It’s no secret that divorce rates are commonly high. Divorce is a genuine threat to any couple despite most, if not all couples marrying without the desire for divorce! Financial issues and poor communication are some of the biggest and most obvious reasons why marriages fail. But there are other reasons why marriages fail too that can often be overlooked. Some of these reasons are surprising and seemingly sneaky, while others are quite obvious (e.g., infidelity, or abuse). If you make a point of understanding some of the main reasons why marriages fail and learn how to protect your marriage from such challenges, you’ll preserve the longevity, enjoyment, and health of your marriage keeping it on course for many years to come.
Here are five surprising reasons why marriages fail, along with some information on how to protect your marriage from such problems
1. A lack of investment in each other and your marriage
Investing your time in learning what is involved in making a marriage work, working on self-development and on investing in your shared life goals as a couple is critical for a happy, healthy and long marriages.
When it comes to holding down a career, we know that we need to invest in skills to attain and maintain success but for some strange reason, we don’t often think that we need any skills to sustain a marriage. Not investing in your marriage and personal development is a huge risk and one that you can easily avoid.
Make sure that your marriage remains tight by paying attention to your personal and marital development; Couples counseling, books, and a commitment to spending a few hours each week on assessing your marital life and your relationship together are all ways that you can start to make such an investment. Then working together to acknowledge or to make any necessary changes, without blame or judgment, will ensure that you can tick this common reason why marriages fail off your list of threats to your marriage.
2. Control Dramas
There can often be unnecessary “control dramas” present in the way that we communicate with our spouses. For example; we might present an inability to forgive our partners, become angry at the slightest challenge to our behaviors, pander to our partner’s every whim so that we avoid having to have meaningful conversations, or play the aggressor or victim. Such control dramas can be the reason why marriages fail.
When we are not able to recognize how we communicate, in particular, how we avoid having to face any of our difficult behaviors, patterns, and underlying emotions, it can be tough to calmly discuss issues that most spouses face over the course of time. We then continuously repeat our learned behaviors – projecting our control dramas out all over our spouses and children. A pattern that never offers either spouse the opportunity for growth or to reconcile their differences, or to heal their past. Such profound issues can contribute to an unhealthy and distant marriage over the course of time.
This is a reasonably easy problem to resolve, it just involves self-reflection, so that you can recognize your patterns and behaviors, and also a willingness to be vulnerable, and to lower your defenses. And if you are witnessing the behaviors in your spouse, you will need to provide a non-judgemental, tolerant place for your spouse to express their underlying vulnerability, fear or anxiety (which is what they are protecting with their control dramas).
3. Forgetting about your relationship
It’s funny how that in some situations the fact that a couple has married seems to add more pressure to a relationship that occurred prior. Of course, we all know that marriage takes work, but somehow everything starts to become far more serious in some ways than it needs to be. Marriage is all about building a life together, and yes that takes work, but the problem is that sometimes the relationship, love, and friendship that formed between spouses before marriage becomes lost in ‘married life’ and this is another reason why marriages fail. The relationship or friendship is forgotten somewhere along the way. Instead, the pressure is on to maintain the marriage.
If you think about marriage as a commitment to building a life together which incorporates children, financials, life in general, and your relationship and friendship with each other, then you will remain close. This will maintain the love, bond, and friendship that caused you both to realize that you wanted to live your life together in the first place. If you interact with your spouse by placing the friendship and bond you have at the forefront; you’ll soon work through some of life’s challenges as though it is a dream.
4. Unrealistic or assumed expectations
This is a topic that can be associated with how well we communicate; it’s a huge reason why marriages fail. But it’s quite simple to manage.
We often have expectations of our spouses or other people around us that frequently leave us disappointed when our spouse does not live up to such expectations. What most of us don’t realize is that it’s impossible to meet anybody’s expectations – especially if those expectations are not communicated verbally to the person who is expected to behave in a certain way!
There’s a simple reason for this – We have a unique perspective of the world around us. We all process information differently. Something that is important and seems to be entirely logical for one person may not even reach awareness of another person, and nobody is exclusive to this situation.
So when we have expectations on each other but we don’t express them to each other, the other person has no chance. They will let you down because they will have no idea about what you want. So it makes sense to make a practice of discussing your expectations in every area of your life and relationship together. This doesn’t mean that just because you have an expectation that your spouse should do what is expected, but it does open the floor for discussion, negotiation, and compromise. So that you might be able to find the middle ground, and so both spouses feel heard and acknowledged by each other.