Divorce has become as "common as dirt", and it is very discouraging to encounter the number of broken families I see each day. I honestly believe many issues that lead to divorce can be resolved, but some people rather run rather rhan educate themselves so that they may have a healthier relationship! What's up with that?
Divorces is definitely more common. But I do wonder whether sometimes it's because it's become more socially acceptable, and people no longer feel compelled to stay in relationships where they are no longer happy. I also wonder whether it's also partly due to the fact that women are becoming more financially independent and don't feel pressured to stay married for financial reasons.
While there are these other factors that may contribute to the increased rate of divorce, I'm pretty sure there are marriages that break up because of issues that could be resolved.
But to be honest, I think if you're at the point where you can't be bothered to find a way to make it work, you may as well let it go.
I think it's a combination of things.
- It's become morally acceptable within society to get a divorce.
- Media is showing much more lustful pictures, which drives hormones, which creates shallow skin-deep relationships. This also brings about more cheating and affairs.
- As Inspiration101 noted, women are no longer dependent on the financial means of the man.
I think the main culprit is our culture, it's become acceptable now. In the 1950's for example, it would have been looked down upon since people who were divorced created "broken families" and would be viewed as dishonorable.
I agree wholeheartedly. I'm in my fifties now so I'm part of the first generation that felt able to leave a marriage without stigma.
I know women only 5 or 10 years older than me, who have stuck with the most appalling husbands because they can't face the shame of divorce. I know men of that age who keep their divorce a secret from their workmates - one even takes twice as long to commute to and from work so he can arrive in the city on his usual train.
Having said that, I do think divorce is too easy. In Australia, you have to be separated for a full year before you can apply for divorce. Being able to divorce after a few weeks, as I believe you can do in some parts of the States, makes it too easy to make a rash decision just because you're going through a bad patch.
exquisitestill, I clicked on your profile to see whether I was correct in guessing that you're probably very young. (Apparently, I was. ) (The fact that I just made that comment isn't intended to be interpreted as condescending at all. It's just that life has a way of showing us things we never would have suspected unless/until we experienced them (and maybe also started doing a whole lot research and/or having friends/relatives who have gone through something similar).
I imagine you may be right that some people aren't willing to learn more about what makes a healthy relationship, but I suspect that's a tiny fraction of what causes divorces.
I've written several Hubs on things like "Why some divorces happen - the myth that couples don't take their vows seriously" and "Today's divorce rate - why is it so high?"
One reason so few people seem to have an good understanding of how/why divorces happen is that people who remain married haven't had it happen to them (at least not yet), people who have never been married really haven't had the experience, and people who have stayed in rotten/unhealthy marriages chose to do what they think is right (which may not be "right" but which they so believe is right they aren't interested in another point-of-view).
As a result, we have a "zillion" divorced people, some of whom know exactly how/why it happened; and know it wasn't a matter of not wanting to educate themselves. Others, of whom, married someone who, after the marriage, revealed himself to be "not marriage material". Then there are victims of abuse.
In any case, it's a whole, big, complicated, picture (I wrote one, "The high divorce rate in America"),and it brings up a lot of the factors that can be separate from the individuals in any relationship.
Anyway, you asked - and my answer to the question is that it isn't as simple as you suggest.
I agree! Communication is key and also anger management. Somewhere along the way we have lost the will and foundation of marital and family integrity. The walls of pride have become thick and the instant gratification tends to the self rather than the shoring up of all for the common household good. As I instruct marital classes I've seen an increase in this breakdown of communication.
Yeah, I'd have to agree with you on this. I was one of those partners ready to give up 6 months ago. I wanted out, I felt like I was married but had no husband. Then something happened...something that made me see that I had a lot to lose. And I also realized what a good thing I had. From then, I read the book 'The Five Love Languages'. My hubby also read it. He realized, too, that we were at a dead end, stuck in a rut, and something better happen quick or I was heading for the hills. So he changed too...it took both of us making the extra effort..plus learning each other's true love languages. What a relief! It was worth it to me.
donotfear, you had a spouse who was at least willing to read a book like that. No every spouse is willing to do that much, and if you're someone married to one of those kinds of spouses you can't save the marriage alone. Ask all those divorce haves-of-such couples who tried for years. I really think the only marriages that stand a chance of being saved are the ones that haven't completely, already, died. The trouble is, it often isn't clear a marriage had died "underneath" until it starts to show up on the surface, and you look a little deeper.
