Secrets to a Happy Marriage

By Attorney Gregg Herman
July 30, 2012

It is not uncommon for me, as a divorce lawyer, to be asked what keeps marriages together.  A recent blog on Yahoo! addresses this question. (As an aside, the “epic marriage proposal” which is linked in the blog is wonderful!)

The “secrets” discussed in the article are consistent with my own observations.  While occasionally divorce is caused by physical or substance abuse or infidelity, in most cases I see, those are manifestations of a troubled relationship.  In most cases, where there is infidelity, it is a symptom, not a cause of a relationship gone bad.  The basic underlying “cause” of most divorces I see is, simply, incompatibility.

What causes this incompatibility then becomes the real question.  The answer is that people change.  Where the parties change sympathetically to one another, the marriage lasts.  Divorce occurs when one party changes and other does not or the change is unsympathetic to the change in the other party.

Counseling can be a significant help in understanding and dealing with this change, but it needs to be done early – before the parties truly become incompatible.

And, of course, the very nature of the essence of the people involved is critical.  Some people can handle change – both theirs and their partner’s – better than others.

So, there really are not any “secrets” except this: Marry the right person, that being someone who will accept your changes and whose change you can accept.

And, if knew how to predict that, I would be writing a book rather than this blog!

Attorney Gregg Herman is a founding partner of Loeb & Herman S.C. in Milwaukee, WI. He practices family law exclusively, and can be reached via e-mail or by calling (414) 272-5632.