Top 6 Reasons For Divorce-When to stay and when to leave

Power of Two Marriage Online.

Here at Power of Two we teach couples the skills they need to repair and upgrade their marriages. Sometimes, however, leaving a marriage is best for the health, happiness, and safety of everyone involved. These top 6 warning signs should never be ignored. Any of these problems are serious and are good reasons for divorce, especially when a spouse refuses to get treatment to change his/her behavior.

  1. Control: Attempts to control spouses’ behavior, friends, finances, or activities by using threats, anger, or excessive criticism (emotional abuse).
  2. Addiction: Persistent history of gambling, drug or alcohol use, or other behavior that harms the spouse, children, and/or family relationships.
  3. Repeated cheating: Repeated infidelities or an on-going affair with no willingness to change.
  4. Mistreatment of Children: Violence or inappropriate sexual behavior towards children, biological or not. Among reasons for divorce, this situation calls for the most immediate action. Remove yourself and the children from contact with this person right away and seek professional help!
  5. Unchecked mental disorder: Mental illness can challenge a relationship, but with proper treatment generally can be managed with happy results. At the same time, a spouse’s uncontrolled mental health or personality disorder can be unsafe and unhealthy.
  6. Physical Violence: Again, this calls for immediate action. If you are in an unsafe situation it is critical that you remove yourself immediately.  Physical violence toward anyone, especially you or your children, without commitment to get help, is a deal-breaker.

Sadly, the bulk of separations in America today take place for much less pressing reasons. Ongoing unpleasant interactions, disappointment, or emotional distance are what lead most couples to believe their marriage is over.  Fortunately though, many of these problems can actually be repaired.  The key?  Upgrading your marriage skills. 

The following top 5 common marriage complaints all can be fixed.  Couples who fix these problems can re-route their relationship from the road to divorce to the marriage of their dreams!

  1. We just don’t communicate very well and can’t seem to resolve our conflicts. Communication and conflict resolution difficulties are the most common complaints of divorcing couples.  You can fix these problems with marriage counseling. Learn collaborative communication and conflict resolution skills before you give up on your marriage.  Otherwise you risk losing what could have been a great marriage—and are likely to find yourself in the same situation with a different person.
  2. I just don’t love him anymore. The nature of passion changes over time, with the initial heady infatuation taking on a different quality later on. Simple changes though can re-ignite the spark.  Sex and intimacy can be improved!
  3. Because it’ll be better for the kids. Yes, having fighting parents is really tough on kids. At the same time, divorce is also really hard on them. Even a divorce through mediation attorneys, which is typically viewed as the best way to ease through the transition, is very difficult for the kids to deal with. And, if you keep fighting while you’re divorced, it’s still bad. One great solution? Learn how to stop fighting.  Replace your arguments with respectful dialogue and gratifying shared problem-solving!
  4. He/she’s just not the same person I married. We all change and grow in the face of new challenges.  What’s important in marriage is knowing how to be each other’s cheerleader on your personal journeys. It’s ok to have different interests and beliefs.  Power of Two skills teach you how to reconcile your differences instead of having them lead to separation or divorce.
  5. I don’t trust him/her anymore. He lied and made a stupid deal, she gambled or cheated… Sometimes people do make mistakes.  At the same time, most mistakes are repairable. Get the skills to analyze your errors and prevent future repeats. Sometimes the sourer the lemon, the sweeter the lemonade. 

The bottom line? If one or more of the 6 reasons for divorce listed above do not lead to a firm commitment to change, get out. For the other situations, look for a marriage boost with couples counseling!

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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant 90-FE-0123. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Servies, Administration for Children and Families.