High-Profile Divorce Lawyer Dishes Out Secrets on Modern Marriage

Relationships guru Jim Sexton has seen it all. After 20+ years handling high-profile divorces, the self-proclaimed “love doctor” knows a thing or two about what makes marriages tick – and what makes them explode.

During a juicy chat on the Psychology of Divorce podcast, Jim gave us the unfiltered lowdown on why so many couples just can’t make it work. And lemme tell ya, this guy does not hold back!

Jim Gets Real About the State of Marriage

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According to the love doc, marriage as an institution is on its last legs. “It’s an outdated technology,” he spilled. “Like owning a lion.” (!)

He explained that with longer lifespans and more potential partners at our fingertips (hey social media), lifelong marriage just isn’t realistic for most 21st century folks.

“Marriage was designed for when people died at 40, not 80,” Jim reasoned. “It’s like using a flip phone in the iPhone era.”

But while he’s not exactly marriage’s biggest fan, the divorce attorney did admit he still tears up at weddings. “I’m a romantic at heart!” he said.

The Secret to Staying Married

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Even though the odds are stacked against lasting love, Jim says there are some simple ways to beat the divorce stats. Wanna know his top tips?

“Do the little things,” the love guru advised. We’re talking sweet notes, fun date nights, and yes – even the occasional amorous wakeup call (use your imagination here, folks!).

Jim explained that when both partners consistently make these little gestures of affection, it creates an upward spiral of positivity. But when they stop, well… it’s all downhill from there.

He gave an example of a client who used to leave granola for his wife when she was running low. It made her feel loved and cared for. But then he stopped, and she took it as a sign of neglect.

“It’s the same little things that make us feel loved or unloved,” Jim noted.

Keep Communicating

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Communication is critical for any healthy marriage according to Jim. He says couples should have ongoing conversations about finances and expectations. When something big happens financially, like a bonus or inheritance, sit down together and decide openly if it should go into a joint account or personal account. Mapping out shared money values early prevents fights down the road.

Jim also emphasized addressing problems early before they spiral out of control. Don’t let little annoyances, disappointments, or unmet needs pile up unspoken. Resentments that build slowly over years often end up being the fatal blow to marriages. “Bring up issues calmly and respectfully before irreparable damage is done,” Jim advised. “Don’t wait until the night before you walk out to start telling your partner how unhappy you’ve been.”

He noted that most couples put more planning into the wedding menu than communicating about how to navigate lifelong partnership. Take time when you’re not aggravated to say “Hey, it bothers me when you do X. Can we talk about it?” That gives your partner a chance to listen, apologize if needed, and hopefully change the behavior. Assuming positive intent goes a long way.

The key according to Jim is learning to have hard conversations with kindness. Stay curious about your partner’s inner world. And remember, every sturdy building requires regular maintenance to avoid collapse. Relationships are no different.

Make Quality Time for Each Other

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Jim stresses the importance of couples continuing to make quality time for each other, not just when kids come along. He advises not to stop dating each other – plan fun date nights like you did pre-marriage. Dress up, try new restaurants, take weekend trips, watch movies snuggled on the couch. Re-experience the excitement of early romance even after years together.

He also cautions against expecting your spouse to be your everything. No one person can fulfill every single need. Don’t put that pressure on your partner to be your lover, best friend, co-parent, personal assistant, activities coordinator, etc.

It’s vital to devote one-on-one time to connect as lovers and friends, not just parents or partners going through the motions. Get a sitter for the kids and go have adventures. Reminisce over your dating years. Rediscover what you love doing together besides raising a family. Still be individuals too – keep up separate hobbies and friendships.

Jim finds couples often lose this sense of fun and friendship when the stress of parental and spousal duties piles up. But playing together helps you stay united when life gets tough. Make time to laugh, hug, and enjoy each other’s company. Don’t let the spark fizzle out just because the honeymoon ended.

