The Top Ten Reasons for Divorce

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What are the #TopTen reasons for divorce - *really*? - WholeIntentions.com(source)

In the past few months I’ve been surprised by how many couples we know who are divorcing, separating, or heading very quickly in that direction.

I recently read that marriages ending in divorce lasted an average of 9.8 years. When you think that some couples have been married 40 – 50 years, it’s almost like shutting off a movie after just watching the previews. 

Please here what I’m saying before you read the rest of this article. I believe there are Biblical reasons for divorce (infidelity being one), I’m not saying the decision to divorce is wrong – and I would never encourage someone to stay in a relationship where you fear for you or your children’s safety.

What I am saying, or attempting to say, is that the majority of divorces seem to be the end result of years of hurt feelings, resentment, and. . .selfishness.

According to several divorce statistics, here are the top 10 reasons people give for divorce:

1. We grew apart
2. We don’t make each other happy anymore
3. We aren’t in love anymore
4. It’s better for the kids if we divorce
5. I grew up but he/she stayed the same
6. We’re different people than when we got married
7. It isn’t fun anymore
8. I found a new person who really understands me
9. He/she let him/herself go
10. I deserve to be happy

Marriage isn’t perfect

I’m not a fly on the wall. I can’t say what goes on in a person’s home. I don’t know all the details in someone else’s marriage.

There are very real difficulties and situations that do constitute divorce – so please understand that what I’m discussing deals *specifically* with divorces that result from the reasons on that list of ten.

happily married couple smiling(source)

When a couple get to know one another, they’re on their best behavior. Smiling, opening doors, and going out of their way to be considerate. Care is taken in what they wear, how they look, what they say, and how they express themselves.

Then they get married.

9.8 years later they’re getting struggling – possibly because the consideration and care they once showed isn’t important anymore.

The top ten rebuttals

#1 – We grew apart.

Growing apart means you’re not asking each other how your day went and looking him/her in the eyes while they tell you. Growing apart usually means there’s not enough communication and that more and more time is spent on other activities rather than each other.

#2 – We don’t make each other happy anymore.

When was the last time a special meal was prepared? Was there a kiss hello at the end of the work day? Was anyone touching a knee or holding a hand?

…happily married couples average five positive verbal and emotional expressions toward one another for every negative expression, but very unhappy couples display ratios of less than one to one.  – Dr. Lyubomirsky (source)

#3 – We aren’t in love anymore.

Most people think of love as the butterflies and fireworks in movies. I remember my mom reminding me that love doesn’t mean you’re always going to the feel the strong physical desire you do when your first married. Love gradually eases into friendship and companionship. Yes, there’s still sexual desire, but don’t mistake the fact that comfort in a marriage means love is gone.

married couple sitting on bench in silence(source)

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~ I Corinthians 13:4-7

#4 – It’s better for the kids if we divorce.

My parents divorced when I was young, so I know this is a hard one to read whether you’re the parents or the children. What I’d like to encourage you to remember is that whether or not you decide it’s best to divorce, your spouse is your children’s mom or dad.

If you find yourself in an argument with your spouse, or opening your mouth to complain about them in front of the kids, try to turn it into something positive.

It’s better for kids to hear, “What can we do to surprise mommy when she comes home today?” or “Oops, dad forgot to take out the garbage last night. He must have had a lot on his mind.”

Belittling your spouse in front of the kids can make them feel like they have to ‘take sides’.

My parents divorced when I was too little to remember much at all. But what I do remember is that in all the years I grew up, my mom didn’t sit and blame her life on dad. She answered questions, she gave facts, but she never created a monster in my mind. Years later, when I had the chance to meet my dad again as an adult, I saw a man who had become saved, drastically changed his lifestyle, remarried, and openly regretted what happened between him and mom.

If mom had verbally abused him in my hearing, I might have never gotten to know the forgiven man I do today.

#5 & #6 – ‘I grew up but he/she stayed the same’ & ‘We’re different people than when we got married’

No matter how old you are, your interests change over the years. Sometimes what once interested you doesn’t anymore. What you found fun five years ago when it was just the two of you isn’t always the same when you have three kids under ten years old.

People constantly grow and change – some faster than others. If at all possible, try to compromise and adapt.

married couple laughing(source)

#7 – It isn’t fun anymore.
Okay, here’s some tough love: Love isn’t about ‘fun’.

A healthy relationship doesn’t just happen. Life is work. Love is work. Raising kids is work. Happily ever after doesn’t start when you walk down the aisle. There will be ups and downs, there will be changing and growing – some of it’s fun, and some of it’s just plain hard work.

