A lot of factors can be responsible for a broken home, including improper communication, lack of time management, over-reaction, etc.
For a lawyer, avoiding marital mistakes and a broken home should be a top priority. This is because lawyers have professional and personal traits that are marriage killers.
There is a growing body of evidence that shows the number of lawyers who now have broken homes is on the increase.
In their book, ‘How Lawyers Lose Their Way: A Profession Fails Its Creative Minds,’ Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado observed that divorce rate of lawyers, particularly women, is higher than that for all other professionals.
A study by Teresa M. Cooney and Peter Uhlenberg in the Journal of Marriage and Family revealed that female lawyers showed markedly higher divorce rates than women in other professions.
Some people, for example, have pointed out certain factors why some men are afraid to marry female lawyers.
The Pressure on Lawyers.
There is no doubt that lawyers work under a lot of pressure to meet the demands of clients and their law firms.
But a lot of the pressure on lawyers also comes from the home front. Pressure from the office, coupled with those from home, is enough to drive many lawyers to the tipping point.
Research on the mental health of lawyers revealed that about 28% reported having suffered depression.
Some professional training and personality traits predispose lawyers to marital mistakes and relationship problems.
The traits that are synonymous with lawyers include arguments, suspicion, cross-examinations, stonewalling, contradictions, skepticism, etc.
It appears that lawyers are paying a high relationship price due to their personality traits.
According to the American Bar Association, a third of female lawyers have never married, and about half are unmarried.
To avoid a broken home, married lawyers or those in relationships should be wary of the following marital mistakes:
Don’t be a Lawyer at Home.
It is in the lawyers’ nature to argue, pick holes in statement, disagree, and not admit they are wrong.
While these traits are great in the adversarial system of law, they can lead to a broken home.
There are lawyers who will quickly cite the Evidence Act to their spouse during an argument.
Lawyers love to speak their legalese. It is one of the things that set them apart from the rest of society.
In conversations, it is not uncommon to see lawyers speak legalese to confuse and confound laypeople.
It is, however, important for lawyers not to bring their legalese home. While legalese may work in your legal practice, it may backfire and lead to a broken home.
The importance of clear communication in building a good relationship cannot be overemphasized. Good interaction in your marriage helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and tension.
Don’t see your Spouse as an Adversary.
Lawyers are used to being in a combative mode so as not to be caught off guard. They pay attention to every detail and view everything and everyone as a potential enemy.
Unfortunately, some lawyers also see their partners as adversaries rather than partners with a common goal.
A lawyer can avoid a broken home by treating a spouse as a partner rather than an adversary.
Working together with your spouse as partners will foster a healthy relationship where trust and understanding thrive.
Don’t try to win All the Time.
Lawyers like to win and hate to lose. In marriage, however, trying to win all the time is an expressway to a broken home.
In law practice, the consequences of not responding to statements can be dire. Lawyers like to respond to every word and utterance as silence can be interpreted as consent or an admission.
While the skill to respond to every statement is essential in law practice, it can be frustrating to people in marriage relationships.
Imagine talking with a spouse who will always challenge and respond to every statement, no matter how trivial?
The ability to concede to your partner even when you think you are right can help strengthen your relationship.
According to Benjamin Disraeli,
“Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing in life is to know when to forgo an advantage.”
Devote Quality Time to your Family.
For most busy lawyers, law practice has a way of consuming their whole time and life. Busy lawyers spend most of their time attending to their clients and neglecting their best business – their family.
Yes, your law practice is your business, but so is your family. Like your business, your family relationship should be cared for and nurtured.
When busy lawyers come home, they are too exhausted to have any time for their spouse and family.
With time, these lawyers’ spouses will start to feel shut out, which can cause strife in the relationship.
People married to busy lawyers often complain of being home alone while their spouses work late at the office. With time, trust issues arise, which can lead to a broken home.
Lawyers are some of the most serious-minded professionals you can find. You will find some lawyers thinking of the next case even while at home with their loved ones.
Lawyers should leave their work at the office. Spending quality time with family is a great way to bond with them and strengthen your relationship. Lawyers who bring their work home will cause strife and poison their relationship.
Many lawyers rarely display emotion or admit that they are wrong. Being dispassionate enables one to see a matter from all sides. But it can make a lawyer appear very dry and detached to his or her spouse.
To prevent a broken home, a lawyer should be passionate and emotional towards one’s partner.
Trust Your Partner.
If you think lawyers trust easily, think again. Lawyers have the propensity to be suspicious of other people’s intentions.
The nature of law practice requires legal practitioners to examine everything. Lawyers scrutinize every statement, and inspect every document to protect their clients’ interests.
Being suspicious can be one great skill to have as a lawyer. The ability to suspect and scrutinize everything can lead to many successes.
But skepticism in marriage is bad. The tendency to always suspect their spouses can cause friction and bring a premature end to the relationship.
There is no doubt that happy lawyers are good lawyers. A lawyer with a broken home is less likely to be happy or do well in the legal profession.
The quality of your relationship affects your productivity as a lawyer. Many research studies have shown a link between a broken home and low productivity.
In the book, Marriage & Family Wellness: Corporate America’s Business? A Marriage CoMission Research Report, Mathew D. Turvey, stated that the world of business and the world of family relationships have significant impacts on each other.
Having a healthy family relationship will improve your effectiveness as a lawyer and increase your productivity.
What do you think?