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Divorce Help | August 22, 2017

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Top Five Reasons Couples Divorce - Divorce Help

Top Five Reasons Couples Divorce
Brian Beltz

Why do some couples’ marriages last a lifetime, while others only last a few years, or even just a couple of months? Ahem. . . Kim Kardashian, Kid Rock, Britney Spears, the list goes on. With about half of America’s marriages ending in divorce, current studies are being devoted to pinpointing just what it is that leads spouses to the demise of their marriages.

Research done by psychologists and divorce attorneys shows that there are some particular behaviors that are universally destructive to a marriage. The following are the top five driving forces that can split a union:

1. Lack of Commitment

Some people are disillusioned by the promises of never ending love and prosperity in marriage. Extravagant weddings, romantic honeymoons and let’s not forget the plethora of ridiculously unrealistic media portrayals of marriage that can glaze over the reality of what truly is to come. The fact that marriage takes work doesn’t become a reality until the rose-colored glasses are removed.

Researchers from the National Fatherhood Initiative found that a lack of commitment is the number one cause of divorce, by a long-shot. Seventy-three percent of couples said that the main reason for dissolving their marriage was that one or both spouses became lazy and weren’t willing to work out their problems, whether they were emotional, mental or physical. Of that 73%, 62% of ex-spouses said that they wished their partner had worked harder to save their marriage.

2. Too Much Arguing

Research shows that conflict levels don’t deviate very much over the course of a marriage. Too often, couples tie the knot to resolve issues, thinking that their incessant arguing will drop off over time. In reality, marriage is not a solution to ongoing issues, and high-conflict relationships rarely stand the test of time.

The most destructive type of argument that a couple can have is that in which one partner always “wins.” If one spouse finds that negotiating no longer means that they work problems out together with their partner, but means that they discuss their issues until their partner finally agrees, the other person will eventually become frustrated and defeated enough to fight back. That’s where petty arguments can get ugly.

3. Selfishness and Lack of Communication

This type of conduct typically involves unreasonable behavior, under-appreciating, devaluing or failing to understand the other partner’s point of view. While marriage should bring about a mutually respectful relationship in which each partner looks out for the other, those that either intentionally or unintentionally involve negative judgement, criticism and sarcasm may reveal signs of a relationship’s pending doom. While healthy competition and encouragement can inspire spouses in a marriage to better themselves, that competition can turn into rivalry and a constant battle to one-up the other.

Men and women are inherently vastly different from each other in the ways that they perceive love. Women tend to interpret love as care, understanding, loyalty and recognition while men view it as admiration, approval, appreciation and acceptance. Understanding this basic knowledge of what makes a spouse tick can increase mutual appreciation, and can help partners care for one another in the ways they will value.

4. Infidelity

Cheating is the root of 55% of divorces. Relationship experts say that marriage-ending extramarital relationships usually begin as emotional affairs where a spouse finds his or herself confiding in and relating to someone other than their spouse. With time, those emotional affairs become physical. Although surprisingly, many couples express a willingness to work through the consequences of infidelity, restoration of trust can be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Many spouses who have been cheated on either knowingly or inadvertently push their partners away, to the point that the relationship crumbles. When trust is destroyed beyond repair, respect follows in the same suit.

5. Marrying Too Young

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of teenage marriages fail within the first fifteen years. That number drops to 35 percent for couples who marry in their mid-twenties. Our college years, entering into our careers and living on our own are arguably the most life-altering and character-building experiences that we have.

Time changes people, and for some couples they grow up and they grow apart. As we develop over time, our priorities change and many couples who marry too young begin to grow in their own separate directions, rather than together as one. They “outgrow” each other. Some divorced and divorcing couples point to changes in religious beliefs, some have a hard time accepting their partners ultimate occupation and/or work ethic and others don’t have a full grasp of the other’s family values before entering into a marriage.

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