If you’re not having ‘fun’, maybe redefine what fun means and decide what’s more important.

#8 – I found a new person who really understands me.
I’m going to be blunt – unfind them.

Confiding in your ‘new friend’ about how bad your marriage is, isn’t going to change anything but potentially put you in a position you shouldn’t be in. If you want your relationship with your spouse to change, talk to them about it.

Create a date night once a week or every two weeks and just talk. Share your thoughts, your concerns, and your ideas. No one can understand you if you don’t let them in.

hands of married couple(source)

#9 – He/she let him/herself go.
Did your wife gain weight after the kids? Is she 60 lbs. heavier than when you met her? Is your husband a couch potato with a big gut and sweatpants? Then help them get themselves back.

Don’t bring home donuts and ice cream. Start cooking healthier and doing more physical activities as a couple or a family. Losing weight isn’t easy.

Be an encourager in any way you can and don’t give up.

#10 – I deserve to be happy.
Happiness is an interesting word. Do you mean, “I deserve everything I want” or are you really thinking about the joy in making someone else happy?

Again, I’m not talking about making the alcoholic, abusive, or unfaithful spouse happy by giving them the selfish things they desire – they’re looking for happiness in all the wrong places. I’m talking about being in the midst of some potholes and rocky places in a marriage. The places were you can both evaluate yourselves and ask, “am I truly trying to make him/her happy?”

A few last thoughts

I’ll be the first to admit that changing your thoughts and attitudes toward someone isn’t easy. We’re all selfish; it’s human nature. Ask God to help you stop those hurtful and bitter thoughts and replace them with loving and supportive ones. What you think will eventually come out of your mouth.

“Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.” Proverbs 21:23

Two of the best books Travis and I have read on marriage are The Complete Husband and The Excellent Wife. I can’t tell you how much we love and appreciate these books.

One last thought: someone once told us that marriage is like a triangle. God is at the top and you and your spouse are on each bottom corner. The closer you each become to God, the closer you become to each other.

Don’t underestimate God’s plan for marriage.

The Complete Husband
The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace


What books or Biblical principals have made a difference in your marriage?

 

 

Shared at: Time-Warp Wife, Women Living Well, Raising Homemakers, We Are That Family, Milk and Cuddles, Simply Sweet Home, Far Above Rubies, Celebrating Family, The Modest Mom, Growing Home, Raising Mighty Arrows, Deep Roots at Home, Our Simple Country Life, Comfy in the Kitchen, Little Natural Cottage, Our Simple Farm, Christian Mommy Blogger,

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Paula
I’m Paula - like many of you I wear a lot of hats. Child of God, wife of 18 years, mother of five, reluctant cook, full-time teacher, chocolate-snatcher, and children's author. Various family health issues including Lyme disease and candida has turned me into a 'researcher'. I don't have initials after my name, a degree in anything but motherhood, or a framed certificate on my wall. What I do have is a passion for understanding how our God-created bodies thrive or deteriorate based on what we put in it. Oh, and I also might mention homesteading, homeschooling, fitness, herbs, faith, and anything else I'm thinking about. . . like wow, I need to refill my tea. . .
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Comments

  1. Misty says

    I wrote about this very topic a few weeks ago. I feel exactly the same!! I've been married for 21 years and I completely understand the difficulties but marriage is a roller coaster not a fairy tale. There are ups and downs. The key ingredient that's missing in a lot of people's marriage is commitment. You made a vow…."til death do us part"…not "as long as I find you entertaining"!!

  2. Anonymous says

    Assuming lots of people who will read this are going thru marriage difficulties–like myself– I'll share what has helped me thru these past couple years of separation from my husband…

    The Lord. He has carried me thru the battle every step of the way. He has led me to scriptures about marriage and opened my eyes to things I've done wrong in the past. And He's offered forgiveness.

    One resource that has really helped is http://www.rejoiceministries.org. It's a Biblical stand for marriage.

    Thanks for your post. You're right about all the reasons.

  3. Paula says

    Misty – I laughed out loud at "as long as I find you entertaining" you hit the nail on the head!

    awomanforhim – wow, you have a great article. Thanks for such timely advice we all need to hear.

    Anonymous – I completely agree with you. God should be the focus of every marriage: without Him we could do nothing.

  4. MrsP says

    You have hit it, particularly the concept that we deserve happiness, because the corollary to that is that your spouse is responsible for that happiness. So, if I'm not happy, it must be my spouse's fault. The saddest part is that, after the divorce, we have carted our unhappiness with us (which was not our spouse's problem in the first place) into the next relationship.

