Am I headed for Divorce?

Nobody knows for certain if your marriage is headed for divorce, but there are certain factors which may indicate your marriage is headed for trouble. These factors, often apparent before a couple marries, will make a successful marriage harder to attain and filing for divorce more likely.

Age is the first indicator. There is not a specific age that safeguards against a divorce, but when teenagers marry, a divorce is almost assured. A person’s goals and ambitions for their life may change throughout their twenties, and each individual is continuing to identify who they are and what they want from ages nineteen to twenty-nine.

Cultural differences are also a predictor of divorce. Religious values are often fundamental to a person’s culture and character. Couples from different cultural backgrounds who marry may not want to negotiate on values that are so fundamental to their belief system. These beliefs affect not only how a couple lives day to day, but also how they will raise their children.

Another interesting gauge is whether this is the first marriage for each partner. If both people entering the marriage have had previous marriages, the chance of the marriage ending in divorce increases 90 percent. One would think that people would learn from the mistakes they made in previous relationships and not repeat them in their new ones, but research shows this is not the case. Experience in marriages does not improve your ability to have a successful marriage the second or third time.

Research also shows that living together before marriage does not decrease your chance of divorce. Actually, if you are a woman who has lived with more than one person before you marry, you are 40 percent more likely to divorce than a woman who has not done so. It may seem like living together would be good practice for the “real thing”, but it also makes living together seem less unique and less final. People often feel they can move on to something else if this relationship does not work because they have done it before.

Family history also plays a role in predicting divorce. You are 40 percent more likely to divorce if your parents were divorced. Those numbers go up to 90 percent if your parents remarried after their divorce. This could be because observing your parents lack of commitment may influence your own attitudes.

How couples handle conflict is one of the most important divorce indicators. Contrary to what many may think, avoiding conflict is actually a negative. All marriages will have conflict, but how that conflict is resolved is important. How each partner communicate their anger is significant. Shutting down in the middle of an argument, screaming at each, and holding in complaints and grievances are all negative ways to handle conflict. There will always be areas in a marriage that will never be resolved; couples who can accept these differences and not continually “re-hash” old grievances stand a better chance of success.

The ability to handle arguments, resolve conflict, and appreciate differences can be learned. Couples can overcome past mistakes and change their negative behaviors that predict divorce and replace them with actions that ensure a long and happy relationship and family.

If you have made every attempt to resolve your differences and have been unable, you may be considering filing for divorce. Filing for divorce is a difficult decision and should not be done without first contacting a divorce lawyer and reviewing your divorce alternatives. Contact a divorce attorney today if you need help.