Marriages take effort. However, when a couple walks down the aisle, they generally don’t take this into consideration. The “honeymoon” phase brings amazing memories and fun moments shared together. However, shortly after this phase is over, reality and life sets in. This is when marriages have to try to withstand the real test of time.
Unfortunately, for some couples, the potential of divorce becomes more imminent as time goes on. According to the CDC, 33% of first marriages end in divorce within ten years.
The reasons behind divorce can be complicated, but these top five reasons for divorce generally play a role. Luckily, with a little dedication and effort, marital issues that can often lead to divorce can be avoided.
1. Communication issues
It is true – talking and communicating are two different things. While you and your spouse may talk about things, such as work, friends, and the downfalls of having dinner with the in-laws, it is true communication that must take place in order for a marriage to function. When communication shuts down, individuals may feel as if their spouse no longer cares about them, their feelings, or what is important in their life.
To avoid divorce because of communication issues, it is key to employ active listening in a relationship. This means not only hearing what you’re partner has to say, but also considering verbal, physical, and emotional cues. If the spouses are struggling to communicate effectively on a regular basis, it may be best to seek professional counseling.
2. Disagreements over money
One spouse makes 100k a year and the other only makes 40k. Situations like these are commonplace and must be discussed prior to getting married. If not, couples run the risk of getting into disagreements over who pays for what and questioning each other regarding purchases that seem unnecessary to one of the spouses.
The best way to steer clear of this difficult situation is to clearly discuss the topic of money before marriage. This means determining how bills will be paid and how money will be spent on extra activities and various purchases.
3. Jealousy and trust issues
Many couples think that as long as their spouse is wearing a wedding ring, they will no longer suffer from the jealousy issues they experienced while dating. Unfortunately, the ring rarely changes anything. According to Terri Orbuch, Ph.D, jealousy comes in two forms: “reactive, which you feel in response to an actual threat to the relationship; and suspicious, when your fears do not match the facts at hand.”
Regardless of which form, these jealousy issues can get out of hand quite fast and can ultimately lead to trust issues. If one spouse is constantly plagued by jealousy issues, it is best that they openly communicate these feelings to the other spouse. This way, the two can work together to determine how to minimize and avoid these feelings.
4. Differences in life plans
“You want three children? I never agreed to that!” So many couples enter into a marriage without first discussing their plans post-marriage. While one spouse may be interested in having multiple children right away, the other may be more interested in traveling abroad for a while.
These rifts in life plans can cause stress on the marriage, which could ultimately lead to divorce if not straightened out. To best avoid the chance of unforeseen differences in life plans after the wedding, these issues should be discussed in great detail before the big day and agreed upon.
Finally, infidelity is a huge marriage ender. The moment at which one spouse makes the conscious decision to cheat on the other is a defining day in any marriage. According to Help Starts Here, 25% – 33% of marriages cannot recover from affairs.
Although it sounds too simple to be true, infidelity, and ultimately divorce, can be avoided through (you guessed it) open lines of communication! Along with this, intimacy and the strong emotional connection that comes along with it is needed to keep any marriage alive. The saying tends to be true – if you are not satisfying your partner sexually, they might find someone who can.
While divorce may be becoming a more prevalent occurrence within our society, there is no doubt that it can be avoided. All it really takes is effort, communication, and true dedication in wanting the best for your spouse and a long and happy relationship.
Got any tips for a long and happy marriage? Let us know in the comments below!