Archive | October, 2011

Top 5 Reasons for a Divorce

25 Oct

A few months ago, my husband and I had the opportunity to teach a marriage enrichment class to the married and engaged couples at our church. My husband suggested that we cover communication in marriage and tasked me with researching the topic and starting the outline to our notes. After researching communication in marriage and starting our notes, I soon realized that our subject matter had greatly expanded. Not only did I cover the topic of communication in marriage, but I expanded it to include the top 3 reasons why people divorce, and one reason being communication issues.

After finishing our notes, I proudly emailed them to my husband for his review and input; he wanted to know how our topic had morphed from communication in marriage to the top 3 reasons for divorce in marriage. My explanation of how I incorporated the other material and expanded our topic didn’t quite convince him that I had correctly interpreted what he said – at this point we were working through our own little “miscommunication,” needless to say after much urging on my part, he understood my point and we
went forth with the top 3 reasons for divorce.

I recently revisited the top reasons why couple’s divorce and have listed the top five reasons for divorce as of 2009:

  1. Infidelity – topping the list was infidelity or unfaithfulness in the marriage.  Most everyone has a theory on why spouses cheat, whatever the reason, infidelity is usually a deal breaker for the spouse who has been the victim of a cheating spouse. Despite this being the leading cause of divorces, there are many couples who seek out counseling, forgive and move on with their lives after an affair.
  2. Finances – financial difficulties and/or differences in spending and saving habits was the second most common reason cited for divorce. The present economic climate has put a lot of strain on marriages because there are many households where one or both spouses have either been laid off or one of the spouses may be underemployed.
  3. Communication – poor communication or lack thereof in a marriage has caused the demise of one too many marriages. Oftentimes, a husband and wife will have different communication styles, there is nothing wrong with this, however differing communication styles will take understanding from both partners to correctly interpret what is being said in a conversation. I once heard the saying, “what you don’t say, sometimes speaks louder than what you do say.” Remember silence can be golden or deadly!
  4. Incompatibility – some say opposites attract and perhaps this is a good thing for those who appreciate the difference in their spouse. However, incompatibility is not a trivial matter. There are some basics that every couple should agree on such as: money management, how they will raise their children, religious beliefs, and their career goals and aspirations.
  5. Physical, Sexual, Emotional Abuse – abuse in marriage is seldom talked about until it involves a celebrity and is in the national news. Sadly there are many women and some men who endure years of abuse in an attempt to make their marriage work. Without a strong commitment and desire to change from the abuser, the victim in many abuse situations walks away from the marriage.

Other popular reasons cited for a divorce in 2009 were gambling and substance abuse. In 2011, as evidenced by recent research regarding trends in divorce, social networking is making tracks considering it was not even on the list in 2009. We now know that social networking and Facebook is being cited as the cause for many divorces.

Suggested Sites:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/healthymarriage/

http://www.healthymarriageinfo.org/index.aspx

http://www.preventingdivorce.com/

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HELP! I Married Mrs./Mr. Wrong

18 Oct

For most people their wedding day is one that they  will never forgot. It doesn’t matter if there was some sort of mishap or if the day went off without a glitch, most have fond memories of the day they exchanged  nuptials. For those of us who are married –and have been for any number of  years – know that after every wedding comes a marriage.

For some couples their marriage has its share of ups  and downs; for other couples they unfortunately realize sooner rather than later that they married Mrs./Mr. Wrong! We all know them, the people who were married for what some term a “hot minute.”

One such person that I spoke with who was married  for one year, and knew her husband for one year prior to marrying, stated that she soon realized there were major issues in the marriage when he would not accept her children from a prior relationship. Her ex-husband made no effort at all to have a relationship with her children. For this person, not accepting her children was a deal breaker – she felt the marriage was not worth saving. Her advice to those desiring to be married is to seek God first, pray and meditate before marrying anyone.

