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Why Marriages End in Divorce

Apr 27, 2015 | Written by: William J. Rudnik, Esq. |

As someone who has been divorced and who has been a divorce attorney for many years, I have come to understand some of the many reasons why marriages end in divorce. While there are those couples who are simply mismatched and should have never gotten married in the first place, and those couples who get married for the wrong reasons, the majority of marriages end in divorce because of what happens during the marriage.

Many times people change as they get older. Sometimes they become more set in their ways, and sometimes they view things differently than they did in younger years. If you have a close relationship with someone, whether it be a friend, relative, spouse, or even a child, you can see how their personality and their viewpoints change over time. In a marriage, both parties are likely to change over the years. Many times the little things that did not bother an individual earlier in the relationship start to become more and more annoying.

To prevent small issues from becoming major problems in a relationship, one of two things must happen. The first is that there must be communication when these things come up. If something bothers you, you must bring it to your spouse’s attention. If your spouse brings something that bothers him/her to your attention, you need to address it. Talking through these issues can help to bring about a resolution. The second way to prevent these small issues from becoming bigger problems than they should be is to change how they are viewed. The spouse who is annoyed by the action or habit of the other spouse can sit back and think about why that issue bothers him/her so much, when in the past it was not as big of a deal. Is it because he/she is upset at his/her spouse for another reason? Is it because everything has become more annoying to him/her with age? Sometimes one can find the answer by thinking about why things are bothersome. That can help to put things in perspective and make it easier to accept a spouse’s behavior, just as was done early in the relationship.

As I mentioned above, communication is certainly important in a relationship. A marriage is not easy and it does require acceptance, compromise, adapting over time, and at times, hard work. I am amazed at how many divorce cases I have had where one party believes the relationship is essentially nonexistent and the marriage has been over for quite a few years, while the other party does not believe there is anything wrong with the relationship. Is this a result of one party failing to communicate concerns over the years? Or is it a function of the other party ignoring the concerns that have been communicated over the years? Most likely, it is a combination of both. I also see that different people have different opinions on what a marriage should and should not be. Some people are accepting of a certain level of dysfunction in a relationship, while others view a marriage as being much more than simply being roommates.

Everyone makes mistakes during the course of their relationship. That is why it is very rare that one party is at fault for the breakdown of a marriage. It is important to accept responsibility for mistakes, to forgive a spouse’s mistakes, and to learn from them. Both parties should constantly strive to improve, not only as individuals, but also as spouses.

If you are married and you want to stay married, then I give you these few words of advice:

  1. Set aside time to spend with each other.
  1. Communicate, specifically in regard to issues that come up that are upsetting or bothersome.
  1. Look at yourself in terms of how you react and respond in the relationship and always strive for improvement.
  1. Listen to your spouse and address his/her concerns.
  1. Accept your spouse for who he/she is, even if he/she is not the same person you married. Adapt to changing circumstances in your relationship.
  1. Tell your spouse how much you love and care for him/her on a frequent basis and demonstrate your love through kind acts.

If you are married, I hope you are able to have a happy marriage. However, if you are in need of a separation or divorce, please feel free to contact me.

William J. Rudnik, Esq. is certified by the NJ Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Attorney. He is also qualified as a Mediator in the field of Family Law under the New Jersey Court rules, and he is trained in Collaborative Divorce. Contact Mr. Rudnik at 908-735-5161 or via email.