As a New York divorce attorney I see failed marriages all day long. I often wonder why marriages fail and wish the couples could have prevented the divorce (even though that’s how I make a living). I would prefer to see two people be happy if possible and I’m more than aware that sometimes it’s not.
Research has shown that the top ten reasons marriages fail are:
- Financial Stress – communication about money may be causing you grief. How you and your spouse deal with bills, debt, budget and other money-related issues can make or break your marriage. Reaching a compromise with your spouse in this area can help safeguard your marriage from failure.
- Communication Problems – if you haven’t figured this one out already: getting married does not solve your communication problem, it may make it worse. Because the sharing of information is crucial to the success of your relationship, the lack of it is almost a guarantee of failure.
- Family Stressors – children, parents, siblings and all other relations can affect the home environment. Letting these stressors affect the relationship can destroy it.
- Sexual Issues – sex is a red hot topic and can impact a couples compatibility. Infidelity, infrequency and the quality of the physical intimacy are all factors to be considered. Sexual compatibility also requires discussion, which if absent in a relationship can lead to problems. Adultery, or having sexual relations outside of your marriage, is a leading cause of failed marriage.
- Discord Regarding Friends – friends of one of the partners may not get along well with the new spouse. If the friend does not become a positive part of the relationship, his or her continuing presence may contribute to the collapse of the marriage.
- Addiction – any substance (drugs, alcohol), behavioral (sex, co-dependency) or psychologically unhealthy form of dependence can ruin a marriage. Many of these problems also cause money to be a critical issue.
- Abuse – bottom line: not acceptable. Physical, verbal, sexual, and emotional forms of abuse are well known factors that destroy relationships. An unequal dynamic, never allowing for reasonable resolution of disputes, will surely cause a breakdown of a marriage.
- Negative Personality Traits – constant negativity, for example, or other forms of communication barriers are almost a guarantee a marriage will fail. We’re all human and have aspects of our personalities we wish weren’t there. It’s just whether we’re willing to look at them and work on them.
- Expectations – you have to have the ability to adapt to the ever-changing needs of a relationship. It’s also important to not have unrealistic ideas about your future. It’s good to have dreams and goals, but placing demands or expectations that can not or will not be met can lay the groundwork for disappointment and disillusionment. If you have expectations, you could be setting yourself up to be pissed off.
- Poor Time Management – finding balance in your life is often a lifetime project. Achieving a good balance between work, home and play is difficult but it’s important to the health of your relationship. Too much time working, too much time away from each other, and perhaps too much time together can all be sources of trouble in your marriage.
If any of these issues are causing problems in your marriage it may be time to deal with them. If, after your best effort, there is no way to resolve your problems, divorce is always an option.