Divorce hurts. There are no two ways about it. But what happens between two people who used to love each other that cause the dissolution of a marriage? It usually boils down to poor behavior.
“A mere quarter of an hour can often reveal the likelihood of a couple’s future. Expert analysis indicates that within this brief interaction, it is possible to predict with a staggering 90% accuracy whether a couple will remain together after five years,” asserts Dave Elliott, a seasoned Relationship Coach, Divorce, and Behavioral Expert.
The statistical realities of marriage and divorce are indeed arresting.
According to recent data, approximately 44.6% of all marriages in the United States dissolve into divorce. This places the nation as the tenth highest in terms of divorce rates globally.
Some other nations that report high rates of dissolved marriages are the following:
- France: 55%
- Cuba: 56%
- Estonia: 58%
- Luxembourg: 60%
- Spain: 61%
- Czech Republic: 66%
- Hungary: 67%
- Portugal: 68%
- Belgium: 71%
There’s an ongoing debate concerning the accuracy of divorce metrics. While statisticians, researchers, and scientists universally accept no single measure, the divorce-to-marriage percentage ratio provides a reasonable indicator. This metric includes two critical elements in its calculation: the number of marriages and the corresponding divorces expressed as a percentage of these unions.
Beneath these cold, hard figures, some individuals are experiencing, or have experienced, the emotional turmoil of a marriage ending. Such research uncovers stories of human struggle that are profoundly moving and disquieting.
Many couples, it seems, underestimate the intricate dynamics of marriage before they take their vows. The “learn as you go” approach often proves inadequate when navigating the many unforeseen challenges that married life invariably presents.
What then prompts individuals to terminate their marriages? This complex question eludes straightforward answers. Nevertheless, a collection of eight behaviors, gleaned from reliable sources, can offer insights into this conundrum.
Here are the eight behaviors that often lead to divorce:
So, why do people end their marriages? Of course, this is a very nuanced question with no simple answer. That said, we compiled a list of eight behaviors from reliable sources that may explain why couples call it quits.
1. Accusations can lead to divorce
Relationship experts state that the habit of assigning blame without facts or questioning is “one of the absolute kisses of death in a marriage.” The sad thing is that this behavior is easily correctable by asking a question instead of making a statement. (“Why are you so late coming home?” vs “Out partying with your buddies again.”)
Giving your partner the benefit of the doubt, especially when they’ve earned it, is always good practice. If a behavior is unacceptable, a constructive dialogue is needed.
2. Addictions may lead to ending the marriage
Family lawyers attest that many clients who file divorce papers have a partner with an addiction. Alcohol, drugs, and compulsive behaviors (e.g. gambling) are all often cited on the record.
Alcohol, substance abuse, and compulsive behaviors are all treatable conditions. One consensus that addiction rehabilitation counselors, therapists, and other experts have reached is that treatment is only possible when the addict truly wants to quit.
Unfortunately, the number of untreated or relapsed addicts far exceeds those who remain in treatment or have overcome their vices. Moreover, this often occurs to the detriment of their marriage and family. On a brighter note, treatment options are available if the person is willing to try rehabilitation.
3. Estrangement can cause a broken marriage
Estrangement is displayed in a variety of ways. The most prominent type of alienation is the refusal to confront an issue by ignoring or withdrawing from your partner. Estrangement is also seen as a form of abandonment; for example, getting angry at your spouse without explanation and slamming the front door as you leave.
Resolving issues is an inseparable part of a relationship. Thus, an inability or refusal to engage your partner in solving problems is the personification of immaturity and must be rectified.
4. Invalidation leads to divorce
Invalidation is another relationship-killer that involves “discrediting (your partner) or weakening them in some way.” This behavior is a twisted act of objectification that diminishes a person’s humanity by using any perceived negative aspects, assumptions, and prejudices. The invalidation behavior involves bullying a person you’ve promised to love.
The only solution to invalidating behavior is seeing one’s partner as a fallible human. Despite those faults, you owe them respect. Continuous invalidation is a form of sociopathy and is only present in highly dysfunctional relationships. Professional help and a genuine desire to change is the only recognized solution.
Controlling and manipulative behavior is emotional abuse, plain and simple. While marriage does require compromise and willingness to sacrifice, control and manipulation are not ethical means of ensuring this cohesion.
Controlling and manipulative people rarely change their behavior. Unfortunately, this dehumanizing behavior – more often than not – becomes worse over time. Couples therapists and marriage counselors are a potential solution if the issue is handled early.
6. Misplaced priorities may lead to divorce
Family, job, and everything else. Indeed, this is how most individuals in healthy relationships prioritize their lives.
When the family begins to take a backseat to anything, it’s time for a serious conversation. Extenuating circumstances (e.g., a heavier workload) should be clearly stated and understood by both individuals. That’s because marriage often deteriorates without a worthy explanation to the point where divorce is seen as the only option.
7. Poor communication can cause a rift in a marriage
Let’s put it. Good communication is the foundation of any healthy marriage. In fact, many experts agree that many spouses could improve how they communicate to save a rocky marriage.
Erica Kroll, a licensed Marriage Counselor, cites three common communication mistakes between spouses:
- Yelling at your spouse: “…yelling goes way beyond the line. It sets the stage for an exchange of heated emotions rather than clearly communicated words.”
- Having a competitive attitude: “A person with emotional insecurities may overcompensate by trying to look superior to his or her spouse. (Some) competition is OK, but anything that isn’t mutual any playful could build a wall.”
- Making marriage about me instead of we: “Generosity and considerate behaviors can go a long way toward nurturing a great marriage. (But) don’t get caught up in the “what’s in it for me (trap).”
8. Deception can lead to a divorce
Habitual lying about anything can be detrimental to a marriage. In fact, it doesn’t matter if it’s lying about a small credit card charge, or “forgetting” about the exact time to be somewhere important.
So if you lied about something, be an adult and admit it. However, if you’ve been habitually lying, be an adult and admit it. To be honest, there is no other option – which should have been the first course of action.