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So sad for a friend who announced she is getting a divorce..


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It is sad. I just helped one of my best friends process through her (very painful) divorce after 26 years of marriage. Another friend just announced that she's getting divorced, and a third just discovered last week that her DH is having an affair with an old girlfriend and she's considering divorce. I don't know if it's just becoming more prevalent or if it's the stage of life I'm in, but I seem to know more divorced or divorcing people at this point than people with healthy marriages.

 

I hope things work out for your friend and her family. :grouphug:

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It is sad. I just helped one of my best friends process through her (very painful) divorce after 26 years of marriage. Another friend just announced that she's getting divorced, and a third just discovered last week that her DH is having an affair with an old girlfriend and she's considering divorce. I don't know if it's just becoming more prevalent or if it's the stage of life I'm in, but I seem to know more divorced or divorcing people at this point than people with healthy marriages.

 

I hope things work out for your friend and her family. :grouphug:

 

 

 

I think it is the stage of life. I know very few marriages that would be described as happy. I suspect the toll of life, kids, money, recession etc is hitting hard.

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While life, kids, hardships etc., have been around for a long time, people seemed to have more stick-to-it - and before you flame me I do NOT mean stay in an abusive situation! What I do mean, men and women did not run out at the first sign of difficulties. It is sad when a marriage breaks apart even when there are no children but even more so when children will suffer. There are so many painful issues associated with this.

 

Is it my imagination or did people in general have more self-control? I think of my aunt who knew a young man for years before WWII, they were going to get married but he was captured and became a POW and was thought dead. Before he returned, she married someone else on the advice of a relative who didn't want Aunt Bea to pine away for someone who would ostensibly never return.

He did return and she was married, not all that happily but stayed married until her husband died. Then she and her first love got married at the age of 72 and 79. Now that is self control. I really don't know what I would have done.

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I think a lot of people don't have any honor these days. I think people who are unfaithful to their spouse are a different kind of vile. I think you should close one chapter before opening another, if that's what you're going to do eventually. People just aren't as concerned thse days about doing what's right. You can see it in all aspects of life and society.

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I think a lot of people don't have any honor these days. I think people who are unfaithful to their spouse are a different kind of vile. I think you should close one chapter before opening another, if that's what you're going to do eventually. People just aren't as concerned thse days about doing what's right. You can see it in all aspects of life and society.

 

I have no patience for cheaters, either.

 

If your marriage isn't going the way you expected, work on it. If you've done all you can and you're still unhappy, that does not entitle you to start dating. If you want to be with someone other than your spouse, show your spouse a little respect by ending the marriage before getting the new girlfriend or boyfriend.

 

I am so sick and tired of hearing people try to excuse their affairs by saying they did it because they weren't happy at home, so they had no other choice. Well, yeah. They did have another choice. It just wasn't as much fun as having the affair. :glare:

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It is sad. We just had our 15th anniversary and we realized that almost all of our couple friends who married are now separated or divorced (and I'm not counting the 2 where one spouse passed away). Funnily enough, our couple friends who are common-law spouses have the longest history of "togetherness" than any of the rest of us.

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While life, kids, hardships etc., have been around for a long time, people seemed to have more stick-to-it - and before you flame me I do NOT mean stay in an abusive situation! What I do mean, men and women did not run out at the first sign of difficulties. It is sad when a marriage breaks apart even when there are no children but even more so when children will suffer. There are so many painful issues associated with this.

 

Is it my imagination or did people in general have more self-control? I think of my aunt who knew a young man for years before WWII, they were going to get married but he was captured and became a POW and was thought dead. Before he returned, she married someone else on the advice of a relative who didn't want Aunt Bea to pine away for someone who would ostensibly never return.

He did return and she was married, not all that happily but stayed married until her husband died. Then she and her first love got married at the age of 72 and 79. Now that is self control. I really don't know what I would have done.

 

I agree with this somewhat. My grandparents had what would be described as unhappy marriages by today's standards. But, they stuck it out, because that was what you were supposed to do. My grandmother said that her didn't hear about people getting divorced when she was young, people were more likely to die than get a divorce, and divorce was treated like a death. My grandparents could clash and bicker, but in my grandparents final years after a stroke and alzheimers took it's toll, my grandmother was totally devoted. My other grandfather spent 10 years taking care of my grandmother while she struggled with MS. I don't think either one of my living grandparents regret staying with their spouses through the hard years, because taking care of them through their final illnesses was a blessing. A sad blessing, but a blessing.

