Why is divorce so common in U.S.? What does the U.S divorce rate tell us?
Divorce Rate. People end up in divorce court because they wait too long to find solutions to the problems in their marriage. We are a nation of highly independent people. That independence stands in the way of us being able to humble ourselves and ask for help. Would you try to perform surgery on yourself if you were told your appendix needed to be taken out? Trying to fix our marriages ourselves prior to going to divorce court is the same metaphorically. You can’t fix your problems doing the same things you have been doing. In the United States, researchers estimate that 50% of all first marriages, and 60% of second marriages, will end in divorce. The most common reasons people give for their divorce are inability to communicate, too much arguing, cheating, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of balance/equality in the relationship, lack of preparation for marriage, finances, lack of intimacy and abuse.
What are the common reasons why people divorce?
- People think they can fix their problems alone. If you don’t have the skills needed to work through the problem it doesn’t matter how hard you try to work at it. We must admit to needing help.
- Most couples do not know how to fight fairly. Once the fighting begins, someone often gets over-whelmed with the idea that someone who loves them would criticize them. Fighting can be healthy for a relationship, as long as there isn’t any name calling, aggressive behavior, excessive withdrawal from their partner, or inability to forgive.
- Roles change over time, people grow and change. At times, one partner may be in control of the finances, at other times your partner may be. The inability to be flexible and relinquish control is big.
- People are too quick to seem comfort somewhere else. People believe if my needs are not being met, it is ok to go outside of the relationship if you are unhappy, work on yourself, work on how you behave in the relationship and things will change.
- Looking for a quick fix, if you can’t fix it quickly, many people just decide to dispose of the relationship. Ultimately, looking at things in this way, result in you bringing those same problems into your next relationship.
- Believing that this person will take care of all of your needs is un-realistic. No one can take care of all your needs and fix any and all pains from your past. We marry expecting someone else to make us happy, instead of making our own selves happy.
What can you do to deal with a divorce/breakup?
- Remember that a divorce is just like grieving the death of a loved one. Although suppressing unpleasant feelings is a natural impulse, avoiding your emotions will ultimately prevent you from moving past them. You are going to feel — anger, sadness, loneliness, feelings of rejection and uncertainty about the future — and it’s essential to confront them head-on.
- Take care of your body. Exercise, eat healthy, buy a new outfit, get your hair done etc. All of these things boost your self-esteem.
- Stop fighting with your ex. You may think you’re standing your ground when you call him out on his bad behavior, but if it’s been a few years and you’re still fighting with your ex what you’re really doing is keeping an unhappy marriage alive.
- Keep the kids out of it! Oh, it’s tempting to tell little Tammy why her father left and how he did it and how he’s arguing over child support. Kids often feel it is their fault and may even internalize some of what you are saying.
- Don’t beat yourself up. It’s likely you’ll be feeling pretty down on yourself. That’s natural. But deal with your guilt with a minimum of self-hatred. “Accept that was an learning experience and that you can’t go back and change it. Forgive yourself and accept that life has to go on.
- Diving into a hobby won’t just prove to be a great distraction, though; it will also give you a chance to potentially meet new people or at the very least give you something interesting to talk about when you do.
- Aim for indifference. Now that it’s all said and done: the house is sold, the assets divvied up, and the papers signed, sealed and delivered, ask yourself what it is you want for your life and future now. One goal that may prove helpful is to aim for indifference when it comes to your ex, his choices and his new potential partners.
What are things to remember for your next relationship?
- Be self-reflective. Monitor your behavior. Be aware of the negative behavior that led to your divorce. Your new partner wasn’t even remotely in the picture. Therefore, give them a fair shot.
- Try some self-talk. Whenever you start to doubt your new relationship because of fears such as getting hurt, reason with yourself. Tell yourself, “He’s not EX and so I have to try something new and give this a chance.” You might have to repeat it several times.
- Explain your fears to your new boo. Versus becoming quiet, withdrawn and distant. Be open and honest and authentic. Explain to them what happened in your past. And make sure to say, “This isn’t about anything you’ve done. You’ve been great. It’s about me and my fears that stem from the past.” If the pain is too much, please reach out to someone.
- Keep your eyes open. Giving your new relationship a fair shot doesn’t mean you should ignore red flags. Trust me. Many people who get divorced repeat their poor choices in partners.
If you are contemplating divorce ask yourself these questions. What would be the biggest loss if I divorced? What would be the biggest gain if I got divorced? If things are at the point where you are thinking you want to divorce, get some help! You can’t fix your problems using the same thinking that created your problems! You are your greatest problem and your only solution!