Top 5 Factors That Lead To Divorce
This is a guest blog post from Bari Z. Weinberger, a Parsippany, New Jersey divorce and family law attorney.
Valentine’s Day, the official holiday of love, evokes images of happy couples wrapped in passionate embraces. While married couples know that long-term relationships take more effort than occasional jewelry and flowers, Valentine’s Day might be a good time to consider the attention that you and your spouse give to each other.
If you’re thinking that your relationship could be strengthened, you might want to consider the common factors that eventually lead couples to divorce. Life has a way of interfering with our ability to see each other’s needs. When couples come into my office ready to divorce, it’s usually only after a prolonged period of communication breakdown.
These are the top issues that bring my clients to the point of divorce. I will list them here in case you recognize your marriage might be suffering under any one of these strains. Some of these problems can be addressed before they wreak too much damage on the marriage:
Still the number one reason why people seek a divorce, adultery drives couples apart and is difficult to recover from.
My clients often tell me they saw signs of an affair early on, but either didn’t recognize them or didn’t want to admit it might be happening. Those signs include emotional detachment, a sudden interest in dressing up and looking good, and/or unexplained credit card charges. If you see signs, work up the courage to address the issue and talk to your spouse.
Adultery is an obvious sign that something is wrong with the marriage, or something is not right in that person’s life. Either way, the problem won’t go away by itself and will need commitment from both spouses to be open and honest with each other about moving forward.
2. Financial Difficulties
Financial trouble is another key cause of divorce for my clients. It can be that a couple isn’t on the same page financially, meaning one is a spender and the other a saver – and they come to resent each other because of it. Often, income instability drives one or both spouses to a state of stress and heightened arguments.
Ideally, couples should openly discuss their finances before marrying – but not all people get around to doing so. If you’re already married, financial planners can help couples to get on the same page by mapping out both their immediate and future savings and retirement goals.
3. Work Stress and Obligations
Although not as common as adultery or financial troubles, work stress is a big factor that leads couples to go their own ways. Whether one or both spouses have demanding, all-encompassing jobs, this can, over time, lessen or sever the bond that originally brought them together.
My clients who have either uncommon work hours, such as a night shift, or highly demanding careers, tell a story of slowly losing touch with their spouse. If work obligations are interfering with your marriage, work on planning time together. You may want to talk with a counselor to come up with ways to stay in touch with each other, even with your demanding schedules.
Depression can place a dreadful strain on a marriage, especially if it hasn’t been clinically diagnosed. Often characterized by extreme mood swings and a severe detachment from life and the people around them, a person may seem like themselves one moment and then suddenly swing into full blown depression in the next.
People who are depressed often don’t seek treatment, and their spouse silently puts up with the problem, growing more distant or resentful every day. Depression doesn’t need to lead to divorce. Doing research to understand depression and then getting your loved one (or yourself) to a doctor are the first steps in working to treat the problem and restore a healthy marriage.
When one spouse becomes addicted, whether it’s to gambling, drinking, the Internet, or other, the road to recovery is often a long and painful one. The key with any addiction is to try to get your spouse to recognize that they have a problem, and to get them to seek help. Successfully treating the addiction may allow you, or your partner, to have a healthier relationship.
Without attention and proper nurturing, a marriage is sure to slowly unravel and drift apart. By all means, take Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to rekindle some romance, and have some fun. But if more serious problems are lurking, please do your best to take the necessary steps to address them as early as you can.