 

Fast forward and three of her five children have gone through divorces, my own mother has been divorced 3 times. All of my mother's friends when I was growing up were divorced, and about 2/3 of my friends parents were. My brother has been divorced twice, and my sister has a child out of wedlock and is not with the father any longer. I see the rate of divorce as only getting worse, not better since I was younger.

 

I don't see how there could be so much divorce in my family, considering my grandparents, if it weren't in part because of a shift in society and culture that puts more and more emphasis on the individual and personal fulfillment while at the same time putting less and less emphasis on self sacrifice and on family.

 

BTW, I am also not advocating that people stay with abusive spouses. I am saying I think there are more marriages that could be saved if people had a different perspective on life and marriage in general.

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I am so sick and tired of hearing people try to excuse their affairs by saying they did it because they weren't happy at home, so they had no other choice. Well, yeah. They did have another choice. It just wasn't as much fun as having the affair. :glare:

 

 

I agree, but we may have to define what constitutes cheating here. Some think it is if you even have thoughts of another. That is not my definition.

 

I think the argument that bothers me most is "it just happened [that they fell in love and copulated]." I do believe that the falling in love part can "just happen" even if you don't want it to for some people. Those people need to stay away from situations that might present that possibility, then, perhaps. However, even if you did find yourself falling for someone, that in no way obviates the necessity to copulate.

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It is sad. We just had our 15th anniversary and we realized that almost all of our couple friends who married are now separated or divorced (and I'm not counting the 2 where one spouse passed away). Funnily enough, our couple friends who are common-law spouses have the longest history of "togetherness" than any of the rest of us.

 

 

This is us too we just celebrated 14 years and there isn't a single couple we know that is still married to their original spouses. Most are working on their 2nd marriages now.

 

I think it's more culturally acceptable to be divorced than it used to be so couples don't even try anymore.

 

I do wonder though what that secret to a long marriage is. DH and I got married young, had our oldest before we were married, have had job loss, money problems, moved across the country and back again, and yet here we still are happier than ever. Meanwhile other couples we know that seemed well matched when they first got together hit one rough patch and end up in divorce court.

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It seems that many people are choosing not to get married for this very reason. Divorce is way too common.

 

But I do think it is easy for those of us in happy marriages to underestimate how difficult it is to stay in a loveless or difficult marriage. I can't even imagine. I think premarital counseling should be mandatory to apply for a marriage license.

 

Elise in NC

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This is us too we just celebrated 14 years and there isn't a single couple we know that is still married to their original spouses. Most are working on their 2nd marriages now.

 

I think it's more culturally acceptable to be divorced than it used to be so couples don't even try anymore.

 

I do wonder though what that secret to a long marriage is. DH and I got married young, had our oldest before we were married, have had job loss, money problems, moved across the country and back again, and yet here we still are happier than ever. Meanwhile other couples we know that seemed well matched when they first got together hit one rough patch and end up in divorce court.

 

 

I have some theories on that, and I don't think it has so much to do with what age you marry, how many kids you have, how much money you make (or don't make), how much sex you have (or don't have), how much time you spend physically together, or even how much hard luck you have. I think --- and this is just my opinion based on observation of a very small pool of samples and experience in my own marriage -- I think it has a lot to do with friendship, i.e marry your best friend. And then, of course, communicating with your best friend/spouse regularly and openly.

 

I tell my son that my greatest wish for him is to find a partner who is his best friend ever and whom he loves with all his heart, and who reciprocates that back to him.

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I agree, but we may have to define what constitutes cheating here. Some think it is if you even have thoughts of another. That is not my definition.

 

That's a good point -- it's not my definition, either. Having a few "indecent" thoughts doesn't count as cheating in my book.

 

I think the argument that bothers me most is "it just happened [that they fell in love and copulated]." I do believe that the falling in love part can "just happen" even if you don't want it to for some people. Those people need to stay away from situations that might present that possibility, then, perhaps. However, even if you did find yourself falling for someone, that in no way obviates the necessity to copulate.

 

:iagree: It's such a lame excuse!