Give Small Gestures of Affection

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He also highly recommends couples give frequent small gestures of intimacy and affection to each other. Little things like sweet love notes, morning kisses goodbye, and keeping your partner’s favorite foods stocked up.

He stresses making sure both partners consistently initiate these thoughtful acts. Don’t just do romantic things yourself while growing resentful that your spouse doesn’t reciprocate.

Set the tone by doing little things you know your partner enjoys. Jim gave examples like leaving a sticky note that says “Thinking of you today!” or picking up their favorite ice cream as a surprise. When your partner feels loved, they’ll be more likely to return the affection.

The key is showing you’re thinking of each other in little ways, not just special occasions. These small gestures nourish intimacy when done regularly by both people. Things like a caress, sincere compliment, inside joke – they might seem silly but go a long way.

So spice up your marriage by sprinkling in more everyday romance.

Maintain Physical Intimacy

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Physical intimacy was a big focus for Jim. He stressed that sex and touch are critical for cementing the emotional bond between partners.

“Make intimacy a regular priority in your schedule, not just a special occasion thing,” Jim advised. “Don’t let busy lives and kids crowd out your sex life.”

Jim cautioned that letting physical intimacy slide often leads to problems. He gave the example of a client whose wife hadn’t slept with him for 6 years. The man turned to “pathetic” quick hand **** just to meet his basic needs.

“Intimacy is like food. If you’re not feeding your partner, don’t be surprised when they start looking elsewhere,” Jim said.

His advice? Make a point to be affectionate, kiss each other goodbye, cuddle on the couch, and initiate sex regularly. It doesn’t have to be hours long or acrobatic every time. Even quickies keep you connected. Jim also stressed not using sex as a weapon or withholding it as punishment. “View it as something fun you do together, not a chore or obligation,” he said.

While Pressuring or forcing intimacy is never ok, staying attuned to each other’s needs is key. If both partners prioritize physical connection, your bond will be stronger.

Focus on the Positives

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Jim reminds couples not to lose sight of their partner’s humanity amid the stresses of married life. It’s easy to focus on petty flaws once the honeymoon phase wears off. Instead, try to appreciate the little quirks and details that make your spouse who they are.

Have empathy for each other’s experience. Remember your partner has a whole inner world and story you can’t fully see. Spend less time criticizing and more time appreciating the small things that drew you together.

Assume positive intent when your spouse does something that bothers you. Talk it through calmly rather than attacking their character. Make an effort to see things from their perspective.

Look for opportunities to compliment your partner’s efforts and growth. Cheer them on as they pursue their interests. Return to finding humor in your quirks.

Reigniting the friendship and mutual respect will lift your marriage up. You’re on the same team, even when disagreements happen. So give each other the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. A little understanding goes a long way.

The Pre-Nup Push

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One thing Jim urges for every bride and groom? A prenup! He calls it “the easiest negotiation in the world” since you’re not yet enemies.

Jim has found when couples balk at prenups, they’re usually doomed. But for most, it leads to open communication about finances, expectations, and worst case scenarios.

“Pre-nups are like parachutes,” he said. “Why jump without one?” Hard to argue with that logic!

Jim sees prenups as protecting both parties’ interests. They force important talks about money and assets before emotions get messy. He insists prenups aren’t unromantic – they set couples up to communicate better throughout the marriage.

Jim also emphasized that a prenup costing a few thousand dollars early on can save hundreds of thousands in potential legal fees later. Can you really put a price on peace of mind?

The Bottom Line

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While Jim gave us plenty of tough love about marriage’s failure to launch in modern times, he’s still rooting for love.

His final advice? “Maybe it’ll work out, maybe it won’t. But love is the lottery – buy a ticket, who knows?”

So singles, don’t write off marriage just yet. But like Jim said, get that pre-nup! And married folk, put in the work to keep that spark alive.

With wisdom like this, is it any wonder he’s called the Love Doctor? We’ll cheers to that!

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This article was produced and syndicated by Viral Chatter. Here’s the full podcast:

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.