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Why are so many people getting divorced?

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diamondringlover

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I will give my opinion on this, because me and my husband are talking about getting a divorce. I have been married for almost 25 years, we were 23 and 28 when we got married, we currently have 2 kids. We simply have grown apart, we do not have the same interest and we have changed, both of us, he was the sweetest kindest man I had ever met and then as he has gotten older he has become more mean spirted and unkind and in turn I have become bitter. We just can barely stand one another. I dont know if we will divorce soon, the economy is a factor, we cant sell our home and that needs to happen and we have an 11 year old son that we both are very close to, we dont want to mess up his life
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Pandora II

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Divorce lawyers have never been so busy as they are right now in London. Apparently loads of women married to wealthy men who 'put up' because of the cushy lifestyle are now wanting out before that disappears or before the alimony payments drop if the man loses his job...

Men who worked in city and who were getting mega-salaries/bonuses etc are also wanting out now that they have less assets and the divorce will cost them less...

All very sad.

Looking at people I know who have divorced they seem to fit into a few separate groups:

a) Got married under 25 (in London and in my social circles this is VERY unusual and I can't think of a single marriage of people I was at school/university with who married under 25 which is still going)

b) Dated for 10 years and then got married. Divorced within 2 years. I think here that perhaps the relationship had gone past its sell by date and the couple thought getting married would somehow bring back how things were at the beginning; or it just seemed like the obvious step since they had been together for so long.

c) One, other or both thought the other looked great on paper and ticked all the boxes for what they wanted in a partner but didn't actually look at them as a real person or as to whether they were compatible together. Then found that ticking the blonde, good cook, makes great impression on my boss, likes swimming boxes wasn't actually enough to make a marriage work.

d) One, other or both had reached the age when they wanted to get married and whoever happened to be the SO at that time would do in order that they could meet their 5 year forward plan. Two kids down the line they've got nothing to talk about, resentment is setting in and the grass is looking greener elsewhere.
 

simplysplendid

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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
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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!
Totally agree! When people get married, generally it is due to the feeling. But day to day issues in a marriage (work, kids, parents, bills etc) takes a toll on the feeling so they thought they don''t feel the love and they should part ways. I think at times people needs to realise that it takes effort to keep the feeling alive.
 

justjulia

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Date: 3/8/2009 6:29:05 PM
Author: diamondrnglover
I will give my opinion on this, because me and my husband are talking about getting a divorce. I have been married for almost 25 years, we were 23 and 28 when we got married, we currently have 2 kids. We simply have grown apart, we do not have the same interest and we have changed, both of us, he was the sweetest kindest man I had ever met and then as he has gotten older he has become more mean spirted and unkind and in turn I have become bitter. We just can barely stand one another. I dont know if we will divorce soon, the economy is a factor, we cant sell our home and that needs to happen and we have an 11 year old son that we both are very close to, we dont want to mess up his life
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I am so sorry you are going through this. I''ve been married 24 years and really have empathy for you. It''s a shame he had to morph like that. What started it, if you can remember? Do you think he''s clinically depressed? Would he go to a psychiatrist if you made the appt for him? How about you?

Do you have things to interest and keep you busy right now? In other words, I hope you are taking care of yourself.

It might be a good time to work on job skills/training so that if the time comes, you will be ready. It will also give you an outlet from him.
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Abril

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I think divorce will become more socially acceptable over time...
 

Dancing Fire

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back 25-30 yrs ago divorce in the Chinese circle was almost unheard of,very shameful,but nowadays it''s very common in the Asian circle too. my niece''s marriage lasted 9 months.
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lulu

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In Michigan divorce rates have dropped dramatically due to the poor economy. People can''t sell their houses and can''t afford to pay the expenses and buy another place. I think that even when the economy improves many of these marriages will survive.

(While this is great for society I have to say, as a family law attorney, that it''s affecting my personal finances. I''ll survive, but with less jewelry).

Having done this for 30+ years I have to say that I am constantly surprised at the expectation that marriage should be easy and that you should be "in love" 24-7. There is an unwillingness to ride out the rough spots, especially where children are concerned. Divorce devastates children.

30 years ago I did not believe that people should stay together for their kids-now i do. And I''m always amazed at people who marry without working out the big issues- where to live; whether to have children; how many; how they should be raised.
 

packrat

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I''m very sorry diamondrnglover, and can''t imagine what you must be going thru. Like justjulia, I hope you are taking care of yourself!