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I do wonder though what that secret to a long marriage is.

 

I think it might be easier to create a list of the reasons why people don't stay married. Your question would be answered by the opposites of those items. Here's a few of my opinions on why people get divorced so much more often than in the past.

 

1. Lack of faith in God or some other higher being.

2. No good system of morals or values. Whether it's religion-based or otherwise, people need a good set of what's right and what's wrong.

3. Too much self-centeredness. Too many people are thinking only about themselves and what pleases them or makes them happy. You see this every day from the way people drive to the way they interact with others to how they spend their time and money.

4. The decline of the value of family and spending time together as a family. The family is portrayed negatively more often than positively.

5. A general acceptance of poor behavior by most of society.

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I have some theories on that, and I don't think it has so much to do with what age you marry, how many kids you have, how much money you make (or don't make), how much sex you have (or don't have), how much time you spend physically together, or even how much hard luck you have. I think --- and this is just my opinion based on observation of a very small pool of samples and experience in my own marriage -- I think it has a lot to do with friendship, i.e marry your best friend. And then, of course, communicating with your best friend/spouse regularly and openly.

 

I tell my son that my greatest wish for him is to find a partner who is his best friend ever and whom he loves with all his heart, and who reciprocates that back to him.

 

I think I might also add...to try to change together.

 

Sounds weird I know, but we try to keep one another up to date on the development of our interests and thought processes as we have grown and changed through the years. Sometimes, people get distracted by careers and kids and then look around after the kids are gone and figure out that both parties are different people from who they were when they married. Then they don't know quite what to do with that.

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I think I might also add...to try to change together.

 

Sounds weird I know, but we try to keep one another up to date on the development of our interests and thought processes as we have grown and changed through the years. Sometimes, people get distracted by careers and kids and then look around after the kids are gone and figure out that both parties are different people from who they were when they married. Then they don't know quite what to do with that.

 

 

That is so true.

 

And don't get so caught up in your own interests that you completely stop doing things as a couple.

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I might also add that people are very consumed with "HAPPY" these days. Whoever said we were supposed to be HAPPY all the time? Sometimes you have to go through some stinking UNHAPPY times...that's just a fact of life.

 

I'm another person who is so sad t o see so many couples bailing out on their commitments. The most frustrating thing is that I see people jumping right into a new relationship. Don't they know that another relationship is not going to make you happy? That new person has flaws and problems too.

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I might also add that people are very consumed with "HAPPY" these days. Whoever said we were supposed to be HAPPY all the time? Sometimes you have to go through some stinking UNHAPPY times...that's just a fact of life.

 

I'm another person who is so sad t o see so many couples bailing out on their commitments. The most frustrating thing is that I see people jumping right into a new relationship. Don't they know that another relationship is not going to make you happy? That new person has flaws and problems too.

 

 

 

Yeah, and sometimes things are BORING for a while. They just are.

 

Suck it up and deal with it, and here's a little brainstorm -- instead of spending your time meeting someone new and secretly dating them, why not spend some of that time trying to figure out how to make your marriage better and more fun? (And if you think your spouse is boring, guess what she's thinking about you, too, Bozo!)

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I'm so sorry for your friend.

 

I remember talking to older, long-married couples and asking what their "secret" was to a lasting marriage and hearing that the only secret is expectations- all had gone through periods of marital stress and/or unhappiness, but all got through it. Some said these periods lasted longer than others.

 

At the time it struck me as a big bummer! But then I realized that if we expect to always feel happily in-love with our marriage and partner and we go through periods where this just isn't happening, how do we deal with it? Some may feel that the happiness will never come back and find a way out. Others will endure.

 

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Personally, I think a big reason divorce is more common is because people CAN. Women can be financially independent from men in ways they couldn't be two generations ago. No longer are you "trapped" in a situation you don't want to be in. Being a single parents to young children is not easy, so I don't think it's likely to be an impulsive decision for your friend.

 

Historically, the purpose of marriage was to transfer property. A man basically purchased a girl from her father. More recently it has evolved into a contract of codependency. Marriage allows people to share assets and make decisions for each other. Now that more women have the ability to earn their own money, marriage just isn't necessary in the way it used to be. Divorced parents can get child support and share custody.

