A few months ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to teach a marriage enrichment class to the married and engaged couples at our church. My husband suggested that we cover communication in marriage and tasked me with researching the topic and starting the outline to our notes. After researching communication in marriage and starting our notes, I soon realized that our subject matter had greatly expanded. Not only did I cover the topic of communication in marriage, but I expanded it to include the top 3 reasons why people divorce, and one reason being communication issues.
After finishing our notes, I proudly emailed them to my husband for his review and input; he wanted to know how our topic had morphed from communication in marriage to the top 3 reasons for divorce in marriage. My explanation of how I incorporated the other material and expanded our topic didn’t quite convince him that I had correctly interpreted what he said – at this point we were working through our own little “miscommunication,” needless to say after much urging on my part, he understood my point and we
went forth with the top 3 reasons for divorce.
I recently revisited the top reasons why couple’s divorce and have listed the top five reasons for divorce as of 2009:
- Infidelity – topping the list was infidelity or unfaithfulness in the marriage. Most everyone has a theory on why spouses cheat, whatever the reason, infidelity is usually a deal breaker for the spouse who has been the victim of a cheating spouse. Despite this being the leading cause of divorces, there are many couples who seek out counseling, forgive and move on with their lives after an affair.
- Finances – financial difficulties and/or differences in spending and saving habits was the second most common reason cited for divorce. The present economic climate has put a lot of strain on marriages because there are many households where one or both spouses have either been laid off or one of the spouses may be underemployed.
- Communication – poor communication or lack thereof in a marriage has caused the demise of one too many marriages. Oftentimes, a husband and wife will have different communication styles, there is nothing wrong with this, however differing communication styles will take understanding from both partners to correctly interpret what is being said in a conversation. I once heard the saying, “what you don’t say, sometimes speaks louder than what you do say.” Remember silence can be golden or deadly!
- Incompatibility – some say opposites attract and perhaps this is a good thing for those who appreciate the difference in their spouse. However, incompatibility is not a trivial matter. There are some basics that every couple should agree on such as: money management, how they will raise their children, religious beliefs, and their career goals and aspirations.
- Physical, Sexual, Emotional Abuse – abuse in marriage is seldom talked about until it involves a celebrity and is in the national news. Sadly there are many women and some men who endure years of abuse in an attempt to make their marriage work. Without a strong commitment and desire to change from the abuser, the victim in many abuse situations walks away from the marriage.
Other popular reasons cited for a divorce in 2009 were gambling and substance abuse. In 2011, as evidenced by recent research regarding trends in divorce, social networking is making tracks considering it was not even on the list in 2009. We now know that social networking and Facebook is being cited as the cause for many divorces.