  5. graceandgritforlivinglife says

    Excellent article. Certainly found some food for thought in there. Feb will be 20 years of marriage for me, and I am realizing that marriage is something we can't take for granted….that other person is a part of us, and loving them is loving ourselves and honoring God.

  6. Nora@The Dollar Hollering Homemaker says

    Great Post. I had a friend divorce after one year because he didn't make enough money for her. We are only into our 3rd year of marriage but in our first year alone my husband almost died from the swine flu, i got cancer, suffered a job loss, etc. So we both got over much of our selfishness real quickly:) I'm certainly a different person then when I was first married but I would like to think I am a better person thanks to the lessons I've learned (and will continue to learn) from my marriage.

  7. Anonymous says

    As a child of divorce, I'd have to disagree with you on point #4. My parents getting divorced was one of the best things they've ever done for me and for themselves. Their marriage was beyond loveless at the end–it was toxic. They didn't get married for the right reasons (my mother was pregnant with me when they married).

    I'm grateful that they split when I was eight instead of "staying together for the kids" because their staying married would have scarred me far more than them breaking up. Once love or infatuation spawns into hate, it's done.

  8. Paula says

    Anonymous,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Children of divorced parents (and I am one of them) don't have it very easy. (My parents were also married because my mom was pregnant.)

    It's hard to see two people we love at odds with each other. Everyone wants the fighting and stress to end and we feel it would be just be easier if they went their separate ways.

    But in writing point #4 I wanted to emphasis that parents think about what they're showing their children. To say "let's divorce so the kids don't have to see us fighting" is sometimes an easy way out.

    Instead of teaching their children that if they don't get along with someone they should 'give up' per se, teach them how to show unconditional love. Instead of divorcing the person they've vowed to love and cherish – love and cherish them.

    CHOOSING to love someone is HARD. But by putting aside their own wants and desires, by PURPOSEFULLY change bitter thoughts into loving thoughts, and be being an example to their children, often times the love that turned to hate, will turn back to love.

    • lynda says

      I, like anonymous, was grateful for my parents divorcing. But now, as a later-in-life Christian, I have more complicated feelings. My first marriage ended in divorce. The second time around I worked very hard to not fall into the same traps, but drastic problems I couldn’t cope with kept arising. As much as I didn’t want a second divorce, I was starting to think it was the only way. Then God got a hold of both of us. Now I firmly believe that no matter what we go through, we will never get divorced because we both understand that God is the key ingredient. (And he’s so good to remind us gently when our zeal for one another drifts off.)

      Having said that, neither of my parents had the knowledge of that strength to rely on, nor did I in my first marriage. Had I known, I know my first marriage could have worked. (my parents have both passed on) But since we can’t force people to bring God into their marriage (much to my chagrin!), I pray my heart out every time I see a couple moving that direction, as I’m sure you do too. I pray that they will come to depend on Jesus in a transformative, “renewing mind” kind of way (even if they’re already Christians) since that’s the only way to truly overcome the worst of anything anyway. :) My parents marriage was a train wreck, but I’ve come to know God as God of the Impossible. But they didn’t understand what God could do with their marriage, or have the luxury of others praying for them. It seems that’s the way with so many these days, since people are getting further and further from God. It’s sad to me, and yet also a call to be ever reaching out to non-believers and lukewarm Christians.

      Just recently discovered your site, btw, and love it, thanks. :)

    • DCM says

      #4 is really personal for me. I stayed in an abusive marriage for many years because I knew that being in a two-parent home was “best for the kids” and I was scared of not following God’s will. I got so depressed at the end that I was scared that I would do something reckless to harm myself.

      I really believe that my recent divorce is better for my kids than what they were living with. It is still extremely difficult for them, but there is a lot less tension in the house. Now I have to work on undoing the damage that was done to them as a result of all that they witnessed, especially the older two.

      • Anonymous says

        I totally agree and support you whole heartedly. I did the same, and my children recently confided in me that they wish we had divorced sooner. I stayed, thinking they did not realize the extent of the abuse, but I was wrong. They were hurt and angry when we first seperated, and very ashamed. But now, the children and I are much happier and healthy. Good luck! It gets better!

  9. Rebekka says

    This post is awesome! I totally agree. My absolute favorite marriage book for ladies is "Sacred Influence" Gary Thomas.