 

I am married because I love my husband and our partnership WORKS. Yes, I am financially dependent on him, but he depends on me to keep his world right-side-up. If it stopped working, I would be able to brush-up my employable skills and not depend on him any longer.

 

I don't think marriages were ANY happier in the past. Plenty of men had their wives under their thumbs and didn't have much incentive to keep working on their relationships since she was trapped. Case in point:

 

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Plenty of men had their wives under their thumbs and didn't have much incentive to keep working on their relationships since she was trapped. Case in point:

 

I hardly think the men quoted in that article were typical of the vast majority of men at that time. :glare: There are always a few nuts, and the media has always been able to find them.

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Just to change the subject for a moment... it is very sad when someone divorces. But the person at that moment may be feeling better than they have for a long time. They may have been suffering a lot without anyone knowing, and now that it has happened, and it is finally over, it is not as bad as what they were going through. They might feel relieved and even have times of happiness and hope. Even if the divorce was not their own idea. They might have been too ashamed to tell anyone how bad things were, and now that it is public knowledge, they feel that it is not as bad as they expected, having everyone know.

Best wishes for your friends.

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Just to change the subject for a moment... it is very sad when someone divorces. But the person at that moment may be feeling better than they have for a long time. They may have been suffering a lot without anyone knowing, and now that it has happened, and it is finally over, it is not as bad as what they were going through. They might feel relieved and even have times of happiness and hope. Even if the divorce was not their own idea. They might have been too ashamed to tell anyone how bad things were, and now that it is public knowledge, they feel that it is not as bad as they expected, having everyone know.

Best wishes for your friends.

 

That is very true. We never know what goes on in other people's homes. There are some really horrible people who can talk an incredibly good game and get everyone to like them... but at home they are monsters.

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I think a lot of people don't have any honor these days. I think people who are unfaithful to their spouse are a different kind of vile. I think you should close one chapter before opening another, if that's what you're going to do eventually. People just aren't as concerned thse days about doing what's right. You can see it in all aspects of life and society.

I think it might be easier to create a list of the reasons why people don't stay married. Your question would be answered by the opposites of those items. Here's a few of my opinions on why people get divorced so much more often than in the past.

 

1. Lack of faith in God or some other higher being.

2. No good system of morals or values. Whether it's religion-based or otherwise, people need a good set of what's right and what's wrong.

3. Too much self-centeredness. Too many people are thinking only about themselves and what pleases them or makes them happy. You see this every day from the way people drive to the way they interact with others to how they spend their time and money.

4. The decline of the value of family and spending time together as a family. The family is portrayed negatively more often than positively.

5. A general acceptance of poor behavior by most of society.

 

Dad 4 Boys and I have been married almost 25 years. Can you see why? :001_tt1:

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I agree mostly, but I take offense to number 1. I don't think that has anything to do with it. At least for me it doesn't.

 

I could turn that around and say some of the most devout people I've met use their religion as an excuse to be forgiven for the rotten things they do to other people. My grandfather thought he could be a total jerk because hey he went to church every Sunday.

 

I did indicate in my post that it was my opinion, so I accept that you don't agree with me on some or all of it.

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Just to change the subject for a moment... it is very sad when someone divorces. But the person at that moment may be feeling better than they have for a long time. They may have been suffering a lot without anyone knowing, and now that it has happened, and it is finally over, it is not as bad as what they were going through. They might feel relieved and even have times of happiness and hope. Even if the divorce was not their own idea. They might have been too ashamed to tell anyone how bad things were, and now that it is public knowledge, they feel that it is not as bad as they expected, having everyone know.

Best wishes for your friends.

 

 

Yes, I'm at the age where the middle-aged crises are hitting. I have three friends who are single parents, homeschooling and working. In each case there was major turmoil for years prior to the divorce, and now they are rebuilding and beginning to feel "normal" again even though their lives are certainly not easy. I think that the best thing you can do for a friend in those situations is to listen and support. There is indeed hope on the other side. in some cases, divorce brings about peace and order in the long run.

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I might also add that people are very consumed with "HAPPY" these days. Whoever said we were supposed to be HAPPY all the time? Sometimes you have to go through some stinking UNHAPPY times...that's just a fact of life.

