What a Relationship Expert Has to Say About Shane and Emily Simpson's Marriage

What a Relationship Expert Has to Say About Shane and Emily Simpson's Marriage

Distance and lack of communication aren't helping things between Emily and Shane, according to relationship expert April Masini.

By Marianne Garvey
Emily Simpson Shane Marriage

The Real Housewives of Orange County couple Emily Simpson and Shane Simpson are hashing out their marriage issues for all to see during Season 14.

Tamra Judge told Us Weekly she sees divorce in their future.

Vicki Gunvalson admitted the two are under pressure, with their marital problems playing out on camera for everyone to see. She added on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that Emily has spoken to her about it.

"I just kind of feel like the pressure, having marriage problems with cameras on, everything gets exaggerated," Vicki said.

Viewers have seen Emily get upset over Shane's jokes, and that Shane's been away studying in law school.

Every relationship has its problems, but are these two headed for divorce?

Personal Space asked relationship expert April Masini what to look for when a couple is headed for divorce. Here are the most common themes she has found:

Less (or No) Sex

"You stop having sex. I’m not talking about a dry spell, which is normal for many couples when they’ve got stressors like a new baby, or job pressures, or an illness. I’m talking about a year or more of no sex. When sex stops, and there is no medical or stress-related reason and both people in the couple don’t really try to get things back on track, it’s a sign that the couple is heading for divorce," Masini says. "Sex is an important part of a relationship, and when it fades, it’s a clue that the entire relationship is in trouble."

More Bickering

"You bicker more than you compliment each other and the bickering escalates. Most couples do not start out bickering. They begin to bicker when there are unresolved relationship problems," Masini says. "And when those problems remain unresolved, the bickering escalates. Constant bickering that escalates is a sign that a couple is headed for divorce. Bickering is intended to hurt the other person, and when it is not effective, the bickering couples usually up their game until they do hurt each other. This kind of lifestyle becomes untenable over time until one person cracks. This bickering creates a basis for divorce."

Fantasy Dates

"You or your partner start imagining dating other people, and even start spending time alone with people you’d like to date. This can be private phone calls or text messages, having dinner together, or meeting up at the gym or for coffee. Sometimes these undercover relationships start out with that person counseling you through your own relationship problems with your spouse, but they turn into emotional dependence and attraction grows. When you start seeing them regularly, referring to them and their lives and advice in conversations, and even begin treating them as a platonic boyfriend or girlfriend, you’re on the road to divorce. These are practice partners and people who are in unhappy relationships use these people to practice seeing what it would be like to be with someone else. These relationships can be with one person or a couple of people at once, and they are a sign that a divorce is on the horizon."

Contempt

"When your dissatisfaction with your partner grows and becomes contempt, this is a sign that a divorce is coming," Masini says. "It’s one thing to be annoyed that your partner leaves the seat up, forgets to do the dishes, or is perpetually late — but it’s another thing to start telling your friends that you hate your partner because of this, that, and the other thing. When annoyance turns into hate and contempt, and you find that you have contempt for your partner for a growing myriad of behaviors, this is a sign that you’re heading for divorce."

Deal Breakers

"When couples marry with mismatched deal breakers that they didn’t find out early on, or learned about and ignored, their marriages are in peril. Deal breakers are those issues that are more important than the relationship. For instance, if one person really wants to be a parent and the other person does not want kids, a marriage may split up. If one person wants to live with financial security and the other person wants to live for the day and scoffs at finances, the marriage may break up. Deal breakers are important because they are your personal goals and desires, and compatibility with deal breakers is crucial to marriage — incompatibility leads to divorce."

Trust Issues

"Trust issues come from all sorts of places. For instance: If you or your partner cheated — during dating or during the marriage — there is often a trust issue," April says. "If one of you came from a family where your parents divorced because of cheating, you may be hypersensitive to the clues you think indicate someone is cheating. Or even low self esteem, where you think that your partner is better than you and will surely leave you, can lead to trust issues. In other words, there doesn’t have to be cheating in the relationship — there can simply be the fear of cheating — and that fear can lead to control behaviors. These are the types of behaviors like needing to know where your partner is at all times, or freaking out when they aren’t. These control behaviors cause divorce — but the underlying trust issues are the inception."

If you need an even clearer indicator, PsychCentral lists four major warning signs therapists look for when predicting divorce. 

One is when you fight, you attack your spouse as a person and not their behavior. Two is expressing contempt, "mocking your partner, calling him/her names, eye-rolling, hostile humor, hurtful sarcasm, sneering in disgust, etc." Three is one person always being on the defensive, and four is shutting down or walking out on your partner.

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