Throughout the years, as a divorce attorney in DC I have heard lots of crazy things. Tons of brilliant professionals make poor choices in their personal lives, and I guess part of the problem may be that we place so much emphasis on our work here in the nation’s capitol, that when things get difficult at home, many of us just focus on work, where we have a high probability of being rewarded for our efforts. Unfortunately, avoiding problems at home does not make them go away, it just makes them get worse.

Often I have had couples tell me that things were already tense before they ever had children, but they thought starting a family would make them bond. Seriously- how can any rational person think that adding sleepless nights, raging hormones and a million more responsibilities to the mix would make things better? Don’t get me wrong, kids are wonderful, but they are hard work, and they usually cause a lot of stress in adult relationships.

In the dating world, I have heard people suggest that marriage might be the solution to stopping all the bickering. Again, how can anyone think that if a couple is incapable of getting along while they are supposed to be on their best behavior that things will improve once they are living together 24/7 without any safe havens they can escape to for a few days to decompress?

Staying in sync with someone beyond the “honeymoon phase” is hard work. It is challenging to give up independance and autonomy in order to be in a relationship, and when things are difficult, it is best not to try and take on more responsibility in other areas, but rather allow yourself the time and space to think through the problem rationally, generate options, and then work on a mutually agreeable solution with your partner.

If you are not sure you are seeing things clearly, ask some objective friends that you can count on for great insight. Those of us that are detached from the situation are far more able to see things clearly, and hopefully will point out your faulty logic. No matter what, just know that you are not alone–I am surrounded by it on a daily basis.