Just as there is no single formula for a successful marriage, so too is there no single reason why marriages don’t work out. Every spouse comes to marriage with unique backgrounds and experiences that provide him or her with varying abilities to cope with stressful situations, temptations and personality conflicts. Those spouses who are willing to adapt and adjust may be more successful than those who are more set in their ways.
Nevertheless, analysts and sociologists continue to try to nail down the reasons why some marriages last a lifetime and others do not. With laws in Texas and other states allowing for more no-fault divorces, it is not always necessary to articulate the reasons why marriages break up. However, it may be important to recognize some of the factors that can put a marriage at a greater risk of divorce.
No marriage is immune
Fewer people are getting married these days, and those who are typically wait until they are a little older. Some have finished college, established their careers and even own property before deciding to settle down. These factors may contribute to the steady decline in divorce rates in recent years. Nevertheless, the big three reasons for divorce remain constant: money difficulties, unfaithfulness and incompatibility. Some of the following risk factors for divorce may surprise you:
- This is not your first marriage.
- You and your spouse are over age 50.
- You got married very young, or you waited until after 50 to marry for the first time.
- Some of your closest friends have divorced.
- You did not finish high school or go on to college.
- You went into debt to pay for your wedding.
Even those couples who have been together for decades may not be immune to divorce. You may think that 30 or 40 years together would provide some security, but the fact that people are living longer, healthier lives means some spouses want to enjoy some freedom in their later years.
Is the time right?
Of course, the number of years a couple is together does not always equal happiness and satisfaction in a marriage. Some spouses simply find they no longer share things in common or enjoy each other’s company. When a marriage becomes unhealthy, it is not always wise to stay just because you have invested many years.
Deciding to divorce likely means facing many complex issues, such as the division of assets and debts, the question of spousal support, and perhaps the custody of children. These are delicate matters with long-term consequences, which is why it is smart to seek legal representation as early as possible after deciding to divorce.