  10. Amy says

    I love your take on how to turn around these top 10 reasons for divorce. I've seen situations where a couple separated due to abuse or infidelity, but the majority of divorces/separations I see are not for these reasons and it makes me sad to see marriages end.

  11. Anonymous says

    I don't have a book or article to share, but something else. First, how it came about: after 22 years of (mostly VERY good) marriage, my husband gave me a large check and divorce papers. I was flabbergasted, and had no idea this was coming. None of his friends had an idea either. I grieved, cried, wound up in the hospital and then following up with our (mutual) general practitioner, who having seen my husband and then hearing the news, said "This man is depressed." Thank God in heaven for putting the right people in our lives. My husband began medication, and then asked to come back home. We talked like we haven't in years (rather, he talked, since I ALWAYS talk). Five months later, we are together, happy, in counseling, and working together again. However, and here is my point, he cited #2, 6, 7, and 10 as reasons for serving me with divorce papers. I guess my point is that sometimes, these reasons are given, but the real reason is hidden even from the person who instigates the divorce.

    Having said this, had I lashed out in anger or tried to hide my grief at the death of our marriage, or tried to "exact revenge", we would have never been reunited. Because I loved him, and believed that he is the man God designed for me, I was ready for him to return and he felt the grace of being loved. All the rebuttals you make are relevant and good, but sometimes, it takes more than just working at a relationship. Sometimes, it is a chemical, physical problem that needs treatment.

    Great article, and I agree with all of it wholeheartedly.

  12. Paula says

    Anonymous – Thank you for opening up and sharing such a painful part of your life. I'm so glad you're back together and happily working it out!

    I agree that much of how we function is related to body chemistry and physical issues – think of post-partum depression. It effects everything – our moods, our hormones, even how we think things through.

    Thank you for the reminder to not give up on our spouses.

  13. Lovingmama says

    I try to remember that my hubbie is amazing and try to make daily efforts to do or say positive things. Having a loving supportive relationship is so benefitial. As you said, no marraige is perfect. It does take work to keep the spark alive and stay connected.

  14. Janice says

    Well said! It is so sad to see all of these divorces especially among Christians. Great post. This post got the most clicks on Family Time Tuesday and will be featured when I get this week's post up tonight or in the morning.

    Janice
    Celebrating Family

  15. Abigail says

    I love this post! My husband and I have been married for 7 1/2 years, and it's not always easy, but we made the commitment and we're sticking to it, and each other.

    My sister has been through a divorce, because time and time again my former brother in law chose to wander. Now she is married to a wonderful man who loves her and their children (including her son from the previous marriage) and is devoted and supportive of her.

  16. Robin says

    Unfortunatly I'm seeing quite a bit of seperations/divorces/or ones headed that way around my neck of the woods too :( It's very sad/devestating. Great post!

  17. AmberRay says

    Great post! I love it. I also suffer from depression and I told my husband that when I am unhappy it is not because of him. He does make me happy because I love him. I praise God for helping me realize the real reason I am sometimes unhappy. Also about #4 I understand exactly what you are saying. On one hand it was best that my mom divorced my dad because he was an abusive alcoholic on the other hand if he had gotten the help that he needed and showed us a healthy marriage it would have helped all 3 of us kids in life tremendously. But, you cannot force someone to get help it has to be their choice. Thanks again for a great post! I have been married to my husband for almost 7 years and I love him so much that I don't want to ever give up on us. We have 3 great children together and I have one son from a previous relationship.

  18. Alana of Domestic Bliss Diaries says

    Amen! Thank you for pointing out that all of these reasons, *ahem*, make that excuses, are selfishness at its finest. I also wanted to tell you that I enjoyed reading this because of your writing style. You didn't sugar coat the truth and your witty sense of humor came through. :)

  19. L says

    This is wonderful, thanks for sharing =) =)
    We are still newlyweds (married for almost 2yrs) so I havnt read that many books yet, but I hope to continue reading and learning about it =)
    My favorite so far is Love & Respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs. I found it to be very revealing about the way each other thinks and responds to things and how we are different, also giving wonderful ideas about how to enjoy being different.
    Thanks so much for your wisdom!
    Much Love,
    L

    allglorious-within.blogspot.com

  20. Meghan says

    You can never know what goes on in another person's marriage. Just because they tell you one of those "top ten" reasons, doesn't mean it's the whole story. I think it's better just to listen, even if you don't understand or agree, than to judge someone else. Not everyone who gets divorced is selfish.

    And yes, I am very happily married.

