Why do people get divorced?
The decision to leave or fight to save a marriage may not be your own. Every individual and couple may respond differently to a variety of reasons for divorce. This article offers a list of seven common reasons people decide to end a marriage and move forward in life.
Despite best efforts, plans do not always work out. People sometimes claim that with the benefit of wisdom they may have not married their spouse. More often, when children are born of the marriage, instead of regretting the marriage, I say if I did not marry the other, I wouldn’t have our children. Another thing many divorcing couples admit is that people change. Time and circumstance can affect the way we experience life, love and purpose. Whether it be waking up one day realizing you are no longer in love, or your visceral sense tells you it is time to divorce and move forward, people often feel a temporary sense of failure and loss. Understanding that people change and taking ownership of the realities of life is a step in a healthy direction. And, while some events lead to divorce in some, other marriages may be saved.
The decision to leave or fight to save a marriage may not be your own. Every individual and couple may respond differently to a variety of reasons for divorce. The following is a list of seven common reasons people decide to end a marriage and move forward in life.
Cheating on your spouse.
Trust can be irrevocably broken when one spouse strays from the marriage. Whether a spouse is caught in the act, is simply attempting to or wanting to cheat, infidelity is an absolute deal-breaker for many. In counseling, some couples can guess why the cheating happened and what, if anything they can do to build trust again and work on the marriage. What triggers responses to cheating? In many instances, children of parents who had fidelity problems are affected by their experiences. To this extent, for some, cheating may immediately lead to divorce.
When couples engage in violent conduct against one another, the marriage can suffer and not only trust is broken, but the basic need for safety is jeopardized. Domestic violence does not always leave cuts, bruises and scrapes. Verbal abuse and threats are also elements of domestic violence that cause people to leave a marriage. Are there signs your spouse may become a threat? Many victims of domestic violence report their spouse was ultimately controlling and prevented the abused from seeking help outside the home. There are many resources for domestic violence victims and many decide to seek a divorce before the violence escalates to an ultimate end, death.
Drug or alcohol abuse.
One of the more tragic causes of divorce may be drug or alcohol use or abuse. Addiction is recognized as a disease requiring treatment and ongoing care to help the addicted person stay clean. Not everyone makes it, however. A drug or alcohol problem can escalate to the point where people are in danger, and when children are endangered, tough decisions may be made. When a spouse decides to leave the marriage, they may be hopeful the abusing or addicted spouse gets the help they need and can still play an appropriate role in co-parenting when the couple has children. Often there is a pattern of use/abuse and incidents that build until the sober spouse just can’t take it anymore.
Financial failure and deception.
Money can lead to issues some couples cannot overcome. With some, the pursuit of wealth can overshadow a marriage and when money becomes more important than people it can lead to divorce. In other marriages, financial failure on a consistent and ongoing basis can be a hurdle some cannot get passed. When spouses are deceitful regarding financial matters, the lack of control and trust can put marriage on shaky ground. Too often, it can be too late, when a house of cards falls and an otherwise trusting spouse loses faith in their partner and the marriage.
Married for the wrong reasons.
People generally do not like uncertainty in life. A healthy marriage and strong relationship can provide safety and security as people start families and building lives together. When people fall in love and want desperately for their relationship and marriage to work, they may be blind to or overlook things for the sake of getting married. Sometimes people get married too young or before they really know the other person. In time, people may realize that they may have fundamental differences in personality, values and beliefs. When someone says, “I didn’t know who I was really marrying,” it can be an opportunity to adjust expectations or leave the marriage.
Lost spark in the bedroom and in life.
Why do we fall in and out of love? There are so many reasons people find one another attractive and desirable, not only intimately but also emotionally. When life is dynamic and people change over time, the spark can dim. There are many roads to reigniting the emotional spark among couples. Marriage counselors hear many stories of lust and love that pull people back together or drive them apart. For whatever reason, people change and do fall out of love. Staying together without love and intimacy is not always practical and divorce may be the better option.
Differences in life and career goals.
Especially when people are married and start families at younger ages, their goals in life can evolve as time passes, children get older and careers take people in new directions. Some people sense they want a different direction in their life or career than their spouse may, but still decide to stay together while raising children. It can be common to divorce when children become adults and start their own lives. Deciding to divorce because you and your spouse develop different wants and needs is just something that can happen in a marriage.
Despite these common reasons for divorce, some couples can work it out and stay together despite one, more or these seven factors influencing their marriage. At the end of the day it can all come down to love, and love is subjective. If the love is there, the marriage may be worth saving, and when love is lost, moving forward may be what matters more.
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Mark Scroggins , along with their team at
Scroggins Family Law represent clients in a variety of divorce and family law matters.
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