What is the primary reason marriages fail?

#356 - How do you prevent divorce?

There’s a joke or a meme that goes around every once in a while and usually goes something like this.

Q: What’s the leading cause of divorce? A: Marriage

And we all get a cheap chuckle out of it. Right?!?

There have been a lot of studies done on marriage and why they are successful and why they fail. Here are some common reasons cited for the success and failure of marriages.

Reasons for Marriage Success

  • Effective Communication
  • Emotional Intimacy
  • Compatibility
  • Commitment and Dedication
  • Conflict Resolution Skills

Reasons for Marriage Failure

  • Lack of Communication
  • Infidelity
  • Financial Stress
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction
  • Abuse or Domestic Violence
  • Incompatibility

If you look at the first list, these are the traits you should be looking for in the first place. Unfortunately, most people skip over these traits because they’re looking for FUN, EXCITEMENT, BUTTERFLIES, and all the rest of the emotions involved with infatuation.

Now look at the second list. There isn’t one thing on that list that can’t be discovered if you’re paying attention up front. What kind of conversations do you have? Can you talk about anything and everything or are you just having very superficial chats?

I firmly believe that infidelity is a factor whenever you’re not with your soul mate. I’ve had people tell me “Rick, I was with my soul mate and he still cheated.” My response, “You may have been with YOUR soul mate but he wasn’t with his.” It was a one-sided relationship.

She was putting in all the effort and he did the minimum possible. There was something missing for him. That doesn’t mean there was anything wrong with her! She ultimately wasn’t his ideal partner. No doubt he did a despicable thing by cheating on his wife.

Financial stress should be no surprise to anyone. All you have to do is watch how your partner handles money. Are they savers or spenders? Do either of you carry a lot of debt? These are really important conversations to have before you get married!

Substance abuse may not be quite as obvious but there will be signs. Do they drink copious amounts of alcohol? Do they come home after work and start drinking heavily or just come home and pass out? They may be the life of the party while you’re dating but is that the person you want to live with every day.

Domestic abuse or violence also may not be quite as obvious up front but again there will be signs. Do they have a temper? How do they treat other people? Do they walk around with a chip on their shoulder like the world owes them something? These are all signs that something is wrong and even though you may be fine right now, their rath will eventually be directed at you.

Incompatibility in terms of values, life goals, or personal characteristics can make life really challenging. Again, this is where good communication comes in. You have to be able to talk about anything and everything up front. You may decide to agree to disagree on certain topics but nothing should be off the table to talk about.

Studies show that 95% of our decisions are made by emotion. Then we try to use logic to justify them afterwards. Wouldn’t it make sense to reverse those statistics? Making 95% of our decisions based on logic would certainly go a long way to keep us all from making poor relationship decisions.

So many divorces are preventable, not with counseling or therapy, but with making better choices about the people we choose to marry. This doesn’t mean that you won’t fall in love with the wrong person from time to time. It just means that you’ll be able to make the tough decisions to bypass the less-than-ideal relationships and aim for extraordinary.

If your emotions are getting in your way of making great relationship choices, you're not alone! In fact, it happens to almost everyone. If you don't want to make this mistake again, I can help. I have a tried-and-true technique to help you avoid making poor decisions based on undisciplined emotions. Message me to schedule a free 30-minute consultation and see if this technique is right for you.