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Top Ten Reason’s People Get Divorced

Top Ten Reason’s People Get Divorced

There is an endless variety of reasons and combinations or reasons people get divorced.  In speaking with hundreds of clients about divorce, legal separations and related domestic issues – the following ten (10) reasons are the most frequent reasons cited by our clients for a divorce.

10) Differences in Priorities and Expectations

While we’ve all been taught that compromise comes with the territory of marriage, the fact remains that even the most harmonious of marriages is composed of two different people. These differences can be worked through effectively, but sometimes, they catch us off guard, pile on, or are too big to overcome. Ultimately, no matter how much you try to prepare and get to know your partner, life will be full of surprises … try to welcome your partner’s input and meet him or her halfway in the decisions you make together. Acting as partners and trusting each other’s judgment will go a long way in soothing these issues.

9) Addiction

Addiction can be extremely debilitating for all of the people involved – the addict and their family included. Whether addiction affects the family adversely for its own sake or because it leads to other problems, such as violence, absenteeism and/or criminal activity, it should be dealt with promptly and swiftly not only for the sake of eschewing divorce, but also for the sake of any children involved and the wellbeing of the spouse and drug addict his or herself. Recognize the issue and acquire professional help as soon as you think there may be a problem with addiction of any kind – drugs and alcohol may be the most common, but addictive activity that is dangerous can go well beyond that.

8) Child Rearing Disagreement

To avoid disagreement over who does what with the kids, write down a list of responsibilities and stick to it, unless it needs amending. Should one of the parties desire to make a change, the decision should be made collectively. While we are all busy, there are activities that we can take on without sacrificing much. Usually, these responsibilities can be divided so that they “fit” best with one party. If you have time to pick up the kids, for example, but not drop them off and your husband is the opposite – then do that! While it sounds simple, most couples end up fighting over these details instead of communicating about them and then devising a plan on how best to handle daily activities.

7) Religious and/or Cultural Strains

Whether it is your family’s disapproval, or you are going into a marriage hoping that your partner will conform to your values, do not make the mistake of not making a concrete plan for how you will reconcile your religious and/or cultural differences on a daily basis and on special occasions. Additionally, discuss how these differences will impact the manner in which you raise your children and what you teach them about life and religion and culture. While it is not impossible to reconcile differences that run as deeply as religion and culture, it is hard – make sure you are both committed to being flexible, so you don’t later find out your partner was hoping you would change all along, or, worse, you get bitter after bending backward for years and then deciding enough is enough.

6) Boredom

While finding a partner you are compatible with goes a long way in ensuring you can tackle many of these problems, it is still not enough on its own. Boredom is common – especially after years of marriage and similar circumstances throughout those years – and can be overcome. Many times, people are just bored, not bored of their partners. Trying new things and doing new activities you both enjoy together can strengthen bonds or rekindle them, so give it a try before you call it a day.

5) Sexual Incompatibility

Reproductive and sexual issues are also a common factor that leads to divorce. Most cases of these issues are embarrassing to the couple, and thus they avoid talking about it – the one solution that could actually help them resolve it. Being open and honest and seeking help and solutions can transform problems that seem insurmountable into nuisances that can be ironed over with dialogue, therapy, and a willingness to try. Remember: you married this person for a reason. It hasn’t just disappeared. Step back and look again and see if you can find what you once saw, and remember, maybe the problem is in your vision, not what you are looking at. If reproductive success is the issue, science may be able to help and splitting up your marriage may not be necessary in order to start a family – in fact, it can make it harder to do so.

4) Money and Financial Problems

You’ve heard it before, “money is the root of all evil.”  While most of us realize that this is not an accurate statement, money is the root of much disagreement and tension in relationships and marriages. Again, proper communication can foster solutions to issues related to finances. But if you can’t seem to work it out, remember there is always a legal solution – the postnuptial agreement. Recent years have seen a rise in the amount of agreements initiated after marriage; some couples are even claiming it helped save their marriage. If you just can’t agree, hire a lawyer that will represent your rights and write them down into a formal document. If you both do that and you are satisfied with the outcome, you can continue your marriage knowing that you are both legally protected should the tension not dissipate and the problems not be solved.

3) Abuse

Abuse is very serious. While some forms can be worked through by seeking and receiving professional help, often times it is rooted in deeper issues, and it may be best to let that person work through them – without your help. Keep in mind that abuse does not only have to be physical. It can also be verbal, emotional and psychological. If you are a victim of abuse or a member of your family is, seek professional help as soon as possible.

2) Communication Issues / Mental Abuse / Cruel Treatment

Communication issues, mental abuse and cruel treatment are at the root of many of the other issues mentioned on this list, and can often be the solution to them. However, many relationships suffer from a lack of beneficial communication and outright cruel treatment and mental abuse. While you can seek professional help to improve your communication skills, keeping in mind several things can greatly impact your marriage and your ability to communicate. One of the most common mistakes people make is that they think you always have to agree to communicate well. This is not true! In fact, always agreeing usually signals someone is not speaking up, which can lead to other issues down the road. If you learn to “fight well” you will learn to listen and hear, and to vocalize your side of the argument while respecting your spouses. Finally, you will be able to actively and proactively work out solutions to your issues that are acceptable for both of you. They usually do exist!  Many people turn to marriage counseling which works for many people, but only if both parties are active participants and want the marriage to succeed.

1) Infidelity

The most common cause of divorce in the United States is infidelity. While some couples can work through cheating and breaching of trust, others may not be able to. The best way to deal with infidelity is to eschew it. If you and your partner communicate clearly about your expectation prior to entering the contractual bond of marriage it will take you one step closer to ensuring neither of you will be hurt. Taking a “that will never happen to me” approach is unwise – your partner should know your boundaries as well as the consequences they will face should infidelity become an issue. In some cases, making a concrete set of consequences through a prenuptial agreement may work. Just make sure the pressure of an actual contract isn’t too much for your future spouse to handle! And, of course, make sure the rules apply to you as well.

If you have questions about a divorce, separation or other domestic legal issue, call us at 770-609-1247 to speak with an attorney today.

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