Most people who get married do not ever want to get divorced. They go into their marriage with the highest of hopes for a long happy life together. However, marriages are like gardens. You must tend to them regularly or else “weeds” can grow. If these weeds are left unattended they can ultimately destroy the “garden.”
When couples feel like they have given their relationship all they have, they can ultimately come to the conclusion that it’s time to end their marriage.
Here are 7 causes of seeking a divorce:
Role of friends
Trouble with communication
When two people are sharing a life together, it is critical that they are able to talk about what they need and be able to understand and try to meet the needs of their partner. When couples stop talking to each other, they can feel isolated, lonely and can stop caring about one another altogether. This can lead to the breakdown of the relationship.
Trouble with finances
Financial stress can lead to big worries. If a couple is not on the same page about how the finances are going to be handled it can lead to terrible problems. Differences in how much money each partner brings into the marriage can also lead to power plays between a couple.This can wreak havoc on their sense of unity and ultimately their happiness.
Trouble with family/in-laws
Family can be a big source of stress for a couple. If a couple does not understand how to have good boundaries with family it can cause a lot of fighting. In addition, each family has its own particular “culture” (how things are done, attitudes, values, etc.). When two people come together they are melding two different cultures. When this isn’t done successfully, it can end a marriage. Things can really get complicated when the marriage is blended with children from past partners. The family issues can multiply and cause even more stress on the couple.
There are a lot of mixed marriages out there. Sometimes that works out great and enhances life by adding a mixture of traditions. Other times, often when there are children involved, it can lead to big differences in attitudes about how one should live their life and rear kids. If couples can’t come to an agreement on what part religion will play in their life together, this can cause deep turmoil.
The role of friends
Some couples have different ideas about what role friends should play in their life as a couple. One partner might feel their spouse is spending too much time with other people. This can lead to feeling unloved, feelings of rejection, and feeling unappreciated.
Often couples struggle with different sex drives and different sexual appetites. This can really plague a couple as they try to get their needs met. In addition, at different stages of life our sexual needs can change which can lead to feelings of confusion and rejection.
When one person goes outside of the relationship to get their needs met, whether it is physical or sexual, this can doom a relationship. It is very difficult to get trust back once a partner feels betrayed. It’s not impossible, but very challenging indeed.
Divorce can be especially traumatic when there are children involved. The worst thing parents can do is turn their child (children) into confidants. If you think about it logically you can see that if a child (no matter what age even into adulthood) sides with Mom they feel they are betraying Dad. If they side with Dad they are betraying their mother. It is a no-win situation and causes anxiety.
If you are experiencing one or more of these issues in your marriage, you may be having a pretty tough time right now. Here’s the good news. Couples therapy can really help with any or all of these issues. Typically couples come to counseling seven to eleven years after problems have started. That can make it seem pretty hopeless that things will ever get better. However, if both partners are committed to making their marriage better there is plenty that can be done to improve their life together and help the marriage garden bloom again.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Gail Desilets is an LMFT graduate from California State University; she specializes in individual and couples therapy. Gail works as a private practitioner with many clients on cognitive behavioral therapy, adult issues like divorce and separation. Gail is a solution-focused therapist and her therapeutic approach is mainly focussed on giving practical feedback to help clients in overcoming their challenges.