My advice to anyone desiring to be married is to first of all work on becoming the best you that you can be, second as my interviewee stated seek God for direction and guidance, third keep your options open – sometimes what we need is not always what we want, and lastly during the dating phase of your relationship with anyone you are strongly considering marrying, use that time to collect data.

The dating period should be the time when you find out as much about a person as you can. Such as do you have the same views on religion, money, sex, child rearing, and career goals/aspirations. During this time nothing should be off limits for discussion. If a potential mate wants to continue delaying a particular topic, proceed with caution, this is a potential red flag.

My advice to those who are currently in a marriage and they feel as if they married the wrong person is to seek out marital counseling; bring in an unbiased third party to help you sort out your problems. Some marriages are not salvageable, however, there are many that are, this will mandate that both partners put their pride and egos aside and do what is best for their marriage in the long run.

In situations where a marriage can be saved, both partners must agree on the course of action they will take to make the marriage work.

Additional Resources:

http://www.counsel-search.com/resources.aspx

http://www.strongmarriagenow.com/FixYourMarriage/?gclid=CKu56J3m8asCFR5CgwodjmHRKA

http://www.marriagesherpa.com/marriage_report/optin/4238?pid=www.counsel-search.com&cid=5316070170&gclid=CK27lM3m8asCFSVpgwodyRquIg

FACEBOOK RUINED MY MARRIAGE

10 Oct

Recent research has shown that 20% of divorcees have  listed “Facebook” or some other form of social networking as the reason for  their divorce; counselors have also noted that an increasing number of couples seeking marital counseling have cited Facebook as a major problem in their relationship. A New Jersey pastor who has counseled more than 20 couples who say Facebook has caused problems in their marriage has asked his parishioners to either delete their Facebook accounts or create a family page; he also asked 50 married officials at his church to delete their Facebook account or resign.

Some feel as though social networking, Facebook in particular, does not ruin marriages – people ruin their own marriages. That whether there be a Facebook or not some people would cheat regardless – once a cheater, always a cheater.

I found several couples who blame their divorce and/or marital problems specifically on Facebook. One lady shared that her husband “friended” an ex-girlfriend from high school; and began having an affair with this woman. The wife found out about the affair after the husband cheated on and left the ex-girlfriend for someone else he had become friends with on Facebook. The couple is currently going through a divorce. A spouse cheating on their wife or husband with an ex-girl/boyfriend from high school has repeated itself more times than I care to mention. Then there is the gentleman who at the urging of his wife set-up a Facebook account and sent a friend request to his wife. The wife accepted the friend request, but blocked her friend list – the husband questioned this and the wife became very defensive refusing to unblock her friend list. The wife eventually deactivated her Facebook account.  The husband now feels as if his wife was hiding something from him. And finally, there are those who excessively spend hours on the internet chatting or are on Facebook, neglecting their spouse. Many spouses expressed a concern that the excessive time that their spouse spends on Facebook could be spent with them.

After hearing of the problems these couples were having, I compiled a list of tips for married couples who use Facebook.

Facebook etiquette for married couples:

1) Do not friend an ex-girl/boyfriend.
This one seems like a no brainer. However, some people may feel as if there is  no harm in Facebook friending a person they have dated – I caution against  this, this seems to be the common thread shared by those spouses who learn of  their partner’s infidelity connected to Facebook; the spouse befriended an old  girl/boyfriend.

2) Do not feel obligated to friend  everyone from your past. Some people are in your past for a  reason; it’s okay to leave them there – don’t feel obligated to accept a friend  request from someone in your past who you feel has no place in your present or  future.

3) Do not friend people you don’t know.
Once again, this one seems like a no brainer, however, some people have/do  friend people who they don’t know because they either share friends or have  common interests. I again caution against this. You may friend them as a nice  gesture not knowing what the person’s ulterior motives are – unfortunately some people use social networking sites such as Facebook as a breeding ground for  finding companionship – you don’t want to be a target – there are some who  could care less that a person is married.

