Over the years, extensive research has been conducted to explore the fluctuation in divorce rates. It’s a complicated topic, with most couples citing more than one factor driving their decision to end a marriage. Several questionnaires and studies have been implemented as a way to uncover the reasons behind the high rate of divorce. And while no particular reason stands out, several leading causes have emerged. Here are a few of them:
- Lack of commitment. A happy, healthy marriage needs two committed adults who are willing to work on the relationship through good times and bad. When commitment is lacking from one or both spouses, the marriage can suffer.
- Too much arguing or conflict. Disagreements are inevitable in a marriage, but they become a problem when they aren’t handled well or when the discord is constant. When the home is a place of tension rather than one of peace, most couples can only bear it for so long.
- Infidelity. Forgiving a spouse who has cheated and then finding a way to trust that person again is a tall order, not to mention all the work that is required from both sides to repair the relationship. Even marriages that survive infidelity are changed forever. For many, it’s simply an unforgivable offense.
- Financial Issues. Money can be a frustrating topic even among financially secure couples, especially if their attitudes about spending and saving differ. When spouses face debt or difficulty making ends meet, the stress and conflict over household finances can be insurmountable.
- Lack of preparation. Marriage requires much more than emotional connection and physical attraction to be successful. Some couples discover that they simply aren’t compatible once they move in together. Others may set their marriage up for failure by not talking about long-term issues, such as whether to have a family.
There are many other causes of divorce, including marrying at a young age or unrealistic expectations about a partner or marriage. Addiction and domestic violence can quickly sever a marital relationship. And sometimes emotional and physical health issues are just too much for a couple to overcome. As you can see, there is no clear answer to why so many marriages end in divorce. Understanding some of these underlying causes, however, may help couples better prepare for and work toward a successful marriage.
Counseling can help in good times and bad
Counseling can benefit you and your partner, whether you are happily married, struggling with your marriage, or contemplating marriage in the future. It’s certainly a tool to consider when you’re facing a serious problem with your partner, but you don’t have to wait until you’re in desperate need of help. Even happy marriages have some level of conflict, and there is room for improvement in all relationships. The right therapist can help you better communicate as a couple, work through difficult issues, and resolve disputes now and in the days to come.
Dr. David Lowenstein is a Columbus, Ohio-based psychologist with more than 35 years of experience. He conducts individual, family, and group therapy sessions in his German Village office and also via telehealth. Dr. Lowenstein is also available for expert forensic testimony, and for educational workshops and presentations. He is frequently called upon as an expert source for print, radio, and broadcast media. Contact Dr. Lowenstein at Lowenstein & Associates, 691 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43206, or call 614.443.6155 or 614.444.0432.