For example, your spouse might have a habit of leaving damp towels laying on the floor after showering. Asking, “Why are you so lazy?” rather than telling him or her that it bothers you and asking him or her to hang them up to dry instead is an example of criticism. Calling your spouse lazy is attacking his or her character and not his or her behavior. This can lead to deeper feelings of resentment and contempt, which is one of the four signs that a divorce is imminent. 


Of the four signs, contempt is perhaps the most complex. Contempt is a mixture of anger, disgust, frustration, and superiority. A healthy marriage cannot possibly exist if one spouse is contemptuous toward the other because it means that you have closed yourself off to your spouse’s needs and emotions. Behaviors such as eye-rolling, name-calling, hurtful sarcasm, insensitive joking, sneering in disgust, as well as putting your partner and others down are all considered contemptuous behaviors.


It is normal to want to protect yourself if you feel like you are being attacked, but defensiveness arises when you perceive an attack from your partner for something that you did yourself. It allows you to take the blame off of yourself and naturally tune your partner out, not hearing anything he or she is saying to you. This can lead to you making excuses, blaming him or her, and not taking responsibility for your role in the conflict.


Perhaps the nail in the coffin of your marriage, stonewalling occurs when you or your partner completely withdraw from communication as a strategy or coping mechanism for conflict. Stonewalling can appear in a vast format; it can involve physically leaving a room or area or completely shutting down. Examples of stonewalling behaviors include giving your spouse the “silent treatment,” short single-word phrase responses, changing the subject, and storming out. 

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney Today

It can be sad to think that your marriage is over, but if you and your spouse are exhibiting the above behaviors, a divorce may be in your best interest. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams. P.C., we are equipped to help you with every aspect of your divorce, from property division to child custody to spousal support. To schedule a private consultation with our knowledgeable Geneva divorce lawyer, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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