Getting married is a major life event. This statement may seem obvious, but many couples often do not realize the work, time, and effort that is required to have a successful, happy marriage. Many times, people will share clichés with future spouses, claiming that the key to a successful marriage is, for example “happy partner, happy life”. However, this is not the key. For this reason, here are some common causes of divorce and how to avoid them.
1. Lack of communication
Effective communication is a major component to a successful marriage or relationship. By this, we are talking about correctly and kindly raising issues in your relationship. When you are uncomfortable or upset about something your partner said or did, it is crucial not to sweep your feelings under a rug. You must discuss your feelings, or else, your partner will repeat the same behaviour without the opportunity to modify this behaviour accordingly. Lack of effective communication can create a vicious cycle that can cause you to lose your temper for the smallest thing and leave your partner wondering what they did wrong. In reality, although it may seem easier to “let the small things go”, if something really bothers you, it is always best to bring it up in a polite and respectful manner so that your partner can try to understand where you are coming from to avoid a greater problem in the future.
Unless both partners agree to a polyamorous relationship, staying faithful is a key component to the vows you made to your partner. Although some behaviors are very commonly recognized by society as cheating: sex, texting people you would be interested in, having an emotional affair, it is possible that although your partner would not consider a certain act to be cheating, they may still feel uncomfortable with some of your choices. A good reflex to have is that if you feel the need to hide something from your partner, it may be sage to think before you act.
3. Wanting different things
Do I want kids? Do they want kids? Where should we live? When do you want to retire? These are all questions that should be discussed prior to getting married or committing to a long-term relationship with someone. This is because getting married means you may spend the rest of your life with another person. If they do not wish to live their life the way that you want, there will be conflict and ultimately you will both be unhappy. These topics are rarely discussed at the beginning of a relationship and once there has been a lapse in time, it may be awkward to raise the topic of conversation because of how much time you have invested in the relationship without having discussed it. Having different fundamental future plans can cause strain on the relationship since one person will always have to compromise on such a significant aspect of their future. Therefore, it is important to have an open and honest conversation about these life decisions, preferably early on, but especially before an engagement or marriage.
4. Not helping each other out
There is a huge difference between being codependent on your partner and needing their help. Marriage is about give and take; you need to be there for each other. For example, if you and your partner have children, and you need your partner to be with them for the day because you are not feeling well or have plans, your partner should be willing to take charge for the day. These acts do not have to be grand by any means, they just need to provide some assistance to your partner who is requesting it. Oftentimes, one person in the relationship puts in all the effort to maintain the relationship while the other works on themselves. After a while, the person taking care of everything feels burdened and after repeatedly asking for help, believes there will be no change and chooses to leave. So, one easy fix is to offer your help. Do not wait for your partner to ask for help, offer it from the start. Chances are, the task they will give you will take little to no time, but will make your partner incredibly happy. Everything is easier as a team.
Try your best to do what you know your partner would like for you to do; have the difficult and sometimes uncomfortable conversations that will strengthen your bond. If you feel like you and your partner are having issues that you cannot solve, go to a marriage counselor or professional mediators who would be able to give you a third-person perspective on your relationship. So long as you love and care for your partner and are willing to put in the effort to work through your issues, no obstacle in your relationship is too tough to tackle.