It’s an unfortunate statistic, but half of all marriages end in divorce. This is a number that is likely to grow as the years go on. Why is that? What is leading so many marriages to fall apart? Many marriages end due to infidelity, but what leads to rest of divorces? It turns out there are many reasons a marriage can end in divorce. Some of the reasons are patterns of behavior that break down the relationship.
This is a good list to start with of what to do less of, or avoid if you want to live happily ever after into your golden years.
1. Lack of communication.
When you don’t talk you don’t connect. Shutting off communication with your spouse by ignoring them as you check your phone, or watch TV, is obnoxious behavior that can lead to divorce because it makes your partner feel unappreciated.
Solution: Talk to each other. Try to solve the matter together because marriage is a partnership and it’s going to take both of you working on things to make it successful.
2. Always expressing negative feelings
Bottling up your emotions is unhealthy, but expressing only negative ones toward your partner might be one of the biggest predictors of divorce. Petty, negative discussions may be a predictor of whether or not you divorce. Of course there are things that you dislike about your partner and vice versa, but bringing them up does not change the behavior that you dislike. It only makes your partner resentful that you don’t seem to love them just as they are.
Solution: Catch your spouse doing something right and praise them, a lot. Try to stop making negative comments, and ask them to do the same. There is always some qualities that you like about them. Instead of passing bad comments, try to focus on the positive things, as well. That’s how you are going to stress yourself and the whole relationship.
3. Decrease in affection toward your partner
Sure you love your spouse, but do your actions and words show them this on a daily basis? No one wants to feel taken for granted, and when they do, they start to wonder if they are in the right relationship for them because they could get more affection elsewhere.
Solution: Try to mix things up. Put your words into action. Plan a movie night or date night once in a week and stick to that schedule. Do something new. Enjoy your love. Do something you’ll both love.
4. Too much expectations
It is reasonable to have certain expectations of our spouses but there are expectations that are unfair. For example, it’s fair to expect to have sex with your wife; however, it’s unfair to expect her to be ready to go at the drop of hat. This is especially true when you have done nothing to connect with her. When those expectations are unmet, resentment sets in.
Solution: If you find yourself resenting your wife, evaluate your expectations and seek wise counsel on whether or not you are expecting too much.
5. Blaming each other
Relationship experts state that the habit of assigning blame without facts or questioning is “one of the absolutely kisses of death in a marriage.” The sad thing is that this behavior is easily correctable by asking a question as opposed to making a statement. “Why are you so late coming home?” vs “Out partying with your buddies again.”
Solution: Giving your partner the benefit of the doubt, especially when they’ve earned it, is always good practice. If a behavior is unacceptable, a constructive dialogue is needed.
6. Always being on the defense
It’s natural to want to strike back when we’re feeling bombarded by our partner. “If we’re feeling criticized, we may say things in response to our partner’s attack such as, ‘You’re wrong. I do always remember to pick up the dry-cleaning,’ or ‘You’re just being too picky.'” But defensiveness usually just escalates the situation. This behavior indicates that either you’re doing something you shouldn’t be, or your partner is just accusing you of doing something you shouldn’t be. Either way, this is not good for your marriage.
Solution: Take some responsibility—even if it’s just a small part of the problem and even if you don’t necessarily agree with the other person’s point of view. “The person wants you to relate to what they are saying. They want to be heard.
7. Being unforgiving
Holding on to the hurt feelings, grudges, and bitterness will only intensify wounds. It’s like allowing those wounds to become infected. A lack of forgiveness and grace is a painful road to isolation and loneliness. Forgiveness can be a process that takes a while. Make it a habit to start that process quickly.
Solution: No one is perfect in this imperfect world. Everyone does some mistakes. But you should try to forgive them. The sooner you start the process of forgiveness, the sooner you will experience healing.
Habitual lying about anything can be detrimental to a marriage. It doesn’t matter if it’s lying about a small credit card charge, or “forgetting” about the exact time to be somewhere important.
Solution: If you lied about something, be an adult and admit it. If you’ve been habitually lying, be an adult and admit it. There is no other option than to be honest – which should have been the first course of action.
There’s a reason these toxic habits will cause a divorce within five years 90 percent of the time. Plus, these habits can be so deeply ingrained that oftentimes you leave one relationship and then start the cycle all over, recreating the dysfunction with a new partner.