It is the perfect day: Sun shining, family and friends gathered together, you in a tuxedo or a white dress, ready to make a commitment that will last a lifetime.
But wait. That gray cloud on the horizon, threatening rain? Those are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics:
- Over 2 million marriages take place each year.
- Over 800 thousand divorces take place each year.
- In general, over 50% of marriages end in divorce.
Divorce happens. Some culprits are obvious like infidelity. Others are more extreme like addiction or a cancer diagnosis. Here are five surprising reasons why couples divorce.
1: Different Takes on Finances
Ever seen this situation? There’s a partner in a relationship that loves to spend. They spend hard earned money on clothes, toys, and accessories. That hard earned money may or may not be earned by them.
Then there’s this: The partner in the relationship that likes to save. They are financially and fiscally responsible, and they make sure the bills get paid each month. Excursions are welcomed but not necessary.
It seems like an incompatible situation, and it is. Differences in spending and allocating money are a primary driver of divorce.
2: Extraordinary Circumstances
Think of the following situations and how you might handle them, as a couple: One of you gets cancer and has only a few months to live. One of you develops an addiction, which wreaks havoc on a family’s stability and finances.
There’s the death of a child.
Extraordinary circumstances challenge individuals to remain with their partners. Events that cause devastation and heartbreak can be hard to live with. Staying together through the loss of a child is difficult. Watching a loved one fight cancer is tough as well.
Extraordinary circumstances may seem extraordinary, in that they occur to only a select few. Unfortunately, they happen to more people than one might expect. They are another surprising driver of divorce.
3: Weight Gain
This is superficial. Today, with the body positive challenge to Americans, most Americans are likely to celebrate their bodies rather than criticize them. However.
For many men and women, physical attractiveness is important. And for partners in that relationship, having that physical attraction both towards and for their partner is necessary for the relationship to continue growing.
But it’s not just the middle aged man getting tired of his overweight wife. It works both ways.
Weight issues can lead to a detraction in a person’s physical attractiveness. Their view of themselves might go down. Self esteem issues might happen. This can lead to detrimental behavior, driving a couple apart.
4: Communication Issues
In American culture, there’s a stereotyped and hackneyed scenario: The stolid man not saying anything as his wife nags him.
Communication experts will say that most marriage problems are exacerbated by a lack of communication. Men, the stereotype suggests, have trouble communicating and sharing their thoughts. Women tend to, as the stereotype suggests, talk a lot.
While the stereotypes are just stereotypes, couples struggle with communication. While it might be there in the beginning of the relationship, it may taper off as time goes on. This can lead to divorce.
This may not come as a surprise but the sheer statistics are.
Marriage and couples therapists say that over half their caseload involves cases where a partner in a couple cheated. In marriages that have a partner committing infidelity, over 20% end up in divorce.
It is simple really: Infidelity is breach of trust in a huge way and involves one partner in the relationship to be physically and perhaps emotionally involved with another person. It is a top 10 driver of divorces.
Those are five surprising causes of divorces in America. Many people in those situations seek out a divorce lawyer. They offer divorce help, sometimes from a divorce law firm. The cost of a divorce lawyer varies. There are ways to get a low cost divorce.
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