Elliot Polland has been practicing divorce law since 1968, and he's seen it all, from lovers' quarrels to full-blown implosions of people who wish they'd never said "I do."
We asked Polland to share the most common pitfalls he sees couples experience — and how to avoid them.
#1 Lack of communication
It's important to resolve disagreements right away and not let resentment build. Polland recommends taking time in the evening to right any wrongs that may have occurred during the course of the day.
"There's an old saying, 'Never go to bed angry with each other,' and I think that's true," he said.
#2 Ignoring red flags
"You have to be diligent in making sure that your relationship with your spouse hasn't gone awry," Polland said.
He described "aberrant or unusual behaviour," such as changing passwords, making or receiving calls at hours that don't seem appropriate, or a sudden wardrobe overhaul, as tell-tale signs of an affair.
"Sometimes if you catch it early, you can resolve the relationship," he said. "The longer that extramarital relationship continues, the harder it is to unravel it."
#3 Choosing the wrong partner in the first place
"A lot of times people choose somebody for the wrong reasons," Polland said. "You've got to have a solid foundation in the relationship so that the relationship can continue when some of the other factors start to erode."
It's a fact that many marriages end in divorce. There are all sorts of reasons for this and the process, even in a "conscious uncoupling" where both parties agree to remain on friendly terms, there is a lot of pain and heartache. Some social commentators point to the ease of divorce being the reason so many marriages breakdown. But how do you get divorced?