  21. Alecia says

    My husband and I are reading through Love and Respect as mentioned above. The book is good so far, but we just started. Marriage is hard and not for the faint of heart, I'm understanding this more and more, but not willing to give up on it.

  22. Nicole says

    Divorce is so painful- for the couple, any children or close people related and involved, and society as a whole. Thank you for posting this and showing how ridiculous these reasons are! Love is definitely not easy, but it is a choice we made at our wedding. I also hear some people say, "they're just not the right person." Well, when you married them they BECAME the right person!

    Blessings,
    Nicole at Working Kansas Homemaker

  23. Anonymous says

    :I wish I could direct my folks to this post. There are times I'm puzzled that they're still married after 38 years. They don't fight all that much, but neither do they do much together or communicate much. It's pretty frequent that one says something (innocuous things, like "I'm planning to do this" or "Your uncle called") to me and not to the other. I'm an onlly child, but I live 350 miles from them!
    When my husband is home, as opposed to deployment time, we do try to do things together when we can. Pretty limited hours given military life, so we play a lot of board games. Still….

    Katie G

  24. says

    I LOVE this!!! You are just spot-on! I too have been very discouraged seeing several friends – all of them Christians – divorce for some of the reasons you’ve listed above. Thanks for being so direct and challenging this mindset.

  25. says

    This is such a great post! I love your responses to the top ten reasons why people get divorced. I’m so grateful for people like you who speak out with grace and passion to protect the covenant of marriage. And thanks for linking this up at Fellowship Fridays!

  26. says

    I’m so with you. 9.8 years is just getting started, and I’ve only been married 8!

    My favorite go to book is “The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian. I try to go through it once a year. There is no better way to love your husband then to spend time in concentrated, specific pray on his behalf! My biggest take away from the book is that I can’t change my husband, only God can. Instead of bringing my frustrations to my husband again, and again, and again (read nagging) I need to bring them before the Lord and allow HIM to do the work in my husbands heart.

    • says

      Nagging sure creeps in there when we’re not looking, doesn’t it! You’re so right, Libby – only God can change a person’s heart – thanks for the gentle reminder!

  27. RR says

    I have been married for 4 years but with my husband for 12 years. We met in our 20’s. We have at least five of the above mentioned issues in our marriage and i am currently torn with a decision for the future. We have been struggling to fall pregnant for years and have now grown apart so much so that we have lost the drive completely. Thanks to your article i have decided to fix this, or give it my best shot because u’re right, a lot of this is me waiting for him to change when its me who needs to. Thanks for your reality check on the “excuses” i’ve been making to take the easy way out …

  28. says

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to your blog before but after looking at some of the posts I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely happy I came across it and I’ll be
    bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  29. says

    This. Is. AWESOME. I basically don’t have anything else to say, except, YOU GO GIRL!! This sort of thing has GOT to be said, and often, and loud. Which is why I’m sharing it on Facebook…NOW. :) Thank you for this!

  30. says

    I love this post. I definitely don’t think all divorces are due to selfishness but I do think a great deal of them are. Thank you for your words. Even being happily married for 16 years there are gems in here I can use and apply to our lives.

  31. Monica says

    I agree with your post. There are so many good comments that I won’t add much. My aunt gave me “Creative Counterpart” by Linda Dillow when my husband & I got married. The book may be out of print, but it is really good! I also like “Created to be His Help Meet” by Debi Pearl. There are others I like too. Right now I am reading “Red Hot Monogomy”.

    As a mom of young children, I have to purpose to keep my husband and our relationship in the front part of my mind. It is too easy to just “do life” and forget whom we love the most. Bless you each as you choose a heavenly marriage!

  32. Kate says

    I’m sad that you think only infidelity is reason for divorce. What about abuse? that is a serious thing and can come in many forms, not just physical, sexual and emotional. It can also include financial, spiritual (using the Bible against the spouse), and a few others. They are all serious and most often used together to manipulate and control the other person. No person should be forced to stay in a marriage that is disrespectful and dangerous. I prayed for my 1st husband to change for years, but he chose not to and I left to stay safe.

    • says

      Hi Kate,

      I’m sorry your 1st husband chose not to change – I can’t imagine that would be an easy situation to be in.

      In my post I stated that infidelity is the only reason for divorce based on Matthew 19:9, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality,and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

      However, if a wife or children are being abused to the point that they’re fearful for their own lives, there’s no wrong in separating for a time and leaving for safety’s sake.

