Why do you think divorce rates are so high?

Discussion in 'Sex and Relationships' started by Barbwire, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Barbwire

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    Some recent posts here have got me to thinking about marriage and divorce in the US. I have my own theories, but why do you think that the divorce rate is so high here in the US?
     
  2. evman

    evman New Member

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    I think it's just the culture these days. Years ago it was shameful for an unmarried to have a child but now there are a lot of famous people having children without being married and it's celebrated and not looked down upon. Same thing goes with language on TV. Years ago you couldn't say hell or damn on TV and now on network TV you hear much more than that. It's become acceptable to just give up on marriage instead of working at it. To an extent I think it's a good thing because I know that had to be a lot of miserable couples that stayed together just because it was "wrong" to get a divorce. Another reason I think is because there are more options out there for women. There are more careers open to women while years ago most women didn't work out of the home. There is also a lot more educational resources available to couples regarding abuse and infidelity and people realize that they don't have to put up with it.

    My wife and I are both on our second (and last) marriages. The reasons for our divorces are much different. We both know that we are in a good marriage now though not without problems and challenges but we work together to get through them.
     
  3. missyhuggins

    missyhuggins New Member

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    I'm guessing because values are different.
    My first thought is that people give up too easily now. We just do, in everything.

    My second thought though; and not to knock how far women have come but way back when, we tended to more of the 'marry young and then serve our husbands for ever after like the good little women that we are'.
    We're allowed and encouraged to be more opinionated, educated, independant and self respecting now.

    A woman 50 years ago would marry and then for the rest of her life except that regardless of how bad it may be, that was her lot in life. We don't settle for that shit anymore.
    Men used to leave their wives, women rarely left as they were dependant on the man.

    I personally chose to walk out of the relationship before I tied the knot. It wouldn't have lasted, why fuck around with all the extra paperwork? Callus but true.

    That's my opinion. Not to say I'd have it any other way (as far as being a modern woman), think it's brilliant that we have choices.
     
  4. Puss_in_boots

    Puss_in_boots Adminatrix
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    That's a very complicated question which I can't even hope to satisfactorily answer, since I've never been married. However, I am the child of divorced parents. Both my parents remarried and subsequently re-divorced their spouses. My parents' parents also divorced and remarried and divorced and remarried. This pattern of "serial" marriage - so prevalent in the US to the point where it has become a cliche - is certainly very prominent in my family.

    I think that the reason why the divorce rates in the US are so high is because one or both partners enters into the marriage with an unrealistically high level of optimism, which I believe is a particularly American characteristic. They enter into the marriage with expectations higher than anyone could hope to achieve, and naturally this leads to the cold disappointment of reality. Many couples simply cannot reconcile the discrepancy between the reality of their marriage and the expectations of their marriage. It could also be that one partner's expectations are so different from the other's that such differences become deal breakers in the marriage.

    One thing that strikes me is how that level of enthusiasm remains, even after several divorces, to the point where multiply-divorced people are willing to try it yet again. "I was miserable in my previous three marriages, but this time I know everything is going to be great!!!" It's a particularly American optimism, entirely unexamined and eternal.

    I mean, how else can you explain why people keep getting remarried over and over again?
     
  5. cbrmale

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    Clearly it is more acceptable to divorce these days, compared to past generations when they lived in miserable and unhappy relationships. In my family, my grandparents hated each other, my uncle and aunt hated each other, and many others were ambivalent.

    But why the hatred, or ambivalence? I think the answer is to be found in the relationships that sparkle with intensity over the decades. What's the difference? Love. Not the friendship of shared values and shared interests that too many mistake for love, but true love in all its forms. The love of being soulmates, and the love that comes from passion towards one another. To me, it's the passion that's missing in a lot of relationships. And after a while the relationship feels empty and flat, sex drys up, but that's a symptom rather than a cause.

    Everytime someone posts a thread asking for help 'cause they have an indifferent sex life, or hardly any sex life, my first thought is lack of passion. A passion that was never there. The relationship was sexual in it's early days, but it didn't have the deep and intense desire that some of us feel for our partners, and the desire that our partners feel for us.