I was married twice... First time, there was no communication, just sex and fun... I was too young to understand that this is not a good ground to build your marriage.. Second time, I was lucky I found a man who wanted to have a wife and a friend. So far we are on our 13 year and as strong as we were on our first and at the same time my heart still jumps when he hugs me...lol
I was in a 12 year marriage before this one that was like that. He was not willing to do one thing to help our relationship. He was a mere shell of a man that showed no emotion, gave no affection, (unless he came home drunk and wanted sex) and was abusive to my son. I was numb by the time I finally let go, stood up to him and said, "@#%$#$ You! I'm divorcing you....you get out!" I was single for 4 years before my current Hubby came along....someone I knew a long time ago from elementary school. It has been difficult for the both of us, but we have finally gotten over the hump. Six months ago, I was certain he did not want to do anything to help our relationship. But when I started REALLY opening up to him, really sharing, really expressing my concern, he realized that things were not good. He refused counseling, but since reading the Five Love Languages and listening he has just come out of his shell. It's like a different person. WE are so much closer now. I sometimes canot believe it. One thing for sure, we both have a really strong Faith; a strong foundation. I think that has lots to do with it. For now, I'm enjoying the peace and serenity. If we come to another valley, I'm better equipped to deal with it and unafraid to reveal my true thoughts now. Thank goodness!
Thanks for your story. It's uplifting to hear of a sparing of a marriage and it gives hope to others.
This subject is very difficult for me to understand. I have many "good" friend's across the country, lets say 60. Like myself, they have been married 30 or more years. There have only been 4 divorces; do I only befriend good people?
There is no way you can make your marriage work if you go by the old, hypocritical and unrealistic notions of fidelity associated with sex within the marriage only. I know about a beautiful made- for- each- other couple who had two children. They loved each other passionately in the initial days of their marriage but started having occasional flings. They never complained and never fought with each other even though each one sensed that the other was going out.
The reason? There was a tacit understanding perhaps empathy that their passions had started cooling and they wanted/deserved occasional change. Once they accepted this truth , their relationship flourished. They were otherwise very affectionate and caring for each other as well as for the children. If one fell ill, the other would lose their sleep. Eventually both stopped going out when they felt they had had enough.
What is needed to make the marriage work is that the concept of fidelity and trust should be disassociated from sex. Should we feel annoyed simply because our partner refuses to enjoy the same delicious food every day?
There are so many other issues in our relationship of love or marriage that are much more important than sex which work only on trust. What if your spouse/partner is completely trustworthy and dependable in those areas! Sex is only a biological hunger. It has nothing much to do with real love. Do old couples need sex to love each other? Don’t we see them walking hand-in-hand totally engrossed with each other? Each one feels incomplete without the other.
It is always up to the couple if they want the relationship to grow and continue, Yes, I really believe that there are still situations in every marriages that can still be fixed and resolved, sometimes it is always the initiative and intimacy that's missing. Love should be common, together with respect, appreciation and affection. MARRIAGE is a lifetime responsibility and commitment, therefore if you say I DO to one man/woman, that means you have to carry her.him all through your life.
About 10 years ago I firmly belived I had all the answers to keeping a marriage going. I knew every one else had just given up, the women were slefish, didnt understand thier man, didnt try hard enough. I knew that it wasnt going to be easy, but I was going to make it work. Love conquers all, right? I figured all these other couples had rushed ito a marriage, not realising the seriousness of it. Not being commited. I assumed divorce was an "easy way out."
Ten years later and many many many hard lessons learned.... I am still married, I am still deeply devoted to my husband, but I have to tell you. NO WAY is divorce the easy way out. Not by a long shot. Its what happens when you have tried everything, and for any number of reasons, your happy ending is gone. Unless youve lived thru the death of a marriage, you have no idea of how hard it is.
Justine, your choice of words, "death of a marriage", pretty much points out the irreversible nature of the condition that leads at least some couples to divorce.
This is going to sound really stupid or simple (or something), because there are so many contributing and complex factors involved sometimes; but one thing that has always stood out in mind is this:
When I was growing up and a young, single, person, the "whole world" had begun to tell young people how infatuation is one thing, and it goes away, and then people "settle into something deeper but less romantic". The message "everyone" was sending my generation was, "...so don't marry someone because of romantic love; marry your best friend." Well, it all sounded so sensible and so true. After all, it's accurate that infatuation is one thing and isn't necessarily that deeper kind of love.
I actually heard people (in my real life, as well as experts on tv or in books) say how "in love" was one thing but "loving, as in caring deeply about" was another.
So, you know what - in my belief that the world had come such a long way in having this "more enlightened" view of love and marriage, I married my best friend after going out with him for more than 5 years. I was an "enlightened" and mature 27 years old. He was 31. We came from the same kind of family and had the same kind of values.
