In the United Kingdom, a staggering 42% of marriages end in divorce. Of course, no two couples experience marriage the same. It is impossible to determine precisely why the prevalence of divorce is so high because each pair has their unique struggles, triumphs, successes and failures. Nevertheless, with so many once-happy couples deciding to call it quits, specific trends and warning signs have been repetitively noted.
Studies show that the primary reason why couples decide to divorce stems from a lack of commitment, compatibility, or met expectations. The reality is that once you live with someone for a prolonged period, you get to know who they are. Often, marriage can bring out a different side of people from how they were during the dating period. Alternatively, marriages can last so long that the two partners grow apart in interests and desires.
The top five most cited reasons for divorce in 2019
1. Lack of compatibility
Couples who decide to divorce may have fundamentally different values, which can be seemingly impossible to overcome. Sometimes, this refers to highly contentious topics such as religion or political views. It can also, however, encompass things like having too few shared common interests. Once married couples become parents, differences in parenting styles and ideals are also readily cited.
2. Lack of intimacy
Sexual attraction and purpose are hugely important in a marriages’ longevity. Lack of libido or sexual activity can become an overwhelming problem because it often underscores the absence of a different kind of intimacy altogether. Emotional trust, respect, and closeness are core fundamentals in marriage success. Usually, when these are lacking between two partners, one partner may exhibit this outwardly by showing a lack of interest in the bedroom.
3. Financial stress
Financial stress is a common problem in the breakdown of marriages. Adult life is expensive. Mortgages, taxes, health-related costs, not to mention potential childcare costs can cause a substantial burden on married individuals to provide for each other and their families adequately. Studies show that divorces are common following a prolonged period of unemployment for one or both partners, highlighting the importance of financial stability in a healthy marriage. Further, disagreements on how to save, spend, and donate to charities can cause significant problems.
Affairs can cause irreparable damage to a marriage. Of course, adultery does not always lead to divorce. However, the emotional damage that can ensue from the infidelity of one partner cannot be unacknowledged. Following infidelity, the success of a marriage depends on several factors. Both parties must be willing to understand the underlying reasons which led to one partner feeling they needed to cheat. They must also be prepared to move forward with a forgiving, positive, and supportive relationship.
5. Lack of communication
“Poor communication” is an umbrella term often referring to the inability to convey true feelings or emotions, constant unproductive arguing or repeated dishonesty. Marriage is difficult even between the most communicative of couples. Not being able or willing to share your thoughts and grievances can make it incredibly difficult for a relationship to succeed. Partners are not mind-readers!
How to avoid divorce?
If you feel your marriage is progressing in the wrong direction, there are several proactive steps you can take to get you and your partner back on the same page. Although these steps are by no means an exhaustive list, they may help repair to repair any long-standing damage.
1. Learn to listen
When you are hurting, it can be easy to play the victim. Choosing to believe that you are blameless in any conflict, however, is not productive or conducive to the health of your relationship. Learn to listen to your partner. Even if you do not agree, let them finish their thoughts and feelings before interjecting with your own. Additionally, learn to understand their body signals. Sometimes it may be difficult for them to voice their opinions, particularly if your relationship has had a history of arguing and conflict.
2. Be open about your needs
As with the previous point, learn to voice your needs wholeheartedly. You cannot expect your partner to automatically be able to guess what you are thinking or feeling. Learn to be open about your needs and provide productive ways that they might be able to support you. Do not blame them for not having supported you in the past. Look forward, to what they can do, rather than what you feel they have not.
3. Look and feel your best
Having self-confidence and feeling good about yourself is hugely important in a relationship. Self-care can fall by the wayside when kids, career, and other seemingly more important things are so prevalent. However, taking an hour or more a week to care for yourself and feel your best can help you reassure yourself that you are deserving of love and success, both from yourself and those around you.
4. Believe in yourself and your partner
Believing in the success of your marriage is so important. The power of positive thinking has been proven time and time again as a reliable indicator of success. Instead of focusing on all the things you do not enjoy about your marriage, choose to spend mental energy on the things you do enjoy. It is not easy, especially when circumstances seem stacked against you. Having trust in the inevitable ups and downs of marriage, however, can allow you to ride out the lower times until you reach a high once again.
Understanding other peoples’ experiences with the dissolution of a marriage can help you avoid it for yourself. If you feel you or your partner need additional help, get in touch with a marriage specialist to talk through your grievances and difficulties. Being proactive and identifying the issues can help you and your partner become happy once more.
The breakdown of a marriage is listed as one of the most stressful things that we can experience in life. If things did not work out for you,
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