Unfortunately, nearly half of all first marriages end in divorce. The number for second marriages is even higher, hovering at slightly greater than 60%. These statistics have remained fairly constant since the 1980s. Consequently, if you contemplate marrying your significant other, you may also wish to contemplate the top reasons for divorce to determine if any of these issues already exist in your relationship.
YourDivorceQuestions.com lists the following as the most common reasons why couples divorce:
- Lack of commitment
- Excessive fighting or abuse
- Premarital cohabitation or pregnancy
- Younger age
- Less education
- Lower income
- Alcohol or drug addiction
Commitment means taking your marriage and your relationship seriously. In other words, both of you should view marriage as a long-term, cooperative venture in which you will discuss, negotiate and resolve the issues that are bound to crop up over the years. Truly listening to your spouse represents the key.
In this era of dual-career marriages, it is also important that both of you put the needs of your marriage ahead of your respective career needs. This can be most significant when discussing whether to have children and which, if either, of you may need to temporarily put your career on hold while they are young.
It goes without saying that neither of you should verbally, emotionally or physically abuse the other. Consequently, if your relationship currently includes elements of abuse, including such things as jealousy or controlling behavior, this is a serious red flag that should cause you to seriously reconsider the idea of marriage.
Finally, do not set yourself up for failure by entering into marriage with impossibly high expectations. Each relationship is unique, and none is perfect. Perhaps the most important hallmark of couples who enjoy a long and reasonably happy marriage is that they find ways to work together for the good of the relationship and the children it produces.