Well, it turned out (at least for me) that being best friends isn't always enough to hold a marriage together. Marriages need something far more fundamental than that in order for them to withstand some of the stuff that life brings along.
My generation thought it was "too cool" to expect the kind of romantic love people used to expect. Then my generation passed all its "cool" and "enlightened" attitudes down to the next generation. So - really - I think we now just have a giant load of people who married their best friends, which - again - just isn't enough to build a marriage on.
My best friend and I divorced, eliminated all the "issues" that being married to a best friend can bring; and now we're best friends again. (It isn't funny - but, honestly, that's how it all happened.)
Our society has become too cool, educated, and enlightened to believe in love (or at least to think you should hold off until you find the real thing). So now we have a giant mess on our hands.
a giant mess, yes. Its made slightly cleaner if more people would try to understand they dont know everything that goes on behind closed doors. It is a complex situation, and to think.."trying harder"..would solve everything is naive at best.
The high divorce rate in this country doesn't bother me nearly as much as it used to since marrying a man from a culture that still practices arranged marriages. Divorces are really rare in his native country, but I don't think the actual rate of "successful" marriage is any different at all. His friends and relatives who went through arranged marriages appear to be about 50% happy, or at least content and settled, with their spouses and about 50% miserable and trapped by the social pressure against divorce. One of his cousins just finally divorced her husband after 7 years of emotional (and occasionally physical) abuse. An aunt is still married to her husband despite the fact that he's been openly living with another woman for more than 15 years, because if she left, she's the one who would get branded a slut. After seeing stuff like that, I'll take America's 50% divorce rate any day!
Personally, I think part of the problem is just people getting married for the wrong reasons. In my husband's country, you're an old maid if you're not married by the time you're 20, and even in this country many girls get drilled into them from a very young age that they need to be in a relationship to be happy, that their wedding day is going to be the best day of their life, etc. I've seen lots of American girls date (and sometimes marry) guys completely unsuited to them just because they didn't want to be "alone," and I know plenty of guys with the same problem, though usually for slightly different reasons.
I find it interesting and ironic that I'm going to be the one to point out that the moribund state of Religion has contributed as well. Religion takes another death blow every time a terrorist bomb goes off, every time another Catholic priest gets caught with his hands in a child's pants, every time some guy shoots a doctor or waves a sign with a picture of mutilated fetus parts at cars with mothers driving kids to school is going by, tries to sell some absurd concept of Noah bringing dinosaurs on the ark or some other silly version of why fossils are the work of Satan trying to confound us.
As religion dies, so is the power of the divine to provide a strong "parental" hand that guides and holds institutions like marriage together. Which is not to say that people who should not have been married staying together is necessarily a good thing. People forced to stay together because they will be ostracized by a religiously bound community will just have affairs and become resentful and possibly violent. However, my point it only to say that divorce is popular because God is not.
I know you have a valid point in a lot of ways; but at the same time, I'm not sure it's necessarily the biggest factor (the "God" thing). Sometimes people who believe God "put them here for a reason" may believe they owe it to God not to waste their lives by letting someone else "rob" them of them. Also, a lot of people don't require any "parental" hand to guide them toward the powerful drive to try to hold their marriage together.
I really think that for a whole lot of people, there's God - and then there's the person they're married to; and the two don't appear to at all go very well together. As a non-church-going and divorced person, there's nobody more than I who would like to see all marriages be good and forever. In my own situation I was the "parental hand" that decided my children couldn't have the environment any God would want children to have; and I was the one to believe that if the ugliness of lack of love started to seep into their lives, it was time to make sure their lives were returned to lives filled with nothing but love.
In any case, I just don't believe that a whole lot people need anyone/anything else to make them see the role/value of something like marriage.
In reference to marriage, I would hope that couples would do everything in their power to try and make things work. Unless there is physical violence or emotional abuse, it seems a bit of a waste not to at least try to work things out. After all, marriage is a commitment, a choice, and a partnership.
So many people lump marriage into the category that defines it as a blissful life of "I love you's" and wonderful "feel-goodness". But it is so much more than that. If both partners agree that the marriage needs work, I would hope they would exhaust every avenue in order to keep the union together. This, I say, being that it will make the partnership that much stronger having gone through the turmoil and overcome it. Read
"The Joy of Committed Love"
http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Committed-Lov … =1-1-spell
The trouble is that when things get bad enough in a marriage, even if nobody intends to be abusive, what goes on often amounts to emotional abuse for one or both partners. Sometimes it is the end of the marriage (in real life, rather than in court documents) that results in emotional abuse if people don't end the marriage soon enough. A dead marriage is like cancer. The symptoms get worse and worse. The pain gets worse and worse. It isn't something that goes away, no matter how much people hope or pray it will.
