It’s true, a lot of divorces are the result of infidelity on one or both of the spouses’ parts and because of financial problems, but there are plenty of other reasons why marriages fail. In the United States, approximately 50 percent of all first marriages end in divorce and the divorce rate is even higher for second and third marriages, so the question is, why are so many people divorcing?
Is the institution of marriage outdated? Are we getting married too quickly? Or, do we not understand the recipe for a long-lasting, happy marriage? Perhaps it’s not a “marriage” problem, but a relationship problem. Our question to married spouses is this: If you had all the money in the world and you were still with your spouse but not married to him or her, would you stay with them for the rest of your life? Sort of gets you thinking, doesn’t it?
A lot of spouses stay unhappily married for the following reasons:
- They do it for the sake of the kids.
- They find the paperwork daunting.
- They have trouble starting things and seeing them through.
- A divorce seems too costly or complicated.
- They don’t want to divide their assets.
- They don’t want to not see their kids every day.
- They don’t want their kids to be raised by a stepmom or stepdad.
- They’re afraid of their spouse turning their kids against them.
- They’re afraid their spouse will turn a younger child against older siblings.
- They can’t imagine their spouse dating someone else.
- They’re afraid of being broke after the divorce.
- They’re afraid of being alone after the divorce.
- They’re terrified of being independent.
- They’ve been married for so long, they’re afraid of breaking their routine even though it makes them miserable.
- They want to have their cake and eat it too so to speak. They choose to “pretend” to be happy for the outside world while they engage in secret affairs.
Simple Reason People Get Divorced
Our society tries hard to understand why so many people get divorced. We know that cheating, finances, domestic violence, and busy schedules all strain a marriage, but it’s not always as complicated as it seems.
We must question why relationships fail as a whole, not only why marriages fail. While marriage is a forever concept, it’s also a piece of paper that legally binds us to our significant others. Once we become so financially entangled with our spouses, it becomes hard to break free.
So, what’s the simple reason why marriages fail? It’s because as the years go by, spouses get to know each other and they realize they have differences; they are not on the same page and this can translate to:
- Different hobbies,
- Different lifestyle habits (e.g. she’s a health nut and he’s the opposite),
- Different parenting styles, sometimes drastically different,
- Different religious views,
- Opposite personalities,
- Differences about household duties,
- One is a slob and the other is a neat freak,
- Different ideas about finances (e.g. he says money doesn’t matter and she disagrees),
- Different ideas about romance (she’s a hopeless romantic and he isn’t),
- Different interests (e.g. he loves art galleries and hiking and she prefers to spend all day gardening at home),
- Different views on family relationships (e.g. she thinks family is everything and he does not like to be close to family),
- Different ideas on travel (he wants to travel the world and she hates leaving the house), and
- Different ideas about health (she loves to exercise and he’s a couch potato).
Often, a marriage dies because the spouses have nothing in common and little, if anything to talk about. But, because they have kids together or because of society’s expectations, they’ll feel morally obligated to “make their marriage work,” even though they have virtually nothing in common with the person sleeping next to them every night. This can happen when a couple marries quickly before getting to know each other, or when they get married because of a strong sexual attraction, which weakens as the couple gets to know each other better. It also happens when couples marry young and they change a lot as they age.
What You Don’t Want to Hear
You may not want to hear this but we’re going to address the elephant in the room. Ask any family therapist, personal trainer, or hair stylist and they’ll readily tell you that they often hear this complaint from married people, especially men: “My spouse totally let themselves go after the marriage and I’m not attracted to them anymore.”
It has been said that women gain about 26 or 27 pounds after marriage and men gain about the same. However, men are very visual people and they tend to complain about their wives gaining weight more than women complain about their husbands gaining weight.
What will happen is a young, fit couple with fall in love and get married. They’ll get too comfortable with each other and before they know it, they spend all their free time together eating unhealthy food, watching TV, and drinking too much calorie dense alcohol.
Before they know it, they’ve each gained 25 or 30 pounds, their self-esteem has plummeted, they feel “tired” all the time and no longer feel attractive. They’ll barely be intimate in the bedroom and suddenly, eyes will start to wander outside of the marital bed.
Next thing you know, the husband will meet a young, fit woman who’s paying all this attention to him and he’ll cheat. The wife finds out and the marriage is over. While we’re not by any means condoning extramarital affairs, unfortunately this is a pattern that happens over and over again in marriages. So, it’s worth mentioning.
Related: Divorce & the Road to Rising Above
Can you relate to this post? If you’re contemplating divorce, the best way to protect yourself and your finances is to speak with a Los Angeles divorce attorneyat our firm. Contact us today to set up your free, confidential consultation.