Think you know all there is to know about love? Well, to truly understand something, you need to be able to look at it from every angle. When it comes to love, that means seeing the positive aspects alongside the negative. If there's any group of people who have unique views on the downsides of love, it's divorce attorneys, because they tend to see relationships when they're at their lowest point. As you can imagine, what divorce attorneys tell their clients may break your heart and change they way you see love, but it's advice and information worth taking on board.
For one thing, being realistic about an emotion like love — which might make you think somewhat unrealistically at times — can actually help you protect your heart. It can also help you get in front of problems that might come back to bite you further down the road. When it comes to matters of the heart, and increasing the longevity of your love, the best offense is a good defense.
So, what do divorce attorneys think most people don't actually realize about love? According to matrimonial lawyer Regina A. DeMeo, "I’ve been a divorce attorney in the DC Area for 20 years, and the one thing I tell all my clients is that love between spouses is not unconditional.” You likely already realize that to some extent; for example, DeMeo says, “we can all agree you shouldn't stay with someone who becomes abusive, or repeatedly cheats on you.” But the reason to remember this, even in relationships that are otherwise healthy, she explains, is that in accepting that love is conditional, it becomes easier to be “honest with one another about what those conditions are."
But one condition you can’t plan for is what family law attorney David Gonet says is the second leading cause of divorce (after money issues): boredom. “Many people have come to my office, and I ask why they are looking to file for divorce. Their answer is simple: ‘There is no more excitement and I feel like I'm in a rut,’" Gonet tells Elite Daily. The reason this happens, he says, is that people have a false conception of love.
“Some people see love as a premise and not a conclusion," he says. "What I mean is that people expect this abstract we call ‘love’ to be so powerful that it will fix or prevent any problems in a relationship." He adds, “In reality, love is the conclusion, meaning that love is the product of both spouses' efforts toward their relationship. Love is what comes out of mutual respect and understanding. Couples should not expect 'love' to fix or prevent anything, instead, love is the reward that comes from both persons working on the relationship and making efforts and compromises. Love is not a magic pill that guarantees a successful relationship.”
This is why attorney Jaime Humphries Davis, a board-certified family law specialist at Gailor Hunt Jenkins Davis Taylor & Gibbs PLLC, says it’s imperative that, if you're getting married, you do so thoughtfully. “Marriage is like any legal contract," Davis tells Elite Daily. "And while love may be blind, prospective spouses need to enter into the marriage contract with their eyes wide open."
And with good reason, as “many people are unaware that if they take certain actions during the marriage, the money and property, including businesses that they had before the marriage — along with the money that they earn during the marriage — can end up being considered marital property, all of which is going to be divided upon divorce.” Her advice to folks considering marriage is simple: Get a prenup. “It isn’t romantic, but if you want to protect your assets, it is the only way,” she says.
Well, that escalated quickly! But in all seriousness, it's important to remember that while marital love may not always be unconditional, it's still worthy of pursuing. Keep the lines of communication honest and open, and base your relationship on realism. And when in doubt, get a prenup.
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