    It's not just the US, it's in all of the Western world. Australians don't have unbounded optimism, but we still have high divorce rates, and even higher rates of de-facto relationships not lasting. And that's because too many haven't experienced true love, and only understand that when they realise that something big is missing from their relationship.

    An interesting sideline. Recent studies have found that married couples higher levels of satisfaction with life compared with singles and couples living defacto. For men it's several times higher, for women twice as high, so men get more out of marriage but women get a lot as well. What surprised me is that defacto, on average, isn't anymore satisfying than being single. It takes committment, even with the risk of divorce, to make the difference. And if it works, marriage is worth taking the risk for, because double or several times more satisfaction out of life is quite something.
     
  6. Barbwire

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    I think part of it is, too many people can't tell the difference between love and lust. Also, sometimes people mistake the "friend love" they have for someone as romantic love.

    Another thing that I've been mulling over is the fact that life, overall, is much more stressful now than in the past, at least the pace is a lot more hectic. People are working longer hours to climb the corporate ladder and this leads to less time at home, and more stress when they are home. It's a deadly combination for some marriages.
     
  7. cbrmale

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    I agree about mistaking lust for love, and I am sure that some find themselves in marriages with nothing in common once every sexual position has been exhausted. Having had many men confide unhappy marriages to me, the overwhelming majority got married with 'friendship' love without enough passion or lust.

    The pace of life is very hectic, and in my country, sometimes to even survive in a job one must be seen to put in the hours, which is stressful. Í'm not a fan of working long hours, because a smarter person should do more productive work in less time. I also find I get less productive beyond a certain time in the day anyway. Most importantly for me, I a very serious health scare that ended up not as bad as it was looking. At that point I decided that a sensible work/life balance was critical, as we never know what the future will bring, and it's too late when it's too late. So my marriage and my wife is number one in my life, and my career comes second. I got enlightened at a good age.
     
  8. Northside

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    I think one reason is that it's much easier now than years ago. Back in the day you needed "grounds" (infidelity, abuse, etc.) to divorce. Now if one party says the marriage is irretrievably broken that's good. My ex wife told me years after the divorce that she listened to her friends, who had messed up their lives, and got a lawyer. She begged my forgiveness. Sometimes sorry just ain't enough. It was really irretrievably broken by then.

    Another reason is it takes a lot of work to keep a relationship fresh and fun. Maybe everyone works too hard at their jobs, and not hard enough on their relationship. You have to remember jobs come and go, spouses are supposed to be forever.
     
  9. cbrmale

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    I agree that it's much easier to get a divorce in most Western countries, but that doesn't take away from the countless unhappy marriages where couples should have divorced.

    I agree with all my heart on the job / relationship balance. Jobs do come and go, and as soon as there's a downturn you are shown the door, no matter how many extra hours you put in. Love can be for life if you put in the effort. And when you're alone and lonely, it's too late to regret.
     
  10. indagroove

    indagroove New Member

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    Unable to love unconditionaly.

    Unwillingness to give completely without expecting something in return.
     
  11. eandvk

    eandvk Member

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    I personally think too many couples get married when they are too young, alot of people think that a person 21 -25 yrs.of age are old enough to be married, which is true, but remembering when I was that age and using the large sum of people and couples I know who did marry then, they werent ready!!!And neither was I which is why Im glad I married at 34 yrs. old Most and I know there are some who are mature enough,but most people in there 20s dont even know what they want in life.....and then add another person to the equation, divorce! Most of my friends who married young, are now either long ago divorced or in the process of divorcing. Yes , some cpls who marry young succeed, but I truly think that to be married happily one has to "live" and "experience" life before settling down with another. I and my wife were 34 and 33 respectively, and we had been together for 2 yrs before marrying.....now going on 10 yrs of marriage we are very much in love and have a great life together.I know if I would have married younger, Id be divorced probably a few times already..
     
  12. Joe

    Joe
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    I thought the divorce rate was actually declining in the U.S. Either way, I think a couple things have changed that make it more likely.

    It's easier to divorce now. It's not frowned upon like it was 50 years ago, plus fewer women have to depend on their hubbies for the income, so they're not forced to stay in a bad relationship to survive.

