Family Law Articles

There are a number of reasons for marriage, however, most will fall within one or more of the ten reasons listed below.  In fact, many of them will fall in almost all of the ten reasons below because these reasons are all very connected.  First one reason exists and then it causes another reason to arise.  This is why it is important to deal with problems in the relationship before there are so many problems nobody knows where to start.

Here are the top ten reasons I encounter on why couples divorce.

  1. Not Prioritizing Marriage

You’ve probably heard that you only achieve the goals that you prioritize.  When you prioritize something you spend the time and effort that is required to see success.  Obviously, in the beginning you probably did prioritize your spouse and marriage but eventually life got in the way and the marriage was not given the amount of effort and attention that is required for success.  Life happens to all marriages, but those that continue to prioritize their marriage tend to avoid divorce.

  • Not Scheduling Time for Each Other

When you were dating you made time for each other.  This needs to continue in order to have a healthy marriage.  When you spend time with someone you know more about them and what they are going through.  This gives you an opportunity to support each other during the difficult times and celebrate the good times.  This is a true partnership.  We all get busy, but those that make sure that they are never too busy for each other are more connected as a team.

  • Inadequate Communication

Communication is essential.   When you live with someone you are bound to have times you need something you are not getting from them and vice versa.  You are also likely to experience things that you each approach very differently.  You must stay in communication with your spouse and work through things.  Not all of us are good communicators, but there are marriage and individual therapists that can help you improve your communication and avoid misunderstandings.  Those that communicate their needs, desires and feelings have a deeper connection with their partner.

  • Lack of Emotional Connection

Everyone needs an emotional connection with their spouse.  Emotional connection is what differentiates a marriage from a roommate.  People want to feel cared for, loved and supported.  Emotional connection is what brought you together and it also works to keep you together.  Every couple will experience times when they feel less connected, but those that have successful marriages immediately communicate about why and take steps to correct it.

  • Inadequate Sexual Intimacy

Sexual intimacy is critical in a marriage.  When sexual intimacy stops, it is just a matter of time until cheating starts.  The cheating doesn’t even have to be infidelity, but simply somewhere where the spouse is getting the emotional connection other than from their spouse.  People tend to focus on the cheating, but usually, but not always, there was a lack of sexual intimacy that predates the cheating.  Although I hear this complaint from both men and women, it seems to occur most often when women are overwhelmed with working and taking care of the children and simply too exhausted.  Instead of helping the woman with the family the man feels rejected and alone.  Partners that help their spouse through difficult times and give them the help they need with the family commitments may find that their spouse doesn’t get as exhausted and has more time and energy for them.  If your marriage lacks sexual intimacy, its time to figure out why.  Marriage counselors can help if you lack the communication skills together to talk it through. 

  • Inability to Adjust to Transitions

Life has transitions.  There is the honeymoon phase, the starting and raising a family phase, the phase where children have their own interests and friends, the empty nester phase, and the retirement phase.  If the marriage gets out of balance during any of these phases it is unlikley to succeed.  The children can’t become your only focus or the empty nester phase will be a disaster.  Likewise, if you have lost connection with your spouse, when you retire and you are together all the time it  will be unbearable and lonely.  Your marriage must survive the transitions in life and the best way to do so is stay connected to each other. 

  • Spending Differences or Financial Difficulties

Let’s face it.  It is always easy to stay together when things are going great financially and your spending habits are similar.  This is where communication, understanding and transparency can help a couple develop a financial strategy that keeps them happy and secure.  Often times a spouse spending too much money is the result of a deficit somewhere else in the marriage. 

Sometimes, even when the spouses have a decent financial strategy life throws them a financial devastation.  It might be a spouse that loses a job, an unforeseen repair, or a medical situation that leaves the couple in a difficult financial situation.  If they have learned to work together as a team and they stay focused on solving the situation together they will likely weather this storm.  If, however, they start blaming each other and feeling hopeless the marriage is unlikely to survive. 

  • Inappropriate Relationships with Others and Lack of Trust

There are plenty of inappropriate relationships that have nothing to do with infidelity.  Sometimes it a spouse puts their mother or father before their spouse and use that relationship to gang up on their spouse or leave the spouse standing outside the circle.  Or, perhaps, it is a flirting relationship at work that the spouse knows is wrong, or even a friend that takes precedence over your spouse.  Your spouse needs to remain your closest partner in life and you must protect that relationship.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t have other relationships, and in fact, you should have other relationships and interests apart from your spouse.  This is healthy.  Just don’t let those relationships to hurt your spouse. 

                That being said, spouses also need to trust each other to have relationships without needing to be spied on or investigated.  You shouldn’t need to check every text on your spouse’s phone or quiz each other about relationships.  You should be able to instill in your spouse a sense of commitment that leaves no doubt in their mind where the marriage stands.  Jealousy is not love.  If you can’t trust your spouse you shouldn’t be married to them.   Conversely, if your spouse doesn’t trust you, you need to figure out if there is anything you can do that will help them to trust you.  Without trust the marriage is doomed.

  • Inability to Forgive the Past

Sometimes a spouse hurts the other spouse and although they decide to work through the situation every time a disagreement occurs the past is brought up again and again.  You cannot work through a situation until you are ready to forgive and forget and leave it in the past.  While this is really hard to do, there are therapists that can work with you on this.  Ultimately, the couple will not work past the situation until they forgive each other and move past the hurt of the situation.

  1. Parenting Differences

We are all raised in different households with different methods.  It is not unusual that a couple doesn’t see eye to eye on how to raise a family.  What makes the critical difference, is whether the couple is willing to listen to each other, communicate about these differences, and find compromises that help them parent their children without conflict between the spouses.  If you continue to disagree about major aspects in raising a family the marriage is unlikely to succeed.  Couples need to realize there are many ways to raise families but the absolute most important aspects are parents that love, respect and support each other.