A couple of our group of friends have gotten divorced w/in the last year. One relationship the wife had fidelity issues, and the other, the wife did as well, but also had issues from her past she never dealt with. The first couple got married about a month after we did, so a little over 8 years ago, and the 2nd got married 13 or 14 years ago. We''re all the same age, around 34.
 

JulieN

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1. the confusion with love as a feeling =/= commitment
2. thinking that marriage will cure/help/fix the relationship or an individual.
 

allycat0303

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I have nothing against divorce. My aunt got divorced, and seeing her go through it, my only thought was that she should have done it much sooner (regardless of what the Asian community thought at the moment). She was married for 17 years, and the marriage should not have lasted beyond 1 year. At that time, she was one of the first couples in the Viet community of Montreal to get divorced, and for a while, she was shunned.

I think there are more divorces because as a general rule, woman work more and can be very successful in their own right. They no longer NEED to stay married to be financially secure. As a result, they can easily take a step back and say "This is not for me." I also think that we''ve changed our outlook concerning the role of women in a marriage. With my MIL, it was about making a good home for FIL, it was about letting the man control the finances, bring home the salary, and her raising the children. He made all of the important decisions, and he handled all of the purchases. She never made a purchase over 50$ without consulting her husband, and in their entire 40 year marriage, never raised her voice. But their marriage was a very happy one. But I don''t think she had the financial capabilities (4 children, never worked outside of the house) to leave her husband.

In contrast, my aunt became a very wealthy, powerful woman in her own right. When she finally got the courage to leave, she only had to make an emotional decision. The financial aspect was not even a consideration. I think that made it easier to decide.
 

justjulia

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What do you all think of situations like Brittany Spears? I know there are layers here, but primarily I am talking about having so much money that you could walk out at any moment, because, well, it's easy.

Then there's Brad and Jennifer, uh, I mean Angelina -during the courtship. No kids. JUst animal instinct.

Yet I feel celebs should get married to set the tone for the younger generation.

And don't get me started on Madonna. When she realizes she isn't going to live forever, that will be interesting. (I will say the woman works hard though.)


I admire Demi and Ashton. (Did I spell his name right?) They appear to be making it work.

Just random thoughts...
 

makemepretty

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Because marriage is hard.

I think people forget having a good marriage takes a lot of frickin'' hard work and compromise. I''ve been married for 18 years, we''ve been together for more than half my life total. We''ve been through tons of hard stuff(building a house by ourselves, no money, sleepless night with babies, just plain sick of looking at each other, etc.) We work through it and we''re best friends. It''s not like when you''re a kid and you''re "playing house". You have to be selfless and treat each other how you want to be treated and not do something you wouldn''t want them to do.

My sister almost got divorced twice in her first year of marriage! People think that it''s just a piece of paper and it''s not. Granted, if you are in an abusive relationship or there is infidelity it''s a completely different story and no one should put up with that. I think most people leave a marriage because they''re tired of working on it and want to be selfish and just think of only themselves.
 

ksinger

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Date: 3/8/2009 10:38:21 PM
Author: lulu
In Michigan divorce rates have dropped dramatically due to the poor economy. People can''t sell their houses and can''t afford to pay the expenses and buy another place. I think that even when the economy improves many of these marriages will survive.

(While this is great for society I have to say, as a family law attorney, that it''s affecting my personal finances. I''ll survive, but with less jewelry).

Having done this for 30+ years I have to say that I am constantly surprised at the expectation that marriage should be easy and that you should be ''in love'' 24-7. There is an unwillingness to ride out the rough spots, especially where children are concerned. Divorce devastates children.

30 years ago I did not believe that people should stay together for their kids-now i do. And I''m always amazed at people who marry without working out the big issues- where to live; whether to have children; how many; how they should be raised.
While I''m sure that you have many anecdotes to support your views, those are still too "blanket statement" for my tastes. As one of those "children", I can say from personal experience that this is not always the case. And I can state from my own observations of acquaintances who''ve had divorces involving children, that plain old bad parenting devastates children far more than divorce itself. It''s all the thrashing and machinations immature parents - people who probably should never have had children in the first place - go through during and after the divorce that is the real kicker. Divorce doesn''t have to be the end of a child''s world. But it takes some powerfully "together" people to make that happen. Two would be great, but one will do.

And for those asking why are so many people getting divorced, well, I''m sure the stat of approx 50% of marriages ending in divorce is holding pretty true, economy notwithstanding. This is news? So, statistically speaking, 50% of the marriages so desperately desired by many on this site, will end in divorce. A depressing stat to be sure, but hardly worth thrashing about. Unless of course you''ve been or are becoming part of the statistic.
 

