Editor's Note: The following commentary originally appeared in Fox News Opinion on FoxNews.com, the website of the Fox News Channel.
At some point in my mid-thirties, it started happening to young couples around me. Their relationships began fracturing and falling apart, and it wasn't always the people you would expect.
These were good folks with good intentions who said every word of their marital vows with conviction. But various circumstances and choices began pressing upon them, and eventually, I saw them go through extreme stress, separation, and sometimes, divorce.
I don't think there's a magic formula for ruining your marriage, but based on my observations over the last few years, there are a few easy ways to turbocharge its demise. Here are five of them:
1. Intimate, opposite-sex friendships
We recognize the danger of getting into a physical relationship with someone else, but we often forget that it's just as dangerous for us to become emotionally close with someone of the opposite sex. It usually starts innocently enough — a friend at work asks you for advice, treats you to lunch, or confides in you behind closed doors. Over time, those kinds of interactions can be a gateway to emotional intimacy, and with the right combination of stress, attraction, and marital frustration, that friendship can easily turn into something more.