The woes of a married couple living separate lives may be the theme of a sad country song, but it’s also – according to new reports -- one of the factors that led to this week’s split of one of country music’s biggest power couples, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.

While fans were blind-sided by the news of their divorce after four years of marriage, it’s factors like these that pave a clear path to splitsville, say relationship experts. Here, they break down the 3 tell-tale signs that ultimately pulled the plug on Blake and Miranda’s marriage -- and can wreak havoc on anyone’s relationship.

1. Putting work before the relationship

Miranda performed more than 70 shows in the last year, while Blake performed more than 50 - plus he filmed twoseasons of the Voice, another time-consuming role in his busy career. All work and no play can create a great divide, says Lisa Ronis, Personal Matchmaker and Dating Coach.

“I have seen too many workaholics lose a great relationship because they couldn't even ‘hear’ their partner, or once they did, it was too late,” she says.

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Relationship Expert and Author of “Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband)” Andrea Syrtash adds: "It's essential that couples prioritize their relationship above work if they want to have a healthy connected marriage. Inevitably, at least one spouse or family member will feel resentful or ignored if work is constantly put before he or she is."

2. Failing to acknowledge and thank each other

Miranda won the award for “Best Country Album” at the Grammy’s in February and never mentioned her husband in her acceptance speech. The same thing happened again in April when she won three awards at the Academy of Country Music awards.

Oops.

Experts say gratitude for the other person and the support they offer is essential in every relationship.

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"Lack of acknowledgement for your partner's contributions or a lack of attention on him or her will leave partners feeling disconnected,” says Syrtash. “Research shows that you need five positive interactions to negate just one negative interaction. In other words, we have to keep depositing the good stuff in a relationship, and that means a lot of acknowledgment and positive attention!"

3. Living separate lives

According to reports, Blake and Miranda had been disconnected for months leading up to their divorce, living their lives according to their own schedules and agendas, which relationship experts say can be lethal.

"Couples don't need to do everything together; but a couple can't lead separate lives if they want their marriage to work over the long-term,” says Syrtash. “They shouldn't be co-dependent or too independent -- they should be interdependent."

This lifestyle choice can even lead to affairs, says Ronis.

“It is very common for couples who live separate lives to grow apart,” she says. “Loneliness can set in and cause temptation which can only lead to straying.”

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