Irishgrrrl

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My first marriage only lasted about three years. Believe me, I took my vows VERY seriously and I fully intended to stay married to XH forever. But, he became very controlling and abusive after we got married. Yes, there were red flags prior to the wedding that, in hindsight, I probably should have seen (or paid better attention to). But the saying "love is blind" comes from somewhere, right? Also, his behavior prior to the wedding was always MUCH better (although there were issues) . . . he didn''t really let his true colors show until we were married.

I can tell you this much: If HE had taken our vows seriously, we would still be married today. I tried everything I could think of to make the marriage work (including counseling), but he just would not meet me half way. There came a point where I realized that my safety and sanity were more important than honoring marriage vows that had become very one-sided. So I left him and filed for divorce, which is the best decision I have ever made.
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Dreamgirl

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I honestly think its because too many people jump into marriage before really thinking about it first. You really have to know yourself and know what you want out of life before making that commitment and make sure that you are both on the same page. Also, sometimes when couples get married very young, they then decide they made the wrong choice down the road. It all depends on how committed they are to one another and if they can get through the good times and bad together...
 

tlh

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Date: 3/8/2009 6:39:53 PM
Author: Pandora II

b) Dated for 10 years and then got married. Divorced within 2 years. I think here that perhaps the relationship had gone past its sell by date and the couple thought getting married would somehow bring back how things were at the beginning; or it just seemed like the obvious step since they had been together for so long.

d) One, other or both had reached the age when they wanted to get married and whoever happened to be the SO at that time would do in order that they could meet their 5 year forward plan. Two kids down the line they''ve got nothing to talk about, resentment is setting in and the grass is looking greener elsewhere.
I know both of these types... and more often than not... I have seen this pay out as true.
However, I do think that option D applies to many couples... aren''t we all ready to get married - when we do? But I know a few couples that define D... they have not much in common - other than both their desire to get hitched...
 

musey

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Date: 3/9/2009 11:45:45 AM
Author: Dreamgirl
I honestly think its because too many people jump into marriage before really thinking about it first. You really have to know yourself and know what you want out of life before making that commitment and make sure that you are both on the same page. Also, sometimes when couples get married very young, they then decide they made the wrong choice down the road. It all depends on how committed they are to one another and if they can get through the good times and bad together...
While these are valid points, I think they really oversimplify the issue(s). Sure, lots of people get divorced because they got married "too quickly" or "too young" (whatever that means), but just as many people from those categories stay together... and just as many people who got married after YEARS together and at a completely socially acceptable age get divorced.

The reality is that there are a million and one reasons why people get divorced, and no collection of reasons posted on a PS thread will begin to cover it.

Peoples' lives get messed up, regardless of whether or not they or their parents got married/divorced/widowed/separated/etc/etc. I think divorce is an easy scapegoat for a lot of peoples' life stories of woe. The reality is that it's simply the dissolution of what was supposed to be (in idealistic terms) a lifetime relationship. There can be as much or as little mess surrounding it, and as many or as few reasons leading up to it as one can imagine. In the end, there is no one-size-fits-all (or even 35-sizes-fit-all) answer to why people decide to dissolve their relationship, or how it affects them or their children.

People are responsible for their own lives, and the lives of their children (though only to a point). We can sit around and talk philosophically about divorce trends and their impact on our lives, but in the end it's all meaningless. People will do what they do, and hopefully it's right for them and their family. Our only job is to be responsible for ourselves and our own families, and make our decisions with the best foresight and most information we can muster - what we can do about other peoples' life decisions maxes out at trying to understand them and integrate them (whether in an anti- or pro-fashion) into our own decision structure.
 

lulu

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"Anecdotes"? I have "anecdotes" to support my position? How snidely dismissive. For the first 28 of my 31 years as a family attorney I was a domestic relations referee. I worked with people everyday to resolve custody, parenting time and property disputes. I interviewed their children at least twice each week. Twice each week for 28 years-you do the math.

Of course there are situations where it''s not possible for people to stay together. But my point is that if two people can live harmoniously under one roof, as friends, until their children are 18, it''s better for their kids. If someone has to bear the results of a bad marriage it should be the people who made the vow sucking it up for the children. You bet that''s a strong opinion, but consider how many years I''ve been thinking about this. It''s hardly based on "anecdotes"
 

TravelingGal

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Many people don''t know what love is.

It is "I love you." Period.

Whether or not we know it, I love you is often "I love you BECAUSE..." Well, the stuff that comes after the because often changes. And when the latter part of the sentence changes, oftentimes the "I love you" part does as well.

