Almost 50 per cent of Australian marriages end in divorce. This is a staggering statistic. Those who do marry (in most cases) do so with the intention that it be for life.
Unless we enter into an arranged marriage (which is very common in some cultures and religions – and interestingly, rarely ends in divorce), we marry feeling deeply in love, extremely excited, and expecting marriage to last.
So what goes so wrong for so many?
There are numerous reasons why relationships and marriages ultimately fail. Every couple is unique and every marriage has its own issues. There are, however, some very common reasons why marriages and relationships fall apart…
7 of the biggest reasons marriages fail
- Lack of communication: This is the biggest issue. You need to be able to talk and otherwise communicate openly about everything. Silent treatment, shutting down, secrets and lies will end a relationship faster than almost anything else. Contempt, including for communicating effectively, is the biggest predictor of divorce.
- Issues with trust: Trust is of paramount importance in any relationship. It is necessary for emotional safety and security, which is crucial for the strong bond that a successful marriage is. Trust issues may incorporate jealousy, infidelity, unreliability, possessiveness, and other factors. Trust issues can be based on substance or on unjustified fears.
- Lack of commitment: Too many people envisage the “happiest day of their life” – that is, their wedding day – without much consideration of the marriage to come. Marriage is a marathon. It takes an enormous amount of commitment, maturity, and willingness to bend rather than break under pressure.
- Differing expectations: Real life will get in the way of romance. What one expects from a relationship can change or differ from that of their partner. Expectations of what marriage will be, what it will feel like, and how to navigate hard times need to be parallel. Are you both in it for the long haul? Do you share priorities?
- Poor compatibility: Some people simply don’t belong together – no matter how much they want to. This will be discussed in depth in a future blog article.
- Growing apart: People change a lot over a lifetime. Growing apart physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and even financially can wreak havoc on a marriage.
- Abuse: This is a deal breaker – emotional, mental, physical, sexual, financial – any kind of abuse is a sign that the relationship needs to end.
ALSO NOTE: Narcissistic Personality Disorder: This disorder affects 1 per cent of the general population. Narcissists can be charming and their partner might not see their true nature until after an engagement or wedding. Narcissists will bring to a marriage negativity, criticism, silent treatment, mind games, manipulation, control, emotional blackmail and abuse, lack of empathy, and much more. Being married to a narcissist is extremely difficult – especially as anyone outside the immediate household will likely have only ever seen their charming side.
Other factors which impact on a relationship’s ability to thrive and survive include complete reliance on a spouse for one’s own happiness; too much self-sacrificing; too much dominance in the relationship; physical or emotional distance; emotional baggage; selfishness; and lack of family support for the relationship.
Ultimately, marriage is work – sometimes it is hard work.
When you have chosen the right, compatible partner who is both your love and your best friend who you respect (and vice versa), and you are both committed to the relationship, the effort required to make a marriage work is well worth it.
If you are separating, please talk to us about the process you need to take to get the best possible outcome for everyone involved.
Call us on 07 3161 2762 or email at [email protected]