    Because more women are working, they're inclined to concentrate less on the marriage. My mother saw her main job as caring for her husband and kids, while the working woman might place more thought toward succeeding in the workplace. My daughter, for example, is a highly-paid corporate executive. She's a great gal, but I worry sometimes if she puts as much effort into her marriage as she does into her work. She also must travel quite a bit, overseeing ~35 chain stores and attending corporate meetings. It's got to put a lot of stress on her family life. (Thankfully she seems to have a very understanding and tolerant husband -- who is just as successful but works for the government, so his hours are more fixed.)

    I doubt the love/lust/friend questions are anything new, so I don't think that's the cause for any increase in divorce rates.


    From the reverse angle, people are getting married later, so they have less time to divorce before they croak. My son is 38 and still single. He has two kids, but since he never married their mother, he's not part of the statistics. Married people get divorced at the rate of something like .72% per year, so the longer you're single, the less chance you'll get divorced.
     
  13. Squirt

    Squirt New Member

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    :ugh I guess I should contribute to this thread since I am twice apart of the statistics.

    My first marriage was a mistake from the beginning. He was 18 and I was 17 and pregnant. Needless to say we got married for the wrong reason and we were young and dumb. He left for boot camp for the navy 2 weeks after the wedding. Then I moved over 1,000 miles away from my parents and the only town I really knew to be with him. He had to live in the barracks and I had my own apartment, in which I ended up losing because I was broke. I moved back home to have the baby and one day I received a call from him letting me know he had cheated on me (he got caught and was forced to call). It only lasted for about 1 year. So you can see the many reason for that divorce.

    Second marriage lasted 5 years. He was very controlling and emotionally abusive. I did actually put forth every effort to save it. I constantly tried to communicate with him but had no effect. In the end I just couldn't take it anymore and had to break myself free.

    Anyways, there ya go! A few reasons why divorce rates are so high.
     
  14. Rocket Queen

    Rocket Queen New Member

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    Because people want to be happy..... if you have tried counselling and you are not in love any more....why stay married if you are not happy.

    I've been married for 10 years this year and I am more in love with my hubby than ever before....I think I'm just lucky that I married my best friend.
     
  15. Squirt

    Squirt New Member

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    Ran across this article, which is related to this subject and found it interesting.


    http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/sex/top-10-reasons-for-divorce-379846/




    Top 10 Reasons For Divorce




    Some people marry each other, divorce and then re-marry. This sounds ridiculous but it happens and in most of the cases marriage ends in divorce, never to come together again. Most people try to linger on to their marriage. They do not know when to divorce. Let us try to understand the reasons why people want to divorce.
    Some frequently cited reasons for divorce:

    1. Lack of commitment towards marriage, sexual incompatibility and infidelity
    Commitment may be lacking in one of the partners because marriage happens not always out of love. It could be seen as making a good deal and when it is found that the deal is not what he or she expected divorce happens. Besides, people looking for quick solutions cannot sustain marriage for long.

    Philandering habits die hard and this leads to infidelity. People with uncontrollable libido or unhappy with his or her partner cannot be loyal to their partners. So when the wife or husband comes to know of his or her partner cheating on him or her divorce turns out to be the answer. The question that arises is when to divorce.
    2. Lack of communication between spouses
    Without communication no relationship can be effective. Keeping your resentments simmering within, your partner does not come to know what is happening with you and this is likely to create distance between you and your partner.

    3.Abandonment, Alcohol Addiction , Substance Abuse
    When one of the partners deserts his or her partner for quite some time or a longer period divorce emerges as the answer. One leaves his or her partner because of the latter’s bad habits.

    Alcohol addiction and abuse prevent marital bliss because of the change in behavior pattern which makes an adverse impact upon mental peace and physical security.

    4. Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Emotional Abuse
    These abuses are not uncommon and tolerating them is not good and a person who loves himself or herself would not put with such abuses.

    5.Inability to manage or resolve conflict
    Lack of maturity disables one to manage conflicts and handle personality differences or ‘irreconcilable differences’

    6.Differences in personal and career goals
    People who cohabit before marriage have higher rates of divorce than people who didn’t cohabit before marriage because differences become gigantic in course of time. Initial comfort before marriage was imagined to take things ahead in future but in reality it does not happen.

    7. Different expectations about household tasks and financial problems
    When expectations do not match it affects relationships most. This leads to personality conflict because none of them are willing to do things or are ready to sacrifice their time and comfort.