An oversimplification, sure, but just the way I see things.
 

musey

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Date: 3/9/2009 4:25:33 PM
Author: lulu
'Anecdotes'? I have 'anecdotes' to support my position? How snidely dismissive. For the first 28 of my 31 years as a family attorney I was a domestic relations referee. I worked with people everyday to resolve custody, parenting time and property disputes. I interviewed their children at least twice each week. Twice each week for 28 years-you do the math.

Of course there are situations where it's not possible for people to stay together. But my point is that if two people can live harmoniously under one roof, as friends, until their children are 18, it's better for their kids. If someone has to bear the results of a bad marriage it should be the people who made the vow sucking it up for the children. You bet that's a strong opinion, but consider how many years I've been thinking about this. It's hardly based on "anecdotes"

lulu
To be fair, it was/is your job to deal with families having problems. So you didn't commonly see the other side - the amicable divorces with happy, well-adjusted children (of which there are certainly plenty of examples out there). I'm not saying that divorce doesn't affect children, I'm just saying that it's not always a life-shattering event that majorly influences their future happiness.

A large number of my peers are children of divorce. The ones that I know well talk about their parents' split as an important part of their history, but not one that 'ruined their lives' by any stretch of the imagination.


Also, I didn't read ksinger's post as 'snidely dismissive' in the least. You posted a strong opinion without mentioning your background on the subject, so it seemed that ksinger was simply acknowledging that while you likely have some experience that led you to that opinion, she has differing experience that has led her to another.

If you decide to stick around and get to know people around here, you'll see that very few tend to be 'snidely dismissive.' It is easy to misread someone's post, and that seems to be what has happened here.
 

musey

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Date: 3/8/2009 6:39:53 PM
Author: Pandora II
a) Got married under 25 (in London and in my social circles this is VERY unusual and I can't think of a single marriage of people I was at school/university with who married under 25 which is still going)
Uh oh - my marriage is screwed!
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The only people I know who married under 25 in my current city are ones of specific cultural/religious subsets that encourage doing so. However, many in my hometown marry in their very early twenties. I suppose I got caught between the two worlds, so to speak, if we're just looking at age alone.

I tend to believe that while getting married at a very young age is usually not the best goal to strive for, it plays a relatively minor role in the long-term success of a marriage (not just longevity, but happiness) as compared to other issues which may or may not tend to go hand-in-hand with age. Things like maturity, preparation (strength/depth of relationship before marriage), or just plain personality issues can be more of an issue for a 30-year-old than a 20-year-old depending upon the particular people involved.

But what do I know. I've only been married for 5 months. I suppose I'll have a right to defend my 'young' marriage in 20 years or so
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Though for the record, my parents were married at 21/22 and my in-laws at 23/24 and both are still happily married at 35+ years. Things were a bit different 'back then,' but it still counts for something.
 

lulu

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Sorry, I overreacted. Very strong feelings on this issue. I''m going back to looking at the beautiful rings and cute pets.
 

lucyandroger

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Date: 3/9/2009 4:25:33 PM
Author: lulu

Of course there are situations where it''s not possible for people to stay together. But my point is that if two people can live harmoniously under one roof, as friends, until their children are 18, it''s better for their kids. If someone has to bear the results of a bad marriage it should be the people who made the vow sucking it up for the children. You bet that''s a strong opinion, but consider how many years I''ve been thinking about this. It''s hardly based on ''anecdotes''

lulu,

I happen to whole-heartedly agree with you on this point. I also understand your having strong feelings on this subject. I''m with you on that.
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decodelighted

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TravelingGal

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justjulia

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Date: 3/9/2009 5:39:24 PM
Author: decodelighted
A must read. .
I can honestly say that my hubby would do the same for me and likewise. That was such a moving piece.

****
 

TravelingGal

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Date: 3/9/2009 5:47:57 PM
Author: TravelingGal

Date: 3/9/2009 5:39:24 PM
Author: decodelighted
A must read. .
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I''m still f''ing crying!!! And people want me to read an article about kids being baked in a car? No thank you!
 

Skippy123

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Date: 3/9/2009 5:51:07 PM
Author: justjulia


Date: 3/9/2009 5:39:24 PM
Author: decodelighted
A must read. .
I can honestly say that my hubby would do the same for me and likewise. That was such a moving piece.

****
Ditto, I agree. Great link Deco! I actually have a cousin who's wife has MS and he is always there to help her; what is happening with her is sad to see but their marriage and love for each other is beautiful.
 

poshpepper

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