People often ask me, mostly out of curiosity, what is the number one reason that couples get separated or divorced. They are all sure what the answer is:
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It’s money, right? The declining real estate prices, right? The increase and expense of buying everything, right? Rising gas prices at the pump, right?. You know that must put a tremendous financial burden on people. So it has to be money, right? WRONG!


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“OK, then it must be infidelity. They are having affairs and their marriage can’t work because they are already in another relationship. That’s got to be the number one reason. They are cheating. WRONG!


One day, I was having work done in my kitchen. We were building a fireplace and I hired a mason from Portugal, a nice guy, good worker with a very heavy accent. He had been married for 30 years, so I said, “Luis, let me ask you a question. You have been married for a really long time. What is the secret to a long marriage?” And he said, “No secret. I no talk her. She no talk me.” I paused for a minute and said “What do you mean? You don’t communicate with each other?” He said, “No. We no speak each other many years.


The number one reason people get divorced is no communication.


They don’t talk to each other. Their marriage/relationship has deteriorated over time. They no longer share the experiences in their lives with each other. They don’t talk about their feelings with each other. They don’t express their worries or concerns to each other. The only conversations they have are what I call the “pants on fire” issues; they don’t talk to each other until they see “flames shooting out.” This lack of communication is really the number one reason.
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The husband and wife have stopped being intimate with each other. They get up in the morning, go to work, and barely speak to each other. Usually one works very long hours, ostensibly to earn more money, but it is also to avoid being with the other spouse. When they come home from work, they grab their dinner, sit in front of the TV, pass out on the couch, and go to bed, often in separate bedrooms. This is what their marriage has been reduced to.

Everyone has the right to be happy and in a relationship where they can share things with their partner. They can communicate, discuss concerns, bounce ideas off one another and get feedback, so that they don’t feel like they are living alone.

Having a good relationship means you have to work on communication and THAT is the secret to a long and successful marriage. And one that is not just long in duration but one in which you communicate with each other and share everything that a married couple should share. All the good, bad and “What was I thinking when I did that?”


That’s what makes a successful marriage.


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Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: