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Why are so many people getting divorced?

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Phoenix

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It seems like practically everyone around us is either already divorced or is on the way to getting divorced. What's going on? Some of these marriages only lasted one or two years.

I know that some cases, it is the really obvious reasons like money, infidelity but in others, I am not sure why. Do people give up too easily these days or are they not just compatible and if so, why did they get married in the first place? In this day and age, aren't you supposed to go through some kind of courtship first, to get to know one another, before you get hitched (except in certain religions but I don't know enough about those and I am not talking abt them here).

Sure, DH and I have fights from time to time, sometimes about really silly things, but in the end we always make up. Marriage is hard. You have to work at it. It doesn't happen by itself. But at the end of the day, if you love and respect one another, surely you can pull through?

Am I too naive? Maybe it is better to be single than to be in a "bad" marriage, whatever that is!
 

Diamond*Dana

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I heard on the radio that the divorce rate has dropped...most likely due to the economy and people not being able to afford splitting up.
 

Phoenix

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Date: 3/8/2009 11:49:00 AM
Author: Diamond*Dana
I heard on the radio that the divorce rate has dropped...most likely due to the economy and people not being able to afford splitting up.
It's weird. My first reaction upon reading yr reply very quickly was "Oh, good, then maybe it's just people we know!", but then when I read the second part of yr reply, I was like: "Ooooh!!". But then again, if people can't afford to split up, maybe they'll work harder (esp. if there kids involved) at the relationship. But theeeeen yet again, if they're really really unhappy, there's no point staying together and it would suck if they couldn't get out because of that.

My personal point of view is that one or two years into the relationship is far to early to make that kind of life altering decision (again esp if that life is the kid(s)').
 

Tuckins1

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I think that if someone is thinking about getting a divorce when they have only been in the relationship for a few years, then they probably should not have gotten married in the first place. Either they did not have enough time to really get to know their SO, or they didn''t really have a great relationship before and thought that marriage was a good idea anyways..... Someone in our family is going through this right now. They have only been married a few years, and they HATE each other and are at the beginning of a separation, that i''m sure will quickly move on to a divorce. They really didn''t like each other when they got together, so I really don''t know why they thought marriage would be a good choice!!
 

Phoenix

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Date: 3/8/2009 12:02:07 PM
Author: Tuckins1
I think that if someone is thinking about getting a divorce when they have only been in the relationship for a few years, then they probably should not have gotten married in the first place. Either they did not have enough time to really get to know their SO, or they didn''t really have a great relationship before and thought that marriage was a good idea anyways..... Someone in our family is going through this right now. They have only been married a few years, and they HATE each other and are at the beginning of a separation, that i''m sure will quickly move on to a divorce. They really didn''t like each other when they got together, so I really don''t know why they thought marriage would be a good choice!!
That''s *really* CRAZY!!
 

KimberlyH

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Date: 3/8/2009 11:49:00 AM
Author: Diamond*Dana
I heard on the radio that the divorce rate has dropped...most likely due to the economy and people not being able to afford splitting up.
I''ve heard this statistic as well. I don''t know anyone who is currently going through a divorce, but I wouldn''t be suprised to find out that many are divorcing as a result of stresses from the current economy.
 

Phoenix

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Date: 3/8/2009 12:11:30 PM
Author: KimberlyH



Date: 3/8/2009 11:49:00 AM
Author: Diamond*Dana
I heard on the radio that the divorce rate has dropped...most likely due to the economy and people not being able to afford splitting up.
I've heard this statistic as well. I don't know anyone who is currently going through a divorce, but I wouldn't be suprised to find out that many are divorcing as a result of stresses from the current economy.
I wonder which statistic is really more accurate. On the one hand, I'd expect more people to be stressed out from the current economic problems, ie. money (the no 1 cause of divorce). Bt on the other hand, you split up you have 2 sets of expenses to take care instead of one. And then, there's the legal fee as well.


The weird thing about our friends is that they're not divorcing because of money. Well, some of them are not particularly wealthy but certainly not having any problems, or at least none that we know of. It appears to be some emotional/ psychological thing, but of course 1) I don't dare ask and 2) I wouln't dare discuss it on PS even if I knew.

I just wish there were something I could do. It breaks my heart, because in many of these cases, both parties are our friends and we care deeply for them and are very concerned for the children. Also, inevitably, we'd end up having to choose side between the couple (or at least they'd expect us to, the party that we're most close with/ were friends with before they got married)
.
 

KimberlyH

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Date: 3/8/2009 12:16:43 PM
Author: Phoenix

Date: 3/8/2009 12:11:30 PM
Author: KimberlyH


Date: 3/8/2009 11:49:00 AM
Author: Diamond*Dana
I heard on the radio that the divorce rate has dropped...most likely due to the economy and people not being able to afford splitting up.
I''ve heard this statistic as well. I don''t know anyone who is currently going through a divorce, but I wouldn''t be suprised to find out that many are divorcing as a result of stresses from the current economy.
I wonder which statistic is really more accurate. On the one hand, I''d expect more people to be stressed out from the current economic problems, ie. money (the no 1 cause of divorce). Bt on the other hand, you split up you have 2 sets of expenses to take care instead of one. And then, there''s the legal fee as well.


The weird thing about our friends is that they''re not divorcing because of money. Well, some of them are not particularly wealthy but certainly not having any problems, or at least none that we know of. It appears to be some emotional/ psychological thing, but of course 1) I don''t dare ask and 2) I don''t dare discuss it on PS even if I knew.
Phoenix, I wish I could remember where I heard the stat regarding divorce rate decrease, but it was from a pretty reliable source if memory serves. People can''t afford to get divorced, so they''re sticking it out was the gist.

I''m sorry about your friends, that can be disconcerting.
 

Phoenix

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Date: 3/8/2009 12:19:27 PM
Author: KimberlyH


Date: 3/8/2009 12:16:43 PM
Author: Phoenix



Date: 3/8/2009 12:11:30 PM
Author: KimberlyH




Date: 3/8/2009 11:49:00 AM
Author: Diamond*Dana
I heard on the radio that the divorce rate has dropped...most likely due to the economy and people not being able to afford splitting up.
I've heard this statistic as well. I don't know anyone who is currently going through a divorce, but I wouldn't be suprised to find out that many are divorcing as a result of stresses from the current economy.
I wonder which statistic is really more accurate. On the one hand, I'd expect more people to be stressed out from the current economic problems, ie. money (the no 1 cause of divorce). Bt on the other hand, you split up you have 2 sets of expenses to take care instead of one. And then, there's the legal fee as well.


The weird thing about our friends is that they're not divorcing because of money. Well, some of them are not particularly wealthy but certainly not having any problems, or at least none that we know of. It appears to be some emotional/ psychological thing, but of course 1) I don't dare ask and 2) I don't dare discuss it on PS even if I knew.
Phoenix, I wish I could remember where I heard the stat regarding divorce rate decrease, but it was from a pretty reliable source if memory serves. People can't afford to get divorced, so they're sticking it out was the gist.

I'm sorry about your friends, that can be disconcerting.
Thank you, Kimberly. I appreciate your kind words. It is disconcerting, particularly since it's been averaging 2-3 a year divorces a year these last few yrs; and some others are going through a really rough patch, I just hope they get it sorted out rather than follow the "D" route.
 

neatfreak

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Because we live in a throwaway society nowadays. If something breaks, we don''t fix it, we buy a new one.
 

Phoenix

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Date: 3/8/2009 12:27:00 PM
Author: neatfreak
Because we live in a throwaway society nowadays. If something breaks, we don''t fix it, we buy a new one.
Yeah, that seems to be the sentiment to me
.
 

Hudson_Hawk

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Date: 3/8/2009 12:02:07 PM
Author: Tuckins1
I think that if someone is thinking about getting a divorce when they have only been in the relationship for a few years, then they probably should not have gotten married in the first place. Either they did not have enough time to really get to know their SO, or they didn''t really have a great relationship before and thought that marriage was a good idea anyways..... Someone in our family is going through this right now. They have only been married a few years, and they HATE each other and are at the beginning of a separation, that i''m sure will quickly move on to a divorce. They really didn''t like each other when they got together, so I really don''t know why they thought marriage would be a good choice!!
FI was married before we got together. FI, family, and friends alike all agree that the wedding never should have happened in the first place. While they were good friends and got along great, that intangible "thing" that successful marriages have was lacking. I think it was an "I love you, but I''m not IN love with you" situation. They were together for just under two years and really did try to make it work with counseling, trial separation, etc. Fundamentally they just never should have been married.
 

beach

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The divorce rate has been around 50% for the last 3 decades actually. May be slight decreases and increases in the years but the trend has been stable for decades. As for reasons why people continue to divorce is best explained IMHO by Passion, Intimacy and Love/commitment theory of love. Many people confuse Passion with Love and when that is gone, they divorce. This usually happens after 2 or 3 years. As people age, the successful couples tend to gravitate towards intimacy and commitment and are able to mature as a couple. IMO a big chunk of it starts with childrearing and the kinds of "love" you were exposed to by your immediate family that helps you navigate marriage succesfully. With parents working harder and harder these days, they have less time to teach and model these behaviors and feelings to their children.
 

justjulia

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Interesting. From my perspective, my siblings and I came from divorced parents but our aunts and uncles did not divorce. Their kids grew up and all eventually divorced, but we did not. I think it was because we saw first hand that divorce is not an easy way out. It has a domino effect on kids, housing, school, everything.
 

joflier

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Date: 3/8/2009 2:40:21 PM
Author: justjulia
Interesting. From my perspective, my siblings and I came from divorced parents but our aunts and uncles did not divorce. Their kids grew up and all eventually divorced, but we did not. I think it was because we saw first hand that divorce is not an easy way out. It has a domino effect on kids, housing, school, everything.
That is such a true statement! Its one of the hardest things anyone could ever choose to do imo.......for me, we had a several year courtship, but after the marriage, my husband changed drastically, both in the way he treated me, and the way he behaved himself. It was very unsettling and unhealthy. 3 years is short for a marriage, but I held on too long to a false hope that things would get better. Sometimes people change, and not always for the better, and when they do that, and refuse to do anything for self improvement, that leaves you with some tough choices. For me, leaving was about having some respect for myself as a person.
 

beach

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Good for you!! Some people stay in relationships that are bad because they are scared to start over and think it is safer for them and/or the children. Sometimes staying together is not the answer.
 

paeony

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Apart from the obvious reasons (infidelity, etc.) I think a lot of divorces occur because people think of love as a feeling.
When that "feeling" is gone, they think there is no love and they should get out.
What they don''t realize is that love is work-- its the willingness to work at something, esp when it gets hard and its after investing this effort that the feelings come back (or continue if you were doing this all along
)

Unfortunately, one person may love the other, but as much work as they''re willing to put into the relationship, the other may not be willing (because they were counting on that "feeling") and it takes 2!
 

beach

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Date: 3/8/2009 3:04:48 PM
Author: paeony
Apart from the obvious reasons (infidelity, etc.) I think a lot of divorces occur because people think of love as a feeling.
When that 'feeling' is gone, they think there is no love and they should get out.
What they don't realize is that love is work-- its the willingness to work at something, esp when it gets hard and its after investing this effort that the feelings come back (or continue if you were doing this all along
)

Unfortunately, one person may love the other, but as much work as they're willing to put into the relationship, the other may not be willing (because they were counting on that 'feeling') and it takes 2!
I call that "feeling" passion. I agree that people confuse passion with love. And when that fades people think that they lost love when in fact they never had it. Passion is the initial attraction and the physiological lovey dovey stuff. It can also be the stuff that clouds your head and causes you to avoid the issues in the relationship. If you don't transition to a higher form of commitment and intimacy hopefully before the marriage the relatonship will end.
 

Tuckins1

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Date: 3/8/2009 2:45:04 PM
Author: joflier
Date: 3/8/2009 2:40:21 PM

Author: justjulia

Interesting. From my perspective, my siblings and I came from divorced parents but our aunts and uncles did not divorce. Their kids grew up and all eventually divorced, but we did not. I think it was because we saw first hand that divorce is not an easy way out. It has a domino effect on kids, housing, school, everything.
That is such a true statement! Its one of the hardest things anyone could ever choose to do imo.......for me, we had a several year courtship, but after the marriage, my husband changed drastically, both in the way he treated me, and the way he behaved himself. It was very unsettling and unhealthy. 3 years is short for a marriage, but I held on too long to a false hope that things would get better. Sometimes people change, and not always for the better, and when they do that, and refuse to do anything for self improvement, that leaves you with some tough choices. For me, leaving was about having some respect for myself as a person.
I''m glad that you had the where-with-all to decide to go through with the divorce. While I do feel that divorce should be the last option, you did try everything, and plus... You weren''t happy!!! Some people just don''t work well together, and it really does affect everyone in their lives, (especially children)! It''s good that you had enough respect for yourself to go through with it. I know too many people who just "stick it out" because they are afraid of divorce.
 

diamondseeker2006

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Ditto to people just not having any commitment once the initial passion is gone. I think it has zero to do with the amount of time dating and everything to do with how self-centered the people are. We''ve never considered divorce as an option, so we''ve worked through the good times and bad and are still together after 32 years. I think some people conveniently forget their vows.
 

beach

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Date: 3/8/2009 3:25:51 PM
Author: diamondseeker2006
Ditto to people just not having any commitment once the initial passion is gone. I think it has zero to do with the amount of time dating and everything to do with how self-centered the people are. We''ve never considered divorce as an option, so we''ve worked through the good times and bad and are still together after 32 years. I think some people conveniently forget their vows.
Agreed.
 

