We enjoy a good love story, especially after we’ve helped a client through a divorce only for him or her to find “true love” at last. But, before the princess finds her prince, sometimes she has to kiss a couple of frogs along the way.
And, same goes for our male clients. Sometimes, they have to have loved and lost before they find “the one,” and often, the person who’s right for someone at age 30, 40, or 50 is very different than what the person would have imagined at the age of 21. This is because our tastes tend to change a lot as we get older and wiser and realize what really makes us happy – and for most of us, true love goes way beyond chemistry.
Dirty Truth About Failed Marriages
In the United States, roughly 50 percent of all first marriages end in divorce. That means that five out of every 10 marriages will end in divorce. The reasons behind all these failed marriages may surprise you. Sure, adultery and money problems will always be factors, but the reasons behind divorce go far beyond infidelity and bankruptcy.
Here are some of the biggest, but less talked about reasons behind marriage fails:
1. Weight Gain
It is not uncommon for couples to gain between 27 and 30 pounds each after marriage. Weight gain leads to a lack of energy, reduced self-confidence, and sometimes...a wandering eye. When one spouse has gained a lot of weight while the other maintained their weight, the thinner spouse will often complain, “I’m just not attracted to her (or him) anymore.”
Weight gain may seem like a shallow excuse to throw in the towel on a marriage, but it would be foolish to ignore this harsh reality: a lot of spouses lose interest in the marriage when their spouse gains a significant amount of weight.
2. Lack of Physical Intimacy
Life can be hard and marriage can be even harder. A couple who has an active sex life at the beginning of their marriage can end up barely having sex as the years go by. Factors such as children, physical and mental health issues, money problems, aging, weight gain, and hectic work schedules can make a couple’s sex life non-existent and their marriage can unravel.
3. Busy Work Schedules
Not only do busy work schedules affect a married couple’s sex life, but they can create a physical distance, which leads to an emotional distance. In fact, it’s not uncommon for spouses who travel a lot to engage in affairs with co-workers or people they meet while travelling for work. In effect, the busy work schedules can put overwhelming strain on what would otherwise be a happy, healthy marriage.
4. Raising a Child with Disabilities
Raising a child with disabilities can be extremely trying for a couple, especially for the caregiver spouse who takes care of the child full-time. Sometimes, the emotional and financial stress involved in caring for a disabled child puts so much strain on a marriage, it buckles under the pressure.
5. Mental Health Issues
When one spouse is suffering with serious mental health issues, it can be very difficult for the other spouse to deal with it. If the mental illnessaffects the mentally ill spouse’s ability to hold down a job, sleep, care for the couple’s children, make rational decisions, and be a loving spouse, the couple can feel a disconnect to the point where they don’t feel like a married couple anymore. Unfortunately, serious mental illness can lead straight to a divorce.
6. Opposite Personalities (extrovert vs. introvert)
A strong physical attraction can be explosive at first, but many would agree that it only goes so far. If a couple rushes to the alter because of physical attraction, but they have opposite personalities, their marriage can have a shelf life. If one spouse is an extrovert for example and the other is a shy introvert who prefers to stay home, things can get boring real fast. Before the couple knows it, they lose interest in each other because they’re personalities do not mesh well together.
7. Lack of Common Interests
The happiest couples seem to have a lot in common. They don’t have to enjoy all of each other’s hobbies, but it’s great when they share a lot of common interests. For instance, if he loves to try different recipes, shop and go to parties but she’s a bookworm who hates to cook and leave the house, this could be a recipe for disaster.
Or, let’s say she loves to travel, eat healthy, go to the gym, and take hikes, but he likes to stay at home all the time, eat junk food, and play video games, odds are the couple is not going to last. If a couple has very little, if any common interests, it’s going to be difficult for them to have fun together and a good marriage has a lot to do with fun.
8. Dramatic Shift in Roles
This most commonly happens when a stay-at-home mom becomes the breadwinner and her husband quits or loses his job and becomes a stay-at-home father. For some couples, it works out beautifully, but for some men they find this role reversal as emasculating.
Suddenly, the wife becomes emotionally stronger and financially independent. She no longer “needs” her husband like she used to. Meanwhile, the husband has to rely on his wife to pay his bills and he has to ask her for money. Even though our society is evolving and this arrangement works for some couples, this dramatic shift in roles can weaken other marriages, leading to resentment and divorce.
9. Psycho Exes
With so many first marriages ending in divorce, we have lots of second marriages and of course, blended families, which can complicate things even more. We hate to say it but the classic case of the “psycho ex” can really blow the flame out of a second marriage. Sometimes, it takes a very strong marriage to weather the blows of a psychotic ex who is doing everything in their power to destroy the new marriage.
Related: Why Do More Women Ask for a Divorce?
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