How does a couple so in love in the beginning wind up ending a marriage? Let’s start from the beginning. You meet. You are attracted to one another and start to spend time together. You like this person, and it’s mutual. Joy. Thrill. Sparks. Heat. You become a bit anxious about whether or not this person will stay in your life. You start to make commitments to one another because commitment reduces anxiety about staying attached. You get married.
Problems happen. They just do, and they will happen to you. For some couples, they are easy problems; for others, they are very difficult and even gut-wrenching. Statistics tell us that fifty percent of couples facing these issues will make it, while the other fifty will end in divorce. Here are 5 ingredients that contribute to a marriage ending in divorce.
1. You have difficulty managing conflicts and problems become your way of life.
When you don’t work as a team on problems, conflicts become more frequent and more intense.When you don’t work as a team on problems, conflicts become more frequent and more intense. The number of times you are together that become painful seems to go steadily up. You don’t communicate well together, and you start to get nastier about it all. Danger ahead. Most couples experience periods of conflict and/or neglect of the positive side of their relationship.
You have a home to take care of, kids that need time and attention; your work begins eating up more time and money pressures mount.
3. You begin to neglect the parts of life that bonded you together.
You have fun less often and go out infrequently. And you don’t just sit down together or take walks to talk as friends much anymore; when you do, it often turns into an argument.
4. One or both partners begin to associate the presence of the other with pain and stress, rather than with support or pleasure.
Friendship together becomes a distant memory. Danger is not just on the horizon, the bridge is out.
5. The idea of divorce is proposed as a possibility.
The future becomes something to threaten in arguments: Why should I stay with you? Maybe we need to get a divorce. Now you experience the total erosion of dedication to one another and investment in the relationship. You’re forgetting why you went on this journey in the first place. In the absence of forces that constrain some couples to stay together, you divorce. Never threaten or propose it as a possibility.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think it takes to get through a hard time?”