Why do good things fall apart?

When it comes to marriage, few people are more uniquely qualified to answer this particular question than the lawyers and mediators who see divorce every working day. We spoke with them to understand why couples split and how to avoid the same fate.

The keys to a healthy, lasting relationship

"As a divorce lawyer, I have seen a number of trends in bad marriages that land people in my office," said Morghan Richardson, a partner of family law at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, a law firm based in New York City. "Over the years, and thousands of divorces later, couples that I see crafting long-lasting divorce-proof relationships have several things in common.

"The first is communication skills," Richardson continued. "Always put your spouse first in developing a clear and consistent method of communicating, and let no one get in the way.

"The second is the ability to compromise. Life is about compromise, and so is love. This means figuring out solutions to problems that are best overall for both of you, not just one person. Finally, there's connection—