I Saw The Warning Signs of Divorce For This Couple

warning signs of divorce

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

Last weekend, I was doing my weekly grocery run, and saw something I felt was important to address. I basically noticed a married couple shopping, and it hit me: the warning signs of divorce were crystal clear. Let me explain.

While in the milk aisle, I spotted the couple. They looked like they were in their late twenties or early thirties. Seated in their cart was their toddler daughter, who was happily singing Beach Boys songs. I loved it.


I’m not sure why I was so fixated on this couple, but I was sort of watching them while we all shopped. To my dismay, the mom looked and sounded miserable, to the point where I was thinking of two possible reasons: one, their daughter might have kept her up all night, or two, she was in a fight with her husband.



The husband, who actually looked kind of nice, was just trying to get the shopping done, putting food in the cart, etc., while his wife kept making derogatory, negative comments every two minutes.


“Why are you buying chocolate when we already have some?” “You got the wrong size, you’re unbelievable.” “We don’t need tissues, go put them back.” “You really don’t get it, do you?”


The husband sort of just put up with it and put his head down, while Mrs. Bitch continued to embarrass and berate him in front of everyone.


I seriously could not believe how incredibly mean and disrespectful she was being to the father of her child (not to mention in front of the child!) and her husband, who we should theoretically assume she married because she loved, adored and cherished him, and wanted to spend the rest of her life with him.


Let me go even further. The husband was nice looking, and the wife could not have looked worse. Dirty hair in a ponytail, no makeup, leggings and a t-shirt with her very large stomach hanging out. She appeared unkept, and like she didn’t care at all about how she looked.


Now, before you say I’m being a judgmental bitch, let me explain that I know nothing about this couple or their marriage or circumstances, except for what I saw in the store. In other words, the guy could be the biggest jerk on earth. He could be an abuser. He could be cheating and she just found out. So, I’m not saying the husband is a well known saint. But here is what I do know.


If the husband is a decent guy, and if the wife wants to be in the marriage long-term and not be divorced, she is doing everything wrong. The warning signs of divorce are all here. Let’s start with her appearance.


I’m not going to lie and say I look wonderful all the time. I walk my dog in my pj’s on a daily basis, and not just first thing in the morning or late at night. I have been known to go out in public looking ridiculously gross. That said, if I was going to the grocery store with my boyfriend, I would not look like this woman looked. I would make at least a slight attempt to look a little bit nicer. Just a little bit, and what I mean by that is, not wearing a t-shirt that reveals my belly rolls. I just hope that there are times this woman makes an effort to look nice for her husband. By the way, this isn’t me being stuck in 1950. It goes both ways. Men need to look nice for their women, too.


But so much more than the way she looked, this woman treated her husband so badly it was making me cringe. Major warning signs of divorce. Here is my prediction of what is happening and what will happen if this couple does not get some help.


1. The woman is completely absorbed in the fact that her child is tons of work.

Her life is different than it was before she had a child and life seems very overwhelming. She either works full time also, or is a stay-at-home mom who doesn’t ever feel like she gets a break.

2. The husband’s resentment is building.

And building and building. With every mean, degrading, disrespectful comment and gesture, the husband is putting those things in his back pocket. He will never, ever, ever forget them, even if the wife suddenly turns it around and starts being nice to him.

3. The fuller his pocket, the angrier he gets.

Anger is building. Hidden anger. He walks on eggshells but inside he is getting more and more pissed off each day.

4. Some girl at work starts flirting with him.

She makes him feel attractive, important, respected. They kiss one night at a company outing. They start having an affair.

5. He leaves his wife.


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I do want to stress that this is only a scenario, and that there countless things I don’t know anything about when it comes to this couple.


What I do know with certainty is that the behavior I witnessed in the grocery store is unacceptable. It is never justified, no matter what. If the guy is that bad, then his wife should make other choices on how to handle it. Maybe take a break, separate, or leave him. That would be better than the daughter watching the way her mother treats her father and growing up thinking that is the right way to treat your spouse.


I actually feel very sorry for this couple because the simple fact is that they seem miserable, which is not a good way to live life. There was a time in my life when I felt miserable, so I get it. I’m not preaching that I’m always up and happy and life is perfect.

But, I wish I could have stopped this couple as they were grabbing a carton of eggs and said, “Look, you look pretty healthy. Your child is healthy and happy and singing Beach Boys songs. You are food shopping, so obviously you have money for food and shelter. And, the biggest thing, you are young!! Why are you taking the joy out of a happy time?

I see the warning signs of divorce. Please get some help to explore a way to be happier, both together and individually. And for God sakes, have some gratitude for what you have in life!”

The thing about happier couples is, they treat each other with LOVE, with respect, and they actually LIKE each other. They treat each other like best friends. They support each other, they root for each other, they act as teammates. They are connected. They admire each other. They adore each other. They laugh together. I did not see any of that with this couple.


In closing, if this couple ends up divorced, do I think the woman will look back and say, “I should have treated him better… I should have been nicer, etc.?” Maybe, maybe not. It will depend on how things happen, who leaves who, and whether or not each one has the courage and self-awareness to look back and fess up to their mistakes. And if they stay together, that’s even more sad. From what I saw, this is no way to live.

Like this post? Check out, “He Doesn’t Know My Body. Can A Sexless Marriage Survive?”

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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

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