4) Don’t flirt.
Never ever flirt with someone who is not your spouse. A little flirting here and there might seem  meaningless to some – however, this is the door that has led to many  affairs.

5) Allow your spouse full access to  your Facebook page. In a marriage there should be full  disclosure always. Even if you have nothing to hide, limiting your spouse’s access to your Facebook page just seems suspicious. I agree that there should  be trust in a marriage, this goes both ways – your spouse should trust you enough to not care about having full access to your page and vice versa, and you should be open and honest enough to offer your spouse full access to your page.

6) Limit your time on Facebook. Be cognizant of the time you spend on the internet and Facebook. I have said more than once, a huge time waster is Facebook. If you find yourself complaining that you do not have enough time in the day to do what needs to be done, take a break from Facebook and observe how much time you might have to do other things.

I realize that there are still those who believe that Facebook and other social networking sites is not responsible for the  demise of so many marriages, however, I say the proof is in the pudding which are the recent divorce decrees that specifically list “Facebook” as having caused and/or contributed to the reason for the divorce.

ATTENTION MEN: Don’t Marry A Career Woman!

3 Oct

http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/mar2009/ca20090327_067541.htm

I recently read an Article, “Career Women at Midlife: Sicker and Sadder.”  The article discussed one woman who at the peak of her career and personal life found herself in a state of unhappiness and unhealthiness. In her words, “life was becoming impossible and intolerable, …” The article also asserted that the last 50 years have afforded women greater opportunities, achievement, influence and more money. The down side, over the same time period, women have become less happy, in addition to being more anxious and stressed; consequently medicating
themselves as a result.

Wow, that’s deep! In summary, the article basically asserted that with better education and opportunities, women have become less happy.

Reading this article conjured up memories of another article, “Don’t Marry Career Women” that I had read previously that was met with much criticism from career women. http://www.forbes.com/2006/08/23/Marriage-Careers-divorce_cx_mn_land.html

This article cited several studies that in summary stated that men who were married to career women, were more likely to have a bad marriage and get a divorce. Reasons being the career woman being more likely to cheat on her spouse and less likely to have children and if she does is more likely to be unhappy about having had children; that the career woman will be unhappy if she makes more money than her spouse; that her husband is more likely to fall ill and that the career woman’s house is more likely to be dirty. The article didn’t stop there – further research was cited that stated that career women who quit their jobs to stay at home with their children will
be unhappy.

To sum up the research that is out there concerning married career women, one would think being married to a career woman is a one way ticket to divorce court. I believe that the exact opposite is true; being married to a career
woman does not have to mimic anything that research studies have asserted. Married couples who have children and both partners work outside of the home must realize that any traditional thinking concerning chores and housekeeping will not work.  When both partners work outside of the home, there must be mutual agreement on who will do what chores. Regarding the infidelity or cheating assumption, I do respect that research, however I do not fully agree with the results. There are many theories concerning what drives someone to cheat on their spouse – primary theory being that there is some sort of unmet need in the marriage and I’m unsure if there is any correlation between unmet needs and having a career; although I’m sure some would argue that career women may be absorbed by their job, kids, life and therefore put their spouse last perhaps prompting the husband to have an affair. However, knowing this the career woman must conscientiously decide that her husband is a priority always.

Additionally, the views concerning women and money and the husband being the primary bread winner have been debunked in recent years. With the past recession and sluggish economy, more men are finding themselves out of work or under employed and the wife is the primary bread winner. As a result more couples are now okay with women earning more than their spouse. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33196583/ns/business-careers/t/rising-number-women-earn-more-mates/

The last few decades have seen a record number of women obtain their degree and enter the workforce – that being said, men it will be quite a challenge to NOT marry a career woman. My advice to those men who harbor traditional views of marriage and a woman’s role in marriage is to reevaluate your thinking process and in short GET WITH THE TIMES! This is the 21st century and a woman’s expected place is no longer in the home barefeet and pregnant.

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