Marital issues such as different values, addiction, sexual problems, financial disagreements, abuse, or infidelity are so serious they can cause divorce. If you believe your marriage involves one or more of these factors, you should consider visiting a marriage counselor or collaborative divorce attorney.
Different Core Values
Values differences can create friction, frustration and anger. For example, if one member is religious and one atheist, if one is liberal and one conservative, or if one is thrifty while the other likes to spend, these differences can produce serious problems. Generally, couples discover whether their values are compatible before marriage, but sometimes a person may discover a new core value later in life. If other parts of the marriage are solid, the couple may work around a core value difference and live happily together. However, if one person insists his mate change, that’s a recipe for divorce.
Addiction can destroy a marriage. Although there may be signs of addiction prior to marriage, serious substance abuse often happens years into the marriage and can produce serious problems. There are only two realistic options for a couple dealing with substance abuse: get professional help for the addictive person or get a divorce. There is little middle ground. Most marriages can’t survive serious addiction; the financial and emotional costs are too large.
A frequent complaint among married couples considering divorce is sexual incompatibility. Sometimes couples disagree about how often to have sex and may even drift into a sexless marriage, leaving one spouse frustrated and both unhappy. Other factors, such as financial stress or anger can produce sexual dissatisfaction. Moreover, the constant pressure to have sex when your partner doesn’t feel like it can lead to rejection or cold indifference. Because sex is the glue that binds a couple together, when the glue is missing or defective, the marital bond is in danger.
Money problems are a frequent source of marital problems. If one partner wants to save while the other person wants to spend and go into debt to have it all, that can lead to serious marital issues. Additionally, if one partner is accustomed to a higher standard of living than their joint income will allow, that can produce serious problems. Finally, losing a job, suffering an investment loss, or gambling can create serious financial problems for any couple. Good money management is important in making a marriage work. If couples disagree about money and can’t compromise, they may be doomed to divorce.
Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse are major causes of divorce. Most forms of abuse are acquired during childhood by observing and experiencing them in the family of origin. If the person does not seek counseling to deal with his or her own abuse, the same destructive behavior may be reenacted on the next generation. Physical abuse is generally motivated by a need to control the spouse while sexual abuse is caused by a perversion of normal sexual drive onto inappropriate objects or behaviors. Physical abusers often brutally beat their spouse when they are drunk or angry. Sexual abusers may degrade their spouse by forcing them to perform unusual or inappropriate sexual acts. Finally, emotional abusers are generally anxious and reenacting patterns of behavior acquired during their own unhappy childhood.
Adultery is a major cause of divorce. Sometimes couples can reconcile and rebuild mutual trust, but it’s difficult to forgive and forget. More often the hurt and anger generated by discovering that your spouse has been having sex with someone else is just too damaging to the relationship and the only recourse if a divorce. If a couple wants to try rebuilding lost trust, they need to realize it takes approximately eighteen months to forgive and forget adultery. Don’t expect a quick fix and do expect lots of anger and recriminations. The only course is for the unfaithful partner to accept his or her punishment in good humor to make the rebuilding work.
If two or more of these factors exist in your relationship, you should probably visit a marriage counselor or a collaborative divorce attorney.