    Because what one wants the other to do, the other does not do there is dissatisfaction and frustration. In such instances love becomes sour. This exacerbates with financial problems because material needs remain unfulfilled and creates discontent in the minds of both the partners as one cannot give and feels humiliated and the other is frustrated because of long standing inconveniences.

    8. Intellectual Incompatibility and Inflexibility
    Intellectual incompatibility creates misunderstandings. And the smarter person feels frustrated while the less intelligent partner is mad about not reaching the level of intelligence of the other and makes life miserable for himself or herself and for the others also.

    9. Mental Instability or Mental Illness
    Insanity does not allow space for normal communication.

    10. Religious beliefs, cultural and lifestyle differences
    Cultural values clash unless we are highly adaptive in nature. Orthodoxy leads to intolerance and conservatism gags the spontaneity of life. So this leads to divorce after some time of marriage
     
  16. Raspberry

    Raspberry Ms. Guileless

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    LOVE comes in different facets depending on the parties involved. Love as the primary basis to create relationships also has its own underlying reasons. God knows there are 101 Million reasons why people marry, one of the reasons is LOVE. But only few people learn to appreciate the value of its existence in one another's life. It is but very common for marriages to fail because of the wrong reasons, but only one thing remain unchanged - CHANGE.

    I still believe COPING with CHANGE is very important in keeping the relationship up and alive. Every stage of one's life - work, family, school - almost in all aspects really entail CHANGE. IF a couple doesn't know how to ride with it and work through it together, FAILURE is always the next possible outcome.

    Glad to have found someone very amazing who's always willing to work out all possibilities despite complications and hindrances that we may encounter. "Time is of the essence," but I really hope this is gonna be it.
     
  17. outofmymind

    outofmymind Member

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    - Changes in divorce laws
    - More independent career women
    - More ways to socialize
     
  18. nasty

    nasty New Member

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    I am right here with you, My first and only marriage thus far was a mistake from the get go. We were almost 15 years difference in age, and of 2 different mind sets. Everyone I knew did not like her. (I think now is one of the biggest indicators not to get married :phat .) The thing I have learned about this is that the most important thing about finding a significant other is that you are able to be together, sexually and recreationaly (those can be one in the same,) but you also need to be different people. The greatest thing I have now is a level of trust with my GF. She enjoys being with me, doing some of the stupid things I like in life, but also truely loves to do some of the same things (not just tolerate them.)

    Also I think that women have discovered that they do not need to put up with things they don't like. My mother made me abundantly aware of this, and has been thru this many times now.

    Another thing is I think that we are all a little more immature than what the older generations were and are not ready for the same levels of commitment. :nerv
     
  19. Jaz70

    Jaz70 New Member

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    I agree.... Best friends generally care for each other unconditionally.... so really there's no one better to marry....

    Jaz
     
  20. vampire raver

    vampire raver New Member

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    I believe there are many factors that have to do with this.

    One factor we can trace it to is morality. With morality we can trace it to religions. I would say the majority of western cultures morality comes from christianity. If you go overseas you will see a vastly different opinion of what is moral. So then you must then ask youself what truly is moral or just. Is it your views or have your views been skewed by backgrounds wether it be a religious background or views from teachers, scientist, parents and etc...

    When you start to think about these factors you can then start to ask youself what marriage truly is. If you are speaking of a marriage between two people then that is personal. But once you move into legal terms that the majority thinks that marriage is and see it as the only way it can be, then we enter into a new subject completely.

    Ask yourself what is this marriage that you enter into when you ask for permission from the state to enter into a union. But the way you should veiw that marriage is from a materilist point of veiw. What truly matters in a marriage between two peopple is a spirtual connection. Even the ring in a marriage can be traced back. The ring is a pagan symbol the repersents the rings of saturn.

    Once you begin to ask these types of questions the rabbit hole goes deeper.

    I would say and I have heard satistic data for it somewhere, that the number one cause of stress in any marriage is money. And that opens a area that I love to talk about. Because the concept of money is extremely interesting and extremely pointless in life. I could start talking about the history of the federal reserve but I won't because it would get off topic. But I will say the nothing in economics "JUSTS" happens.
     
    #20 vampire raver, Apr 14, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009