A guest blog from our friends over at www.nanny.net…
Very few people get married with the intention of getting divorced. The U.S. Census Bureau and research think tanks such as the Barna Group have revealed some sobering statistics and findings on the subject, though. Overall, the divorce rate is almost at 50%. The news on the divorce front is not exactly good, but better news is that where children are involved the rate of divorce is 40% lower than those couples without children. Still the statistics can’t reflect the devastation that takes place for children of divorce.
There are several factors that affect the divorce rates. For example, the rates are considerably higher for young, low income families than they are older, college educated, middle class couples. Those who marry and have children right out of high school are at greater risk of divorce than couples who finish college, have decent wage jobs and wait until their mid to late twenties or older to wed. Professionals like Dr. William Doherty of the University of Minnesota have researched the issue of divorce, and have found interesting results. Time and again, papers citing reasons for divorce show similar causes. Parents give various explanations for ending their commitment to each other, and by default, their commitment to an intact family. Dr. Doherty maintains that, in most cases, the things that are pulling families apart can be dealt with and divorce may be prevented. Here are the most popular reasons for marriages ending in divorce.
- Communication Issues – Many couples cite communication, or the lack of it, as a big factor in separation More women indicate this as a major influence than men. Parenting practices, money, religion and other important aspects of marriage are the concerns that need to be discussed, but often get ignored to the detriment of the relationship.
- Incompatibility – This is often rooted in the non-communication issue. People will get married and only after time has passed realize that they don’t have as much in common as they originally believed. Over time, the issues that arise out of this lack of common ground cause the marriage to fail.
- Financial Difficulty – The struggling economy has put a strain on most relationships, however some couples have additional stressors, such as one spouse being too free with money or keeping a very tight rein on the purse strings. When partners can’t agree on how the money should be handled, problems ensue.
- Personal Problems – Everyone has personal issues of one sort or another that need to be dealt with for the good of the individual. Serious damage to the relationship can be caused when a spouse’s personal problems begin to spill over and affect the marriage negatively.
- Lack of Attentiveness – A new baby, illness, work and other dynamics can play into the situation in which one or both partners feel that they’re being largely ignored. Unfortunately, too many couples fail to talk about the conflict or seek help. In each case, there are things that can be done and there is help available to mitigate the problem
- Growing Apart – When people marry young and certain stressors hit the marriage, one spouse may grow in maturity at a faster rate than the other. Some people get married not realizing that their view of marriage is more akin to playing house than accepting the role of responsible adults. When one spouse comes to that reality before another, problems can often arise.
- Intimacy Issues – Intimacy problems can have many root causes. A spouse with unresolved issues from the past could have intimacy issues. Illness may be a factor affecting intimacy, or intimacy may be lacking simply because a spouse has a fear of intimacy.
- Addictions – Living with a spouse who is dealing with an addiction is very difficult, and the problems only escalate when treatment is not pursued. Drugs and alcohol can have devastating effects on family life. Other addictions such as gambling, shopping and pornography are just as capable of ripping a family apart at the seams.
- Infidelity – Break-ups due to infidelity rank among the most difficult to deal with. When one partner chooses to go outside the marriage for intimacy, the impact strikes right to the core of the relationship. Trust is broken and the damage is often irreparable, with divorce sometimes feeling like the only feasible option.
- Selfishness – This shows up in a variety of forms. It can take the form of never including the desires of the other person in decision making, or forcing every issue to be about one party while the other is ignored. Marriage is supposed to be a coming together of two people, but when one dominates the relationship to the near exclusion of the other’s thoughts and desires, cracks begin to form in the union.
It’s important to remember that with help, including counseling or therapy, most of the issues that lead to divorce can be overcome and many couples who seek help to preserve the marriage often come through the hard times with a relationship that’s stronger and more fulfilling than ever.