- Gender and Relationships
Factors that Often Lead to Divorce
Before we attempt to discuss the reasons for divorce, let's first look at a few statistics on divorce. Based on the National Vital Statistics System, in 2010, the state of Nevada had a divorce rate of 5.9(per 1,000 people of the total population in that area at that time), the highest in the nation, followed by the state of Arkansas with a rate of 5.7. Though Arkansas' rate of divorce remains the same since 2009, Nevada had experienced a reduction in the state's divorce rate from 6.6 the previous year, to 5.9 in 2010. The state of Oklahoma for example, with the third highest rate of divorce, underwent a rise in divorce rate from 4.8 in 2009, to 5.2 in 2010.
Several researches on the subject of divorce, discovered that the breakdown of a marriage is rarely a sudden event. When it comes to the reasons for divorce, it has been revealed that in most cases, it is the culmination of a long process of emotional separation or dissatisfaction and growing independence. The final months of marriage are usually remembered as unhappy. However, the final decision to divorce is usually made by one, not both partners. It is believed that the wife usually raises the issue first. Although women may not make the final decision, they were found to be more dissatisfied with marriage much sooner than men.
It's also believed that for every three marriages that succeeded, two are expected to fail. Another interesting finding is that, failures usually occur at some point within the first 7 years of marriage, with divorcing couples having a median marriage duration of 7.2 years.
Interestingly, although divorce occurs to adults of every age, they are more likely in young adulthood than in middle age. In middle adulthood, couples get divorced for many reasons, similar to those of younger couples -- they require more from their marriages than they currently are getting. In these cases, divorce is usually the preferred choice over living in an unhappy relationship filled with frustration and conflict.
In addition, if the marriage is already fragile, the empty nest(period in the family life cycle that occurs after the last child left home), may create a personal or marriage crisis. Couples have come to the realization that it's no longer necessary to stay together for the sake of the children, and they may wonder if they want to spend the rest of their lives together. It has been said that it's in the context of continuity and change during the middle years(mid-life crisis), that reflections and reassessments often lead to divorce. Usually, the reflections and reassessments take place within the context of two interconnection worlds -- their personal world and family world, according to some authors.
Some writers on this subject, believe that divorce is also often associated with misconceptions about marriage. The following are some common misconceptions they believe have often played a role in divorce.
- Because we are no longer in love, nothing can work out between us anymore.
- Always first consider oneself.
- Emphasize the negative and criticize everything.
- See oneself as an individual first and then as part of a couple.
- What's yours is mine.
- Divorce makes people happy.
- What is best for us must be devastating for the children.
These above myths are said to be popularly held and receive considerable support from the mainstream society. Churches, divorce lawyers, marriage counselors, the popular media, family, and friends for example, all believe in them. However, many psychologists believe that "personal myths" do more than reveal how a person views his/her past; they also act somewhat as a sort of script that determines how the person is likely to act in the future. It has been said that Individuals act in concert with the prescription they tell themselves. However, people who look to unrealistic expectations often set the stage for marriage failure.
To summarize, based on all the above reasoning, including findings, it can be concluded that the reasons for divorce is the culmination of a long process of emotional separation or dissatisfaction and growing independence. Several myths or misconceptions about marriage also play a major role.