Marriage is hard work but worth it if you do work at it. Communication is critical, if you don't tell them how you feel, don't expect them (men) to figure it out. We women are so guilty of that, I think. However, divorce is too common nowadays without really trying to work it out. Sad, because marriage is a beautiful, wonderful, a peaceful soul that is united as one through marriage.
Yes it is. And we, my spousey and I, have had more than the usual amount of obstacles. There has been much division between us, mainly we don't have the same Christian denominational beliefs. We have worked through it for years and it is a very unusual situation. But the 'foundation' is the same. The solid Rock. That's what is important. He's much more accepting of me now than before also. We are in our 13th year of marriage.
Those who've mentioned commnunication (or the lack of) as being one factor leading to divorce are absolutely right. I can't remember who said this, it was something along the lines of "People change and forget to tell each other" (Google tells me it's Lillian Hellman). I think that rings true for a lot of relationships.
BUT to the people who mentioned communication - Do you think it is the cause of the "higher" rate of divorces today? If so that implies that people's communication skills have somehow deteriorated? Do you believe this is the case?
Inspiration101, I wasn't one of those people, but I'm kicking in anyway. (Hope you don't mind.)
To take that saying above (".....forget to tell each other") a step farther, there's also, "People change and plain old can't stand one another any longer." Sometimes there IS communication, and what's communicated is, "You've changed. You're not the person I once thought you were, and you're sucking the life of me and the whole family with your new, and far from better, self." OR, the communication might be, "I thought I wanted to be married, but it turns out I was young and didn't realize that I'm not marriage material."
I'm all for communication, and I do recognize the importance of it when BOTH people are "just having disagreements" against a backdrop of otherwise wanting to save the marriage (and, ideally, return the relationship to a healthy one, if it was ever healthy in the first place).
Still, the "communication-is-the-answer" thing is often very much a mantra repeated by people who heard it from other people (experts); of from people who, themselves, had a communication problem in their own married and learned how to fix it before things got worse.
Lack of communication is only a problem is some divorces. Communication is, of course, a way to head of unnecessary problems in a marriage that continues to have hope/potential.
In a way, that old mantra, "communication-is-the-answer" is kind of like saying, "The way to guarantee your health is not to get sick." Or another analogy might be the person who had his life saved by having heart bypass and a later change in diet, and then starts telling cancer patients the cure is heart pypass surgery and a better diet.
I've seen, just in my own life, how lack of communication can cause major, major, and unnecessary disasters (in marriage, in other relationships, anywhere in life). So, lack of communication is one problem. At the same time, I've also seen how other problems exist first, and how people either stop communicating because they know there's no point; or else they start communicating information that highlights the need for a divorce.
Although divorce maybe more common, I for one will not judge how much effort someone put into their marriage.
It is up to the people involved to put the work they feel is enough into the marriage.
Personally I think there should be more education and efforts into teaching the divorced people how to behave after the divorce, especially where children are involved.
sometimes people stay together too long and just don't know when to cut their losses
...Confide in Greek One, dear readers, as this subject is his freakin' forte!
Yeah, and the furious, glowing Sun our planet orbits, spews icicles upon thee... [oh no, I said planet...]
not sure where you are coming from with that one...
perhaps somewhere in between Saturn and Neptune?
Mmmh... and then there's those that like to do the "Swinging" with other couples while still married.
I wonder why Divorce is so high....?
The only swinging story I heard fronm a friend was two months before his divorce.
It's really interesting to see all the different points of view, I agree with some comments...and some are just too funny
I believe it's the combination of all that already mentioned, and COMMUNICATION... my guess is most marriages that end up in divorce when there's still mutual love it's because they don't know how to really communicate: I'm talking about open-heart conversations and active listening, really getting to know your spouse...and respect of opinions and time is key!
My theory is that if both parts want to stay together and make and effort to re-connect, there's no need to end up in divorce....
I would have to say that many couples that have happy marriages and stay together are the ones that keep their sex life in marriage exciting and alive.
So many times, with kids and work, married couples forget to take care of the marriage, date each other, talk about their intimate lives. Communication like one of the hubbers said is huge but what about communication concerning sex or making love, having fun in the bedroom. All I know is that 11 years later my husband and I have worked on our marriage and it is worth it!!!!!!!!!
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