Although the divorce rate has dropped to a 40 year low, many couples are and will always choose to divorce. Divorce is socially acceptable in the United States and around the world.
There are many reasons why a couple would choose to end their marriage and proceed to a divorce. Studies have shown that the average length of first marriages ending in divorce is about eight years.
Here are 4 Mistakes That Could Lead to Divorce
1. Getting Married Too Young
Marrying at a young age without the skills needed to sustain a marriage and relationship is one of the main reasons some marriages end in divorce. Marriage takes experience and patience, something you don’t have an abundance of at 19 or 20 years of age. In fact, 60 percent of couples who marry between the ages of 20-25 will end up divorced.
What motivates people to marry at a young age? Religious beliefs, an unstable home environment, and some fall for the societal message that if they find, “the one” they will be promised a “happily ever after.”
Whatever the reason, divorce statistics are proof that the majority will not find the stability and love they long for if they marry too young.
Fifty years ago, those who married young stayed married. Why? Because divorce wasn’t easy to obtain, it wasn’t socially accepted and came with family repercussions. Today young people are, thankfully, able to undo marital mistakes due to the change in attitudes toward divorce and the ease of obtaining one.
2. Marrying For the Wrong Reasons
Apart from being too young to marry, there are many reasons a marriage can end in divorce. One reason has to be marrying for the wrong reasons. Below are a few of those, “wrong reasons.”
- Marrying for money: For some, the most obvious benefit of marriage is financial security. While some may believe they’ve found their golden ticket when marrying for money what they have, in fact, found is the shortest route to divorce.
- To ease loneliness: When you are feeling lonely, you are much more likely to make poor love choices and end up in unfulfilling relationships. A lonely person will remain lonely after marriage. Some people are so emotionally empty that they are desperate for anyone to marry. In the end, these persons end up in a painful relationship and marriage.
- Because of pregnancy: Just as with divorce, having a baby out of wedlock is more socially acceptable today. I can’t imagine trying to settle into a marriage and welcoming a new baby within a few months of walking down the aisle. According to DivorceSource.com, “Marriages that occur as a result of an unplanned pregnancy have a 90% divorce rate within six years of getting married. When a couple begins a marriage with the added responsibility of raising a child, things become very stressful. Children demand an incredible amount of time and energy from their parents, time that the couple needs to build a healthy mature relationship.”
- If there is no love and commitment there is no reason to marry.
3. Lack of Communication in the Relationship
Being able to communicate with your spouse is crucial for a number of reasons. When couple’s stop communicating they leave open the opportunity for conflicts to stagnate and go unresolved. Disagreements and misunderstandings become part of the relationship dynamic. Such a dynamic only leads to a cycle of endless arguing with no resolution to problems.
A lack of communication shows an inability to work together to solve conflict. It also indicates that one or the other spouse doesn’t feel safe expressing their needs and concerns. For a marriage to be healthy, communication needs to be congruent, authentic and fair. Poor communication or lack of all together is the number one reason couples give for divorce.
In order to live together with a person, share the same bed and have trust in one another they need to be able to communicate. Otherwise, divorce will more than like, be part of their future.
4. Having Unrealistic Expectations of Your Partner
Many people go into marriage wearing rose-colored glasses. Love and unrealistic expectations blind them to the effort needed for a marriage to thrive. They think that just because they “love” each other they can weather any storm. What they don’t realize is, marital storms can batter a marriage the same way trees bend and moan under the power of a hurricane.
If you don’t have the commitment it takes to survive a marital storm, you won’t find your marriage to be a place of shelter and safety.
Unrealistic expectations of marriage can be hard to satisfy, and if we don’t adjust what we expect from marriage to reflect reality, we run the risk of being continually disappointed. Disappointment, in turn, can lead to a lack of interest in building a more positive relationship with our spouse and to questioning whether we made a mistake by marrying in the first place.
For marriages to survive both parties need to be realists, flexible, and able to manage their expectations.
Making A Marriage Work Depends on How Committed You Are to the Marriage
Marriages constantly move, change, and grow. Long-term relationships need to be constantly re-evaluated and talked about. If you don’t look after a baby, a pet, or a plant – really, anything that’s living — it tends to wither and die. The same goes for marriage.
Left unattended a marriage will eventually draw its last breath. If you do marriage correctly it isn’t tough. There won’t be times you want to give up or question whether you made the right decision. If you respect the commitment you made to your spouse – and have a partner who reciprocates that energy – divorce will never be part of your life.
If you can think of your commitment to your marriage and spouse as, “I have to, I want to, I ought to,” when tackling conflict and problems as they arise, you may never be faced with having to make the decision to divorce or to stay married.