We all want a love that lasts forever, but sometimes things happen.
Here are a few reasons why marriages fall apart (& what you can do to stay together). Nobody enters a marriage intending to divorce and no married couple can know the future. While we’re not saying you should go into your marriage thinking about all the things that could cause it to fail (and send you looking for the nearest divorce lawyers), there are a lot of pitfalls that married couples can discuss ahead of time. While being prepared doesn’t guarantee you a lasting marriage, there are things that you can do to ensure a healthier marriage. Let’s look at some common reasons why marriages fall apart and how you can get ahead of them.
What Are the Most Common Issues That Lead to Divorce?
Like the people in it, every relationship is unique, so what applies to one marriage won’t apply to all. However, there are a lot of common factors that can lead to problems in a marriage. If you know about them ahead of time, you can hopefully address them before they become a problem.
Finances are by far one of the most common reasons why marriages fail. Being open about your financial situation, future goals, spending habits, and more is crucial to a successful long-term marriage. For some couples, keeping separate bank accounts might be the key. For couples with vastly different incomes, it’s important to discuss how you’ll approach shared expenses. Whatever you and your partner’s financial situations are, it’s not something you can keep to yourself if you hope to have a lasting marriage.
Lack of Physical Attraction and Romance
Over time, the excitement of being with someone new fades and routine sets in. Indeed, this is also one of the most common reasons marriages fall apart. The couple no longer feels physically or romantically attracted to each other. The result is often a feeling of being trapped in a relationship that is no longer fulfilling. And without a shared sense of physical intimacy, it’s easy for marriages to become platonic relationships. Take action to keep the romance flames burning, talk to your partner about your sexual needs and wants, and equally as important, be open to theirs.
Discuss your desires—or lack thereof—for a family long before you decide to get married. You and your partner could have different ideas about how many children you want or when you want to start a family. Likewise, you might have different feelings about how to raise children, especially when it comes to discipline. If you and your partner are on the same page with family planning, the problems don’t stop once the kids arrive. The stress of raising a family can be overwhelming. Between the sleepless nights, never-ending chores, and constant worrying, it can be easy to take your frustrations out on your partner. Raising a family isn’t easy, and taking your stress out on your partner won’t help. Remember that you made this decision together and, most importantly, that you’re on the same team.
It’s not just a classic cliché. You don’t marry the person, you marry their family too. And in-laws can be a source of great tension for many couples. It will hinder your relationship if you’re constantly fighting with your in-laws or feeling like you’re not good enough for them. Don’t let these problems carry on without talking to your partner. Likewise, be prepared to step in if your partner feels mistreated by your family.
Don’t hide the big stuff from the person you want to share your life with. From your finances (including debt) to your sexual needs to your hopes for the future, you should feel comfortable sharing it all with your partner. Don’t hide things you may be embarrassed by, especially things that might scare you. Your partner is just that—a partner. They should be there with you in the good times and help you through the hard times.
If you and your partner have different religious backgrounds, it is important to respect those differences and discuss how religion plays a part in your lives and your future. Whether you have different religions or religion has a different level of importance to each of you, it’s one of the first things you should discuss with your partner when marriage and family planning are on the table.
Change Is Inevitable in a Marriage
Finances, religion, and family can all be discussed before you tie the knot, but they’re not one-and-done topics. People change over time as they get older, and likewise, their relationships will change over time as well. Change will never be easy, but it is inevitable. How you handle changes in yourself and your partner will determine the future of your marriage. You can’t expect your partner to be exactly who you want them to be all the time, and they cannot expect the same of you. You won’t always be the same person as you were at 25, and life occurrences will change how a person feels about certain issues. You might’ve grown up always planning to have a family, but financial struggles or global issues could impact your decision-making when the time comes. What’s important to remember is that no one is to blame when it comes to growing and changing as you get older. It’s difficult to accept that your marriage may not be meant to last, and it’s even more difficult not to blame anyone, but it’s crucial when it comes to having a less-contentious divorce.
How Open and Honest Communication Can Help Your Marriage
Good, strong relationships don’t just happen. They take time, effort, and energy. More than anything, they take lasting commitment and honesty.
Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Feelings
The first rule to communicating in a marriage is don’t expect your partner to be a mind reader. You have to openly communicate with your spouse about your needs and wants, especially when they’ve changed as you’ve grown. This can be difficult and scary, especially if you’re afraid of confrontation or conflict, but it’s essential to let your partner know what makes you happy and what doesn’t. When it comes to your future hopes and dreams, ensure you’re both on the same page.
Listen When Your Partner Talks to You
It’s not enough just to let your partner know what YOU need in your relationship—you also need to actively listen to what your partner has to say. Pay attention to their needs and feelings, and try to see things from their perspective. Staying connected requires deliberately taking the time to really listen to what they have to say and learn from it. It can be easy to get caught up in our lives and neglect our relationships. But making an effort to listen to your partner and learning from their needs can make a world of difference.
Accept Your Partner Unconditionally
Accepting who your partner is, warts and all, is another crucial element of a healthy relationship. We all have flaws and quirks that can sometimes be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that we fell in love with our partner for a reason. Therefore it’s essential to accept who your partner is, even if they’re not precisely who they were when you first got together. Remember that everyone changes over time, and it’s essential to either accept those changes or accept that your relationship is no longer fulfilling you in a healthy way.
Confirm That Your Partner Accepts You as You Are
If you’re willing to accept your partner for who they are, even when they change, you should expect nothing less from them. If you don’t feel like your partner truly accepts you, it is time for a direct and honest conversation about that. Remember that no relationship is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can sweep things under the rug. When something is important to you, speak up.
How Can Leap Frog Divorce Help You?
Deciding to get a divorce is a difficult enough decision, and at Leap Frog Divorce, we think that’s where the stress should end. We specialize in de-escalating tense situations and assisting couples in reaching a mutually agreeable divorce settlement. Through our collaborative divorce process, we can save you money and emotional distress. Our divorce attorneys, coaches, and mediators are experts at guiding couples through the divorce process so you don’t have to feel alone during such a difficult time. Contact Leap Frog Divorce today if you’re looking for guidance in your divorce.