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Why People Separate:
The Top Ten Reasons from the Diva of Divorce

by Arlan Kardon

Beware! This list could be depressing, but remember that time invested in therapy and ample communication with your spouse.

1. Getting married for the wrong reasons. If you had to beg him to marry you, you probably don 't want him anyway. If you ever hear these words from your lips, “sweetheart, we 've been dating for five years and I 'm not getting any younger. Marry me or we're over,” start running fast in the other direction.
2. Baggage. Everyone is shaped by how they grew up and some people bring so much unchecked baggage that it ruins their marriage. Remember, therapy is a lot cheaper and less traumatic than a divorce.
3. Kids! Whether it 's the strain of finding time alone or dealing with a child 's special needs, kids are seldom the glue that holds a marriage together. The biggest mistake is having a child to try to save a marriage.
4. Sex!!! Lack of.
5. Money. It 's not the size of your bank account; it 's what you do with it. What causes couples to separate is when they can't agree about how to handle the money they have – how much to save, how much to spend and what to spend it on.
6. Control issues. A marriage can 't survive and thrive when either member feels the need to control the other or control every aspect of their life together. Remember, marriage is a team sport.
7. Time. The lucky couples grow together over time; others grow apart due to their own life experiences during marriage. Timing is everything.
8. Keeping up with the Jones ' and other outside influences.
9. Addictions. Whether it 's eating, gambling, sex or spending, one partner 's addiction can easily be the downfall of a marriage. I 'll say it again, therapy, therapy, therapy.
10. Drugs and alcohol. Ditto, therapy, therapy, therapy.

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.