Can we, without a doubt, say that a couple will divorce before they walk down the aisle? In most cases no, although in some cases you can see a train wreck as it’s coming. How do you know if your marriage will last?
There isn’t an easy answer to that question but there are a few signs that predict if a couple is more likely to get a divorce. If you have any of these issues in your relationship perhaps you can head off future problems before walking down the aisle.
8 Predictors of Divorce:
1. Money, Money, Money:
When money troubles abound, do the two of you clash horns, or do you sit together and find solutions rather than pointing fingers? How the two of you handle money separately and together is important.
If you’re battling each other instead of working together on how to manage finances more appropriately, this could propel you two towards divorce. Also, if one of you is bringing the other further into debt or, has a history of not paying their debt perhaps it’s time to sit down with a financial advisor and therapist if your partner is financially irresponsible.
2. The Woman is More Financially Accomplished:
The University of Chicago School of Business conducted research in 2013 that said if a woman earned more money than her husband, divorce rates increased. Perhaps this is based on a socio-cultural belief that men are to be the breadwinners and so when this doesn’t happen, perhaps a man feels weaker or less important.
If you are a well-accomplished woman, your partner may become threatened by your success.
What can you do about this?
Nothing. If a man is that threatened, he’s not the right one for you. And men, if your partner is more financially successful don’t you also reap the benefit of her success? Don’t get tied down into old ideologies and cultural stereotypes.
3. Your Parents Are Divorced:
Study after study says if your parents divorced, you are more likely to divorce as well. Perhaps that is true, so if your parents did divorce and you’re looking to keep your marriage happy, why not take some lessons learned from watching your parents’ marriage end, and use those lessons to give you perspective on how to handle conflict in your marriage or how to pick a good prospective partner.
I think if you get too “married” no pun intended, to the idea that if your parents divorced you will as well, it’s too fatalistic. Learn from their mistakes. That in itself may be a gift.
4. No Sex:
If you and your partner are slowly cutting down on your sexual activities, you’re heading into the danger zone. Sex is vital to a marriage. You don’t need to be in bed with each other every night getting randy, but if the two of you start to put a kibosh on marital sexual activities and intimacy it is a very bad sign of big problems in the relationship.
5. Different Values or Backgrounds
A colleague of mine came from a liberal background and her ex came from a conservative background. Despite the fact that there were mutual opinions of one another’s that they respected, ultimately their values and belief systems were incredibly different.
It wasn’t surprising when they started to argue more as they had a child. Their belief systems were clashing over how to raise their children which is common if two people don’t share similar backgrounds and values. If you and your partner have inherently different life views this can (but not always) make for a difficult marriage.
6. Young Love
Marrying young? You may find that your interests and lives change so much as you grow older that you may grow older apart and not as a couple. We are different people at 40 than we were at 20.
That isn’t to say becoming a couple at a young age can’t work. I have friends who married at 15 and 16-years-old. They’ve just celebrated their 40th anniversary! Being young does make marriage more difficult and it takes more of a commitment so you have to be willing to stick it out when the going gets rough.
7. Fighting Ugly, Not Fighting Smartly:
If you and your partner fight to hurt, expect one of those fights to sever your marriage. When you truly love and cherish someone, you’re not out for blood even if you are angry and hurt.
Being cruel or on the attack is not a sign of healthy love. Fighting smartly is most important in a marriage. Pick your battles wisely and avoid accusatory statements. Be careful with your words. There’s no way to truly take them back—they’ve already been said once they leave your lips!
8. Holding a Grudge:
If you find either one of you is supposedly forgiving but never forgetting this is a toxic habit for your relationship and future marriage. If you truly forgive you must also let go! Holding onto old resentments will eat you up inside and tear away at your partnership until there’s nothing left but ashes.
If you see any of these behaviors in your relationship, don’t get muddled down in negativity or despair. Instead, if it’s something you can change, do it! If the relationship requires more than a few tweaks, counseling may be in the cards for you. If you’re not married yet but see these potential issues, perhaps some pre-marital counseling is in line. It’s better to not say I do than to say I do and later on say, “I should have said I don’t!”