Although many people assume that infidelity is the leading cause of divorce, the reality is that cheating is usually just a symptom that the marriage was failing long before attentions strayed.
There are many underlying reasons why marriages fail. Some are more obvious than others.
Financial Incompatibility – While a lack of money generally creates a stressful situation for married couples, what really drives them apart is when one spouse is a spendthrift and the other is a saver. Opposites may attract, but not when it comes to managing the marital finances. While things may sail along for a while, often the difference in approaches to managing money will eventually cause an irreparable rift.
Saying “I Do” For The Wrong Reasons – One of the surprising secrets in many marriages is that one partner had misgivings about the union long before he or she walked down the aisle. Whether it is family pressure, an unexpected pregnancy or some other reason, far too many people say “I do” out loud while their heads and hearts say ‘I don’t!” If you have reservations before you get married, they are not likely to go away after you tie the knot.
Fighting Unfairly – Even though some people claim they never argue with their significant other, it is safe to say that at some point every couple will have a disagreement. So why do some couples seem to bounce back from fights while others just end up with festering emotions? The secret is how they fight. When couples can set ground rules for fights and avoid personal attacks, they can get over the disputes and get back to marital harmony. If they can’t, then ongoing resentment and hurt will only build to a breaking point.
You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling – No, we are not just talking about sex, although that is part of a healthy marriage, of course. Intimacy is about more than that. It is the daily affection that each spouse demonstrates toward the other. Holding hands, terms of endearment, hugs and hello/good-bye kisses are all part of the intimacy package. Without these gestures, spouses often feel like strangers in their own home.
Lack of Intimacy – When intimacy goes out the window, so too does satisfaction with the marriage. This time we are talking about sex as well as non-sexual intimacy. Human beings are hard-wired to require sexual contact. While each person is different in terms of wants and needs, when a couple starts forgoing intimate contact, eventually they drift apart feeling unsatisfied and alone.
Being A Clone Of Your Spouse – It is great if you meet your soul mate and share many interests. However, turning into a clone of your spouse usually leads to dissatisfaction down the road. This dissatisfaction often leads to resentment and eventually a split. Maintaining your own separate interests and activities will keep your mind and heart healthy and satisfied. It will also keep a bit of intrigue and interest going between two people.
Different Interests – Of course, not sharing any interests with your spouse is also a recipe for potential disaster. While you don’t need to be identical, having some interests in common allows you to share as a couple. Without this, many couples simply grow apart over time.
People Don’t (Usually) Change – Couples often identify small things that annoy them with their partner long before they walk down the aisle. She likes action-packed vacations while he’d rather lounge by the pool reading a book. He wants to save for a house in the suburbs while she prefers renting in the city. He wants kids, she doesn’t. Some differences are easy to overcome, while others are not. If there is a deal-breaking difference that is ignored before the wedding, chances are it will only fester and lead to a split down the road.
Looking To Your Spouse For Happiness – While it is nice if your spouse does things to please you, at the end of the day only you are responsible for your own happiness. Expecting your significant other to make you truly happy is usually a futile endeavor that leads to nagging and complaining which leads to a split.
Losing Your Identity – Many married couples make the mistake of falling into role titles and they lose themselves along the way. This is especially true when they have children. Becoming mom or dad often causes couples to focus all their energy on the kids, and lose the intimate connection between husband and wife. Eventually the children grow up and fly the nest and all that is left is two strangers living in the same house.