 

I'm another person who is so sad t o see so many couples bailing out on their commitments. The most frustrating thing is that I see people jumping right into a new relationship. Don't they know that another relationship is not going to make you happy? That new person has flaws and problems too.

 

 

 

"Happy" is another one of those terms that I think you have to define for the purposes of the discussion. Different people have different ideas of what "happy" should constitute. I do wonder, though, if some people have any idea as to what their own definition of "happy" really is. They seem to be constantly pursuing it, but at the same time continually moving the line of where "happy" lies.

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Thank you for the discussion. I must admit her announcement had me up last night, thinking about what will happen to her family. Interestingly enough, my grandmother got a divorce back when that meant she was shunned from her church and her community. My mom and her brother ended up with their dad and his new wife. You weren't supposed to do that back then. She has outlived all three of her spouses and, I believe, has no regrets.

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I don't have a lot of divorce in my family and not too much in my friends, either. I'm not sure why....it's just worked out that way. Of the friends that got married around the same time we did (22 years ago), I can't think of any that are divorced. Two couples are Catholic, 1 is non-denominational, and the others are not religious at all. So I don't think religion plays a part - isn't the divorce rate nearly the same across the board? My parents had a ridiculously happy marriage right up to my Dad's death 2 years ago, my sister was married for 28 years before she was widowed, and my brother has been married for 30 years. We do have some cousins that divorced though, and one uncle (out of 4).

 

I've had a couple of close friends go through divorce, and it seemed to happen to both of them when their kids were around 10ish. Don't know why - coincidence, maybe. One was due to a cheating spouse, the other was due to boredom and the inability (or desire) to work things out. I can say that if my dh cheated, I'd be outta here. We don't have similar personalities at all, but we have a lot in common and like to do a lot of the same things. I think that really helps keep us strong - we spend a lot of free time together, and have always prioritized talking to each other every day (for us, happy hour while dh cooks dinner).

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I agree mostly, but I take offense to number 1. I don't think that has anything to do with it. At least for me it doesn't.

 

I could turn that around and say some of the most devout people I've met use their religion as an excuse to be forgiven for the rotten things they do to other people. My grandfather thought he could be a total jerk because hey he went to church every Sunday.

 

 

 

Number 1 on that list cracked me up. In my social circle, of the three couple friends we started with that were "happily" Xtian, two of them are divorced. And the five athieist/agnostic couples we've been friends with for 15 years?? Uh, NONE of us divorced. And statistically, that is the trend:

 

The Barna Research Group, an evangelical Christian organization that does surveys and research to better understand what Christians believe and how they behave, studied divorce rates in America in 1999 and found surprising evidence that divorce is far lower among atheists than among conservative Christians - exactly the opposite of what they were probably expecting.

 

I kind of would have liked to see the survey analyzers faces when they figured this out. Whoops!

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Just to change the subject for a moment... it is very sad when someone divorces. But the person at that moment may be feeling better than they have for a long time. They may have been suffering a lot without anyone knowing, and now that it has happened, and it is finally over, it is not as bad as what they were going through. They might feel relieved and even have times of happiness and hope. Even if the divorce was not their own idea. They might have been too ashamed to tell anyone how bad things were, and now that it is public knowledge, they feel that it is not as bad as they expected, having everyone know.

Best wishes for your friends.

 

Yes, please. Don't be sad for my divorce. Be sad for the marriage that made it necessary.

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I think it might be easier to create a list of the reasons why people don't stay married. Your question would be answered by the opposites of those items. Here's a few of my opinions on why people get divorced so much more often than in the past.

 

1. Lack of faith in God or some other higher being.

2. No good system of morals or values. Whether it's religion-based or otherwise, people need a good set of what's right and what's wrong.

3. Too much self-centeredness. Too many people are thinking only about themselves and what pleases them or makes them happy. You see this every day from the way people drive to the way they interact with others to how they spend their time and money.

4. The decline of the value of family and spending time together as a family. The family is portrayed negatively more often than positively.

5. A general acceptance of poor behavior by most of society.

 

I know very few people, divorced or otherwise, who fit these criteria.

 

Heck, I have 50 clients from the criminal justice system and many of THEM don't fit it.

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I think it might be easier to create a list of the reasons why people don't stay married. Your question would be answered by the opposites of those items. Here's a few of my opinions on why people get divorced so much more often than in the past.

