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Insights from Inside the Happy Marriage of the Diva of Divorce

by Arlan Kardon

1. A marriage is like a dog talking to a chicken — you’re speaking different languages, so be patient and work at the communication skills of talking to a Martian. If you can work through the dog and chicken thing, you’ll be married forever.
2. Say “I love you” every day through your words or actions.
3. Remember to say “thank you,” whether it’s for dinner, a present or opening a car door.
4. Understand the difference between the man who forgets one birthday and the spouse who chronically forgets every occasion. The latter is a sign of insensitivity. They must be told as it happens, not three days after the fact!
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff, like a husband who doesn’t call during the work day or a wife’s nagging. It is momentary, unlike a tattoo, which is a permanent reminder of pain.
6. Recognize the big stuff, such as a spouse who is controlling with money or emotions or who is demeaning in public. This never changes; it is chronic.
7. Beware of the spouse who is unwilling to see that there is a problem or be part of the change needed to solve it.
8. Inattention is a symptom of neglect. Worry when your husband or wife is always working, at the gym or out with friends. A private investigator is a waste of funds; you can read the writing on the wall.

Arlan Kardon is chair of the Domestic Relations Practice at Dolchin, Slotkin & Todd, and is admitted to practice in New York and Pennsylvania. In 2004 and 2005, she was cited as one of Pennsylvania’s Top 50 Woman Lawyers. She is a lecturer in her field for the Pennsylvania Bar Associations and was a lecturer for Temple University’s LLM program.