While every marriage is different, certain common mistakes often lead to divorce. If you recognize any of these or are guilty of any of them yourself, you may want to reevaluate your marriage.
For many people, infidelity is a deal-breaker. Once that trust is broken, it can take a long time for it to be rebuilt (if it ever is). While the partner who had an affair may be apologetic and want to work on the marriage, the other partner may have trouble ever trusting their spouse again. They may believe that if their spouse cheated once, there is a likelihood that they will do it again. Uncertainty about fidelity can lead to divorce.
Showing Contempt for Your Partner
When one partner has contempt for their partner, things are not going to end well. It may have been something the partner did or it could just be a change of feelings. If your partner constantly mocks you, calls you names, rolls their eyes at you or just turns their nose in disgust, they are showing contempt for you. This type of behavior can hurt a person’s self-esteem and can also be a form of emotional abuse. It is disrespectful and not part of what a good marriage should look like. Once this type of behavior begins it can be hard to break.
Not Accepting Your Partner’s Differences
Just because you’re married, it doesn’t mean you and your spouse have to do everything the same and think the same. Instead of looking at these differences as problems, you should accept them. You can still be married and do things differently. When you begin to look at the differences between you and your spouse as problems that need to be fixed, it can lead to divorce.
Criticizing Your Partner
When you criticize your partner, you make them feel as though there is something wrong with them. While you can tell your partner you don’t like what they’re doing or don’t agree with them, you shouldn’t verbally attack them. Using phrases like, “why are you so…” or “you always…” makes the other person feel as though they are being attacked. Instead, you should say things like, “I felt….when this happened.” This way, you are still expressing your feelings, but you’re not doing it critically.
Withdrawing During Conflict
When you or your partner withdraws during times of conflict, that is considered shutting down. When this happens, your partner thinks that they’re the cause of the problem. While the person withdrawing may be doing so because they’re emotionally overwhelmed, it doesn’t always come off that way. Instead, it appears as being standoffish, arrogant, and disinterested.
Also, when you shut down, you give off the signal that you’re not interested in resolving the conflict, and this can result in even more conflict.
If you notice any of these behaviors in yourself or your partner, you may want to examine them closely and take measures to actively change them. Ignoring them or assuming they’ll go away will not help the problem and will only make things worse.