 

1. Lack of faith in God or some other higher being.

2. No good system of morals or values. Whether it's religion-based or otherwise, people need a good set of what's right and what's wrong.

3. Too much self-centeredness. Too many people are thinking only about themselves and what pleases them or makes them happy. You see this every day from the way people drive to the way they interact with others to how they spend their time and money.

4. The decline of the value of family and spending time together as a family. The family is portrayed negatively more often than positively.

5. A general acceptance of poor behavior by most of society.

 

Relativism and entitlement. I'm not happy anymore, and I deserve to be happy, so I went and found what I now think will make me happy. Sorry that's not you.

 

I might also add that people are very consumed with "HAPPY" these days. Whoever said we were supposed to be HAPPY all the time? Sometimes you have to go through some stinking UNHAPPY times...that's just a fact of life.

 

I'm another person who is so sad t o see so many couples bailing out on their commitments. The most frustrating thing is that I see people jumping right into a new relationship. Don't they know that another relationship is not going to make you happy? That new person has flaws and problems too.

 

:iagree:

 

I have a great marriage. We've been through hell getting there.

 

I hardly think the men quoted in that article were typical of the vast majority of men at that time. :glare: There are always a few nuts, and the media has always been able to find them.

 

:iagree: The media has a habit of finding the answers that they know will get the most talk, not the most honest answers.

 

Dr. Gottman has done a lot of research as to why divorce happens. He said that years 3, 7, 13 and 25 are spike years for divorce.

3: What were we thinking?

7: This will NEVER get any better.

13: Midlife crisis. Is this all there is? (Note: kids are often 10-ish here...)

25: Done. Got the kids out. Even if it isn't conscious, this is sort of the end of a unifying project. When that dissolves, the marriage goes with it.

 

In my parents' set, NO ONE got divorced. Among the kids of their large-ish group, it's about 40%.

 

I think economic freedom has an awful lot to do with it. Research shows that the divorce rate grows dramatically with the financial sufficiency of the wife. Especially once she makes more than her husband. I saw this happen a lot in my former workplace.

 

Annnnd...it's just not as socially stigmatized anymore.

 

This actually corresponds with the 5 stages of relationship (romance, disillusionment, disappointment (THIS is IT? For the rest of my life???) ,reconciliation, and reawakening to true love ) and it goes on in anything, work, friendships, and especially marriage. We do a LOUSY job of preparing our newlyweds for the reality and sacrifice a marriage takes. Especially in the overly entitled generation we have now.

 

When I had my marriage convalidated, I had to go through pre-cana type interview. Let me tell you, had we done that before we got married? I think we would have managed MUCH better, because that was as true as it comes. I mean, it's abstract (pre marital counseling) in so many ways, but with the foreknowledge and people in community to help, it can be overcome.

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Dr. Gottman has done a lot of research as to why divorce happens. He said that years 3, 7, 13 and 25 are spike years for divorce.

3: What were we thinking?

7: This will NEVER get any better.

13: Midlife crisis. Is this all there is? (Note: kids are often 10-ish here...)

25: Done. Got the kids out. Even if it isn't conscious, this is sort of the end of a unifying project. When that dissolves, the marriage goes with it.

 

In my parents' set, NO ONE got divorced. Among the kids of their large-ish group, it's about 40%.

 

I think economic freedom has an awful lot to do with it. Research shows that the divorce rate grows dramatically with the financial sufficiency of the wife. Especially once she makes more than her husband. I saw this happen a lot in my former workplace.

 

Annnnd...it's just not as socially stigmatized anymore.

 

I was just discussing this with some friends last week and it pretty accurately represents what the three of us have experienced in our marriages. One of those friends is now divorced (after 26 years of marriage). The other is in year 7 and they're really struggling right now.

 

I definitely went through the "What were we thinking" stage at Year 3 (if DH did, he didn't let on). Year 7 was an interesting one for us, because DH was deployed to the Middle East that entire year with the Army Reserves. So we only saw each other for 2 weeks that year and kept in touch with sporadic phone calls and Skype. That year of being apart really made us appreciate each other more, so maybe we lucked out with that deployment. ;) We've been married 12 years now, so we'll see what year 13 brings.

