We all want to be happy. And we want our marriages to not only last, but grow better over time. While some relationships will fail for a variety of reasons, being willing to identify and work on the problems we face is the first major step to a meaningful relationship.
The first years of a marriage tend to be the most vulnerable and statistics reveal that reality. When we are passionately in love, we believe it will last forever.
However, work schedules, babies, chores and home maintenance soon become the focus and we can quickly get mired in daily problems. Add in personal careers and the stresses increase and the relationship begins to suffer.
It is easier than ever to get a divorce and people often hold the mistaken belief that if they get out of their current relationship, the next one would be the one that will make them happy. However, again, the statistics reveal a different picture.
Consider the following divorce stats in America:
1st marriage 45-50% end in divorce
2nd “ 60-67% “
3rd “ 70-73% “
In a study in 2004, around 16,000 adult Americans were asked whether they were happier with multiple partners and the response was no – they were happy when they were attached to just one person. People do want a long term relationship.
What are some of the causes of divorce?
While many reasons contribute to the breakdown of a marriage, the following research data is worth reviewing:
- Some sociologists believe childlessness is a common cause of divorce because the “absence of children leads to loneliness and weariness.” In the U.S. at least 66% of all divorced couples are childless. (From Divorce Magazine)
- A breakdown in communication was cited as a major cause in a recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). It showed that approximately 67.5 percent of all marriages failed because of arguing, the inability to understand the other spouse, or total lack of communication.
- Another predominant factor was infidelity. Almost 30% of all divorces involved cheating on their spouse. Infidelity leads to further communication problems and distrust. Yet there are many marriages that survive cheating. Many prominent studies show that infidelity is the result of a marriage already in distress as spouses reach outside the marriage for comfort and understanding.
What can add the most distrust to a marriage?
- According to experts on marriage and psychology at Loyola University Medical Centre, social media, and Face book in particular, is becoming more and more responsible for dissolving marriages. This reason may factor into infidelity and communication problems as well.
- Some US lawyers and academics also classify Face book as the leading cause of marriage problems and part of the number one reason for divorce. According to a study done by the AAML in 2010, four out of five divorce lawyers stated they are seeing increased numbers of evidence pulled from social networking websites that showed contradiction to a spouse’s statements and evidence of infidelity, unreasonable expenditures, and even fraud. When you are on the internet, you are not interacting with your partner.
See the following links for more information. http://divorce.laws.com/number-one-reason-for-divorce and http://divorce.laws.com/number-one-reason-for-divorce#sthash.Ytu3GHP5.dpuf
In a recent article by Eliana Osborn in the October 15, 2015 Real Simple magazine, she writes that many relationship experts indicate 4 common problems couples face that lead to the ending of a marriage.
- Letting a problem go on unaddressed for years. Little irritations built to giant proportions. If it is an ongoing irritation to you, schedule a time to sit down and talk about it.
- Feeling disconnected from one another. When the busyness of life keeps people from spending time with one another, there is a disconnect. Couples start taking each other for granted. Hurt feelings gradually become resentful feelings. Schedule time every day, even if only for ten minutes, to talk with your partner. Talk about fun or silly things. Tell your partner how much you appreciate him/her. When criticisms become the norm instead of appreciation, the relationship soon gets into trouble.
- Avoiding confrontation often leads to distancing. We don’t talk about problems because of past negative consequences. But unless issues are addressed, they will only get worse. Confronting requires being willing to listen, compromise and negotiate; it isn’t about changing the other’s values or beliefs.
- Getting stuck in patterns of behavior that go around and around without resolution. In the process we start playing the blame game and taking a victim stance. You have the same argument; you turn away from rather than towards your spouse, to others – co-workers and friends – to complain instead of talking directly to their partner. It is easier to complain than identify the problem and articulate what you want.
Anything of value is worth tending to.
If you valued your relationship once, what is keeping you from reclaiming that value today?
We need each other. We need healthy, viable relationships whether it is between husband and wife, parents and children or extended families. We need friendships we can rely on. It keeps us young, physically and emotionally healthy and believe it or not, boosts our brain power.
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