Every divorce scenario is different. While some marriages end in long, drawn-out fights, others end because of the things left unsaid. No matter the reason, deciding that it is time to end a marriage is difficult, no matter how right the decision is.
Whether you are married, divorced, in between the two, or happily single, it can be helpful to understand where most marriages go awry. Not only does this allow us to find acceptance when a marriage ends, but it can also help us to watch out for red flags and signs that things may be going south. One of the worst aspects of divorce is feeling blindsided.
Before we discuss the main reason couples divorce, it is worth noting many of the lesser reasons that can wear away at a marriage. In reality, there are often many contributing factors that lead up to the final “big” reason for splitting. However, just because these aren’t the main final reasons for divorce does not mean that they don’t contribute to the overall breaking down of the marital connection.
We hope that we never realize that our spouse is having an extramarital affair, but unfortunately, it is one of the main contributing factors in divorces. Perhaps this is because we can overlook many flaws in our partners but have a hard time getting past infidelity.
Illnesses and serious medical problems often lead to significant stress and debt. Unfortunately, in these survival situations, we often focus on the problem at hand rather than allowing ourselves the time and space to be our own people.
Unfortunately, abuse plays a significant role in some divorces. Whether the abuse is sexual, physical, emotional, financial, or otherwise, many individuals cannot work out their issues in a healthy way and end up abusing their partners. Naturally, many abused spouses want to leave their marriages.
Substance Abuse and Addiction
Addiction is a highly complicated condition, and it is difficult to overcome. The recovery process is draining, and many people don’t even get to that stage in their journey. Unfortunately, a lot of marriages end because of an addiction, whether treatment is involved or not.
Distance in the Relationship
Many people feel distant from their partners either emotionally or physically throughout a marriage. Sometimes, couples can fix this distance, but sometimes it drives them apart. It is important to remember that emotional and physical intimacy are vital for couples, so a lack of it can drive a significant wedge between two people.
Marrying Too Young
Humans grow and evolve as time passes. Sometimes, when two people marry at a very young age, they end up being vastly different people than they were when they got married. This is natural, but sometimes those two different people do not get along the same way they once did. Therefore, divorce is the natural next step.
There are many other reasons that divorce occurs as well, each unique to the couples who experience them.
The Main Culprit: Lack of Commitment
The most common reason for divorces to occur is a lack of commitment between the two individuals. At some point, one or both of them stops putting effort into the relationship, making the other one feel hurt and overlooked. It is important to remember that we will often fight for the things that we care about. When a couple stops putting in the effort to learn, grow, and fix problems in the relationship, the lack of commitment can jeopardize the entire marriage.
You may notice that this significant contributing factor is relatively vague. While adultery and addiction are specific situations, lack of commitment does not seem to describe a single occurrence. This means that it often coincides with one of the other reasons for divorce. These are all concrete issues. Many of them can be fixed if both people have the right resources and willpower. However, many times a lack of commitment can lead couples to simply not want to fix their issues. There is no shame in this; sometimes, a marriage is not worth fixing.
How to Recommit
If you feel a lack of commitment in your marriage, it can be easy to feel disheartened and assume that divorce is around the corner. It is helpful, many times, to hear that that is not always the case. There are several ways to recommit to your marriage if both you and your partner are willing to put in the effort.
See a Therapist
There is a lot of shame surrounding couples’ therapy, but that shame is wholly unfounded. Many people gain the understanding and communication tools to work through their blocked emotions and marriage issues in counseling.
Be sure that you are saying what you think you are saying. Many times, other people do not catch our subtle clues, hints, or even remarks. Try to be as direct as possible with your partner, and tell them what you want. For example, instead of saying, “Do you want to go for a walk?” try saying, “I am going for a walk and would love it if you came with me. Will you come?” This clearly states emotion and intention and shows your partner what you want.
Accept Your Flaws
Everyone has flaws. To function well in a relationship, you have to be able to identify and make peace with your own mistakes and shortcomings. Remember, flaws don’t make you unlovable; they make you human.
State Your Interpretations
Sometimes we interpret other people’s thoughts and actions differently than how they meant them. This often leads to friction and resentment in a relationship. It may feel awkward, but when you feel offended or hurt by something your partner does, state it clearly. For example, if your partner leaves their dishes in the sink, try saying, “When you left your dishes in the sink, I interpreted it as you wanting me to do your chores for you. Is that what you intended?” Lots of times, it’s simply a miscommunication.
When It’s Time to Seek Divorce
Sometimes, marriages simply do not work out. Even if you follow your therapist’s advice perfectly, you can still come to the decision that your marriage isn’t working. When this time comes, it can be helpful to grieve with friends and family and then seek a qualified divorce attorney.
Do I Need an Attorney for Divorce?
As with any legal matter, it is advisable to hire an attorney for your divorce. During divorce proceedings, all your belongings will be distributed between you and your spouse. This includes both shared marital assets and personal assets. Without an attorney, you run the likely risk that you will not receive what is fair to you, and your ex-spouse will receive more than their fair share. What’s more, you could inadvertently break serious laws by failing to disclose assets because you did not know that they needed to be divided during divorce. The process is complicated and detailed, and it is easy to make serious mistakes without legal counsel. Your best chance at a fair and favorable settlement is to hire an attorney.
What to Look for in a Divorce Attorney
When you look for your attorney, they must fulfill specific requirements before you commit to working with them. Look for:
- Compassion. You are going to be in a vulnerable position and have to discuss painful things with your attorney. Be sure that they are compassionate and caring, and you feel as though you can speak openly with them.
- Experience. Not all attorneys handle divorce. Be sure that you look for candidates who have experience in family law and divorce cases.
- Good track record. It is not enough to simply practice divorce law; you need to be sure that your attorney has successfully won appropriate settlements for their clients.
- Time. Many attorneys take on several cases at once. However, you want to be sure that your attorney does not have too many already. If they are distracted, they may miss important details and deadlines and could ruin your case.
- Positive reputation. Ask for references, and do not be afraid to call other law firms to double-check your attorney’s industry reputation. You don’t want to work with someone other attorneys hate.
- A good connection. Be sure you feel as though your attorney understands you and you feel comfortable around them. This is not always synonymous with compassion, so be extra discerning when vetting candidates.
Contact the Law Offices Patricia Rigdon
When it is time to begin divorce proceedings, no other family law firm will be there for you like the law offices of Patricia Rigdon. For decades, we have supported families in many ways, including seeking fair and equitable divorce settlements when couples are ready to divorce. We are kind, compassionate, patient attorneys who understand the importance of high-quality family law services.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us via our website today.