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I think several divorces I know of came about because one spouse went through a change of some kind. They felt that they were not the person they used to be, and the spouse also felt that they were so different that it was as if they had married a different person.

I don't know why people go through changes like that.

Maybe stress, problems that have been suppressed in the person's psyche for many years suddenly surfacing, the advent of severe mental illness, might cause something like that, but I don't know why some people change seemingly suddenly and the rest of us evolve over time. I guess sometimes it is voluntary, like choosing to change in a direction away from the spouse because of a lack of commitment to the marriage, and sometimes these things are out of the person's control.

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I think it might be easier to create a list of the reasons why people don't stay married. Your question would be answered by the opposites of those items. Here's a few of my opinions on why people get divorced so much more often than in the past.

 

1. Lack of faith in God or some other higher being.

 

 

I realize you said that these were just your "opinion". I hope to inform your opinion by offering you these statistics on divorce as collected by the Christian "Barna Group".

 

 

http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/15-familykids/42-new-marriage-and-divorce-statistics-released

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I'm going to agree that divorce is sad...but I'll explain my thinking.

 

I think it's sad b/c nobody gets together, makes commitments, has children w/the idea of the relationship ending.

 

Regardless of *why* the relationship is ending, it's the dissolving of the original hope, dream, plans. It may well be that it's the *healthiest* thing that can happen, but that is sad as well, that for whatever reason, that's how things have turned out

 

I'm not pointing fingers, assigning blame by any means. Just saying that to *me*, that's how I view it.

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I went to a women's retreat with ladies from my church this weekend. I met two divorcees who talked about how their marriages ended. One had two children under five and her husband, who she adored, suddenly left them.. It was such disgraceful behavior that her in laws helped her and her kids since her husbamd had run off with an employee. Then, in the other, the husband had a stroke and then decided he was gay and didn't want to be married. Again, there was a child in the picture. She says the stroke really changed his whole personality and he has had little to do with either his exwife or his now oung adult child. Anyway, these stories were a reminider to me that not everyone who is divorced is due to things like flightiness or craving for illusive perfection. I have met both men and women who were divorced because of appaling behavior of the other party. I just don't believe the adage that both are to blame. I think often that is not the case at all.

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Number 1 on that list cracked me up. In my social circle, of the three couple friends we started with that were "happily" Xtian, two of them are divorced. And the five athieist/agnostic couples we've been friends with for 15 years?? Uh, NONE of us divorced. And statistically, that is the trend:

 

The Barna Research Group, an evangelical Christian organization that does surveys and research to better understand what Christians believe and how they behave, studied divorce rates in America in 1999 and found surprising evidence that divorce is far lower among atheists than among conservative Christians - exactly the opposite of what they were probably expecting.

 

I kind of would have liked to see the survey analyzers faces when they figured this out. Whoops!

 

 

How did they define Christian or identify the Christians?

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I know very few people, divorced or otherwise, who fit these criteria.

 

Heck, I have 50 clients from the criminal justice system and many of THEM don't fit it.

 

I'm assuming that your 50 clients from the criminal justice system are all offenders of some type. If so, I would say that 2 - 4 most definitely apply. Otherwise, they most likely wouldn't have committed the offense that introduced them to the criminal justice system.

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I went to a women's retreat with ladies from my church this weekend. I met two divorcees who talked about how their marriages ended. One had two children under five and her husband, who she adored, suddenly left them.. It was such disgraceful behavior that her in laws helped her and her kids since her husbamd had run off with an employee. Then, in the other, the husband had a stroke and then decided he was gay and didn't want to be married. Again, there was a child in the picture. She says the stroke really changed his whole personality and he has had little to do with either his exwife or his now oung adult child. Anyway, these stories were a reminider to me that not everyone who is divorced is due to things like flightiness or craving for illusive perfection. I have met both men and women who were divorced because of appaling behavior of the other party. I just don't believe the adage that both are to blame. I think often that is not the case at all.

 

The husband who ran off had no honor or a good sense of right or wrong. The husband with the stroke-induced personality change is an anomaly.

 

Let's be clear that, although I dislike divorce, I understand that there will always be those who want out of their relationship or don't want to be fully committed to that relationship. In these cases, they need to do what's honorable and finish with the first relationship, while honoring their obligations, before they start a new relationship.

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