Steel

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Date: 3/8/2009 12:29:51 PM
Author: Phoenix

Date: 3/8/2009 12:27:00 PM
Author: neatfreak
Because we live in a throwaway society nowadays. If something breaks, we don''t fix it, we buy a new one.
Yeah, that seems to be the sentiment to me
.
I was going to post something like this but NF said it just right.

I don''t believe that anybody should give up on a dream but what ever happened to ''make do and mend''*? It is not a bad outlook.

(*Obviously not including abuse, drugs etc)
 

omieluv

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Relationships are hard work and you get out what you put into them. For some couples, I think with the stress level of jobs, the economy, kids, and other "life" stuff, the relationship is put last on the list. Unfortunately, we are all just so exhausted these days there is not much left to work hard at the relationship, which might be why couples fall apart.
 

katamari

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Statistically speaking, the divorce statistic is declining and has been for years (since the mid-1980s). The way it is calculated is:

# of divorced in year X / # of marriages in year X

It is a really flawed statistic because the numerator and denominator are pulling from different populations, so it is incredibly unreliable. Social scientists often use better measures, but they are more complicated, so the media usually reports this one.

The reason the divorce rate is dropping, and has been, is because there are less marriages now (1) and the people who are divorcing are generally baby boomers which was a larger population that was more likely to marry (2).

Culturally, though, it does seem that marriages are based more now on fleeting emotions, like personal happiness, passion, love, etc. But, research shows that the main predictor of divorce is having inconsistent gender ideologies (whereas it used to be over finances or infidelity).
 

Hera

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Date: 3/8/2009 4:51:46 PM
Author: katamari
Statistically speaking, the divorce statistic is declining and has been for years (since the mid-1980s). The way it is calculated is:


# of divorced in year X / # of marriages in year X


It is a really flawed statistic because the numerator and denominator are pulling from different populations, so it is incredibly unreliable. Social scientists often use better measures, but they are more complicated, so the media usually reports this one.


The reason the divorce rate is dropping, and has been, is because there are less marriages now (1) and the people who are divorcing are generally baby boomers which was a larger population that was more likely to marry (2).


Culturally, though, it does seem that marriages are based more now on fleeting emotions, like personal happiness, passion, love, etc. But, research shows that the main predictor of divorce is having inconsistent gender ideologies (whereas it used to be over finances or infidelity).
Katamari, that's very interesting. What are inconsistent gender ideologies? Does it refer to gender roles?

Anyways, I have heard the divorce rate is higher around year one and two. It's sad but at least they learned they weren't compatible early on and they will know more about the commitment for their (possible) second marriage.
 

beach

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Date: 3/8/2009 4:51:46 PM
Author: katamari
Statistically speaking, the divorce statistic is declining and has been for years (since the mid-1980s). The way it is calculated is:

# of divorced in year X / # of marriages in year X

It is a really flawed statistic because the numerator and denominator are pulling from different populations, so it is incredibly unreliable. Social scientists often use better measures, but they are more complicated, so the media usually reports this one.

The reason the divorce rate is dropping, and has been, is because there are less marriages now (1) and the people who are divorcing are generally baby boomers which was a larger population that was more likely to marry (2).

Culturally, though, it does seem that marriages are based more now on fleeting emotions, like personal happiness, passion, love, etc. But, research shows that the main predictor of divorce is having inconsistent gender ideologies (whereas it used to be over finances or infidelity).
A risk factor but not a main predictor by any means...
 

katamari

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Date: 3/8/2009 5:11:36 PM
Author: heraanderson

Katamari, that''s very interesting. What are inconsistent gender ideologies? Does it refer to gender roles?


Anyways, I have heard the divorce rate is higher around year one and two. It''s sad but at least they learned they weren''t compatible early on and they will know more about the commitment for their (possible) second marriage.
Yes, basically it is when one spouse believes either they or their partner should be traditional or progressive and the other spouse believes otherwise. And, there are a few ways this can manifest itself then, since the husband and the wife can both have expectations for themselves and the other.

I am not totally sure about what year the instance of divorce is highest, but I do know that it is clustered early, primarily because there is so much more investment the longer you stay in any relationship. Individually speaking, I also agree that it is best to walk away earlier rather than live miserably and involve others in that misery (friends, kids, family, whomever).
 

Kaleigh

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We haven''t noticed this amongst our friends. I guess we are very lucky.
 

Linda W

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Date: 3/8/2009 5:46:20 PM
Author: Kaleigh
We haven''t noticed this amongst our friends. I guess we are very lucky.


Same here Lisa, but our friends have been married forever too, some 30 and 40 years.
 
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