Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage


Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

When you see a disaster is eminent, the best plan is to get out before it’s too late. After that, it’s all triage. Nowhere else is this truer than when entering into a bad marriage—the consequences of which can follow you for years. Sometimes we’re blinded by love. At other times, something arises that cannot be reconciled. Either way, when the divorce is final, we often look for easy things to blame. We feel confused, overwhelmed, hurt and angry. But usually there are many things that lead to the decline and dissolution of such a relationship. Enjoy love but keep on the lookout for important warning signs. You may be able to duck a bad situation or likely recognize when your relationship is heading south. Do you remember your first fight? Few couples do. Well, maybe some women do. In any case, lots of couples fight about the same things, money being the topmost issue, confirmed in several studies. But if you start fighting about money early on, say as you’re boarding the plane on the way to your honeymoon, the marriage could be in trouble. That’s according to research out of Kansas State University. That’s because arguments about money early on affected the marriage even years later. Fighting about money was the “top predictor for divorce” regardless of socio-economic status or income level.

If you got married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas at the spur of the moment, surprise–you might not make it. But if you dated for three years before deciding to get married, you have a 39% less likelihood of seeing the inside of a divorce court, according to researchers out of Emory University. Couples who dated for three years had far better odds than those who dated for less than a year. Are you both teetotalers? Or perhaps you both like to party until the wee hours. If you’re drinking habits diverge sharply, your relationship might soon too, so say University of Buffalo researchers. If one spouse drank heavily, the couple was more likely to get divorced. But the same results weren’t true when both partners tipped the glass often. Apparently, it’s the mismatch rather than the habit that causes strife.

Did you two talk about a prenup before marriage? If so, you are more than likely to keep your money when you two go your separate ways. That’s because the longevity of the marriage isn’t the utmost concern to both parties. Couples that don’t share a bank account are 145% more likely to divorce, says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The reason is financial generosity and sharing is conducive to marriage. It makes you a unit. Keeping things for yourself and separate is not, though of course we all need some individuality. Still, complete separateness denotes something. How much did you blow on the wedding? Some events seem to cost more than a mortgage nowadays. But one Emory University study found that the more you spend on the wedding, the less likely you will have staying power. That’s because spending more gave each elevated expectations for the marriage. When you aren’t ready for problems when they inevitably strike, there are no coping strategies set aside to deal with them. Those who coughed up $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than those who spent $5,000-$10,000. Social networking sites have us all interconnected. They influence us more than we think. In fact, one study published in “Social Forces” Journal found that if a friend or neighbor got divorced, that person was 75% more likely to get divorced themselves. For ways to make you marriage strong whether entering into or already in the thick of it read, The Marriage Guide Book: How to Make Your Marriage Thrive by Vanessa Pagan.

Is Marriage Really Necessary in the Modern World?


Is Marriage Really Necessary in the Modern World?

In the U.S. marriage is at its lowest point in a hundred years. More people are becoming single parents by choice, and lots are cohabitating fearing the elevated divorce rate will make a victim of their relationship too. After spending so much money on a wedding, the ring, honeymoon to see it all wasted by ending in divorce is a financial travesty too and one many people cannot afford to make in the aftermath of the Great Recession. It begs the question, is marriage really necessary in the modern world? Traditionally, marriage was a religious affair. But people in post-industrial societies in addition to rebuking marriage are also more and more abandoning religion. Non-affiliation is the biggest growing religious group in the U.S. and other Western countries. Is there a connection? Whatever the situation, the decrease in religious belief does make the case for marriage less impactful.

Some argue that marriage makes for a more stable home life for the raising of children. Studies generally support this view when the couple gets along. However, in a high conflict household where the parents are either shouting or fighting physically, the children best experience a separate, low conflict arrangement. And not so much research has been put into alternative households. But truly it’s household stability which leads to healthy children, regardless of the marital status of their parents. There are of course lots of legal and financial benefits to getting married. But would you get married for these? Surely, a marriage based solely on financial and legal gain will end in divorce, and those gains will be blotted out. In fact, divorce would reverse all the financial benefits entirely if there is any disagreement in the divvying up of assets. Surely, we aren’t advocating for an end of marriage in total. Instead, we’re merely reassessing its importance in society. And as traditional marriage fades society will have to change with it, validate other types of relationships, allow for the exploration of different kinds of marriage. In ancient Celtic society, there were different types of marriages, some lasting a year, a few years, and a lifetime. Flexibility, tolerance, open-mindedness and innovation will be needed to help shape our changing approach to love, marriage, relationships and family rearing in a way that’s beneficial both to couples and to society as well. For more insight on how marriage has changed over time, read Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage by Stephanie Coontz.

Wait Before Getting Married


There are still people today who rush into marriage. Those people who marry young often regret it, though not always. But these are the most volatile relationships and the most likely to get divorced. In today’s world people often need to be more mature in order to handle a marriage. Each person needs time to discover who they are. To be financially self-sufficient each person generally needs years of education and developing their career. Typically the time needed to invest in a marriage can be cumbersome when young people are trying to build their career, and long hours and hard work are involved. Oftentimes, marrying young means children. Some young people marry young because of the children. But they can turn into single parents just as easily. Now their time is even more constricted due to having to take care of the children. How will they find time to manage a job and try to build themselves up for their and their children’s future, via night school, trade school, college or through some other program? Older people, such as when you are in your late twenties or thirties, are more centered. They are more grounded. They know who they are and usually what they want in life. But the development of identity in the late teens and early to mid-20’s can really get in the way of a marriage.

You’ve got a learning curve to deal with when you are first entering the workforce. To compound those issues with a marriage is indeed difficult. It’s one thing if you are making mistakes that affect your own life. But it’s quite another if your mistakes are affecting someone else as well. Financially, you are in much better shape getting married a little older than younger. Marriages are expensive, as are honeymoons. And with today’s expensive American wedding, oftentimes the gifts don’t cover the expense. When you are settled into a career and making a good salary, that is the time to get married. It will be better for the overall relationship, too. By the time the late 20’s or early to mid-30’s roll around, you will have had some experience in relationships. You will know what to expect and how to handle relationship situations. You will also have a better idea of what is acceptable and what isn’t. This will carry over and help you navigate the marriage much better than if you didn’t have any relationship experience. Drama and emotional baggage are difficult to deal with. Though these often litter the relationships of those in their teens and early 20’s, by the time someone is in their late 20’s or thirties, the desire for drama has hopefully gotten out of their system, and they have an idea of their baggage and how to keep it in check. For more on getting marriage right, read When I Get Married . . .: Surrendering the Fantasy, Embracing the Reality by Jerusha Clark.