  33. Andrea Hicks says

    Thank you so much for this! I have only been married 3 years so far, but being a pastor’s wife, I’ve seen a lot of marriages (good, bad, and ugly), and had to try and give good counsel a number of times already. I will definitely be using this in counseling. One thing you didn’t mention, though: When Jesus talks about the only grounds for divorce being infidelity, he also points out that this ‘loophole’ was only authorized by Moses because of the hardness of the people’s hearts. In other words, as God’s people we should learn to love like He loves, and show forgiveness to an unfaithful spouse. I realize this is desperately hard, but I’ve seen this lived out, and it is amazing to see the slow, but powerful healing in a broken relationship when a wife chooses not to give up on the husband who has failed her. Just a thought.

    • says

      Andrea,

      Yes, though infidelity is grounds for divorce, it certainly doesn’t mean that’s the option God encourages or tells us to take without a second thought.

      We’re to forgive 70 x 7 times – which in essence means *a lot* – not an exact number. Forgiveness goes a long way in healing any relationship. :)

      Thank you for pointing this out!

  34. Titus2Homemaker says

    I think, too, that we have perpetuated this notion in our culture that if you just marry the “right” person, things will be easy and happy and wonderful all the time, so when things get HARD, people think that’s abnormal and means they didn’t “pick right” and need to start over.

    We really need to work at being honest about the fact that marriage IS HARD. Sure, a good marriage will hopefully have some flat-out pleasant, enjoyable times. But even a good marriage has some times that are just HARD. That doesn’t mean something is “wrong”; it means you’re living real life.

    Sometimes it’s easier to give up than to keep on keeping on – in marriage, in parenting, in a whole lot of things – but that doesn’t make it right. (And I find it telling that most of the people who don’t think twice about walking out on a spouse they’ve committed to for life would never entertain the idea of walking out on their kids. Why not? They’re BOTH family. You don’t just “give up on” family because it’s hard or uncomfortable or doesn’t make you “happy” all the time.)

    Honestly, I find it something of a slap in the face, when I am working HARD at my marriage because I said I would be here for life so I’m going to be here for life, to watch friends and family just give up and quit because they’ve decided it’s “not easy.”

  35. Roz (Real Food Family) says

    Wonderful post! I wish our culture would realize how God intended marriage to be: an example of His love for us! His love includes sacrifice and selflessness…nothing selfish at all. We’re about to celebrate our 9th anniversary and I definitely feel like we just started! We have so much to learn still, and are so blessed to have God as the focus of our life together. Without the Lord, I’m sure we would be “over it” by now- giving up when times are tough or when we’ve because selfish. Divorce is not an option for us, though. It’s not even in our vocabulary- it simply WILL NOT be an option, ever.

  36. Heartbroken Minnesotan says

    I really liked this post. My husband has told me he is divorcing me. I am in such horrible pain from this. I am an alcoholic, and that part of our separation is mine to own. I can honestly say that had he been the one who is an alcoholic and relapsed after 3.5 years of sobriety I would not have left him. I could really use some prayers right now.

    • says

      I’m sorry about your husband’s decision. Remember the triangle illustration at the bottom of the article? The closer you each become to God, the closer you become to each other.

      Whether or not your husband is moving up his side of the triangle, a closer relationship with God will be good for you, your struggle with alcoholism, and your relationships – no matter the outcome.

      Praying for you both!

  37. Isabella says

    I read this article because life isn’t so sweet right now, I’m a little shocked that alcohol isn’t on the list of reasons for divorce, I think name calling, yelling, and bullying because your spouse had been drinking is a good reason to leave. I don’t deserve to be treated that way. The funny thing is everyone I talk to lately said alcohol is a problem in their marriage, or the reason they are no longer married. It’s hard to be close to someone that is always intoxicated and chooses alcohol over you.

    • Titus2Homemaker says

      I think the whole point of the post is that you’d THINK that situations like alcohol, or unfaithfulness, would be the most common reasons, but they really aren’t. Things like that really only make up a small percentage of the divorces in this country today. The most frequent reasons pretty much boil down to “we just don’t FEEL all lovey-dovey anymore.” Well, welcome to reality.

      I am really, really sorry you’re having to deal with that. :( Alcohol can definitely be ugly – and a whole different category than “we fell out of love.”

    • says

      The reasons on the list surprised me too. I would have definitely guessed unfaithfulness, abuse, or alcohol to be near the top – but I’m guessing those are the end results of the reasons listed.

      But, nothing is impossible with God. My own dad overcame alcoholism/drinking with God’s help and has been sober for over 30 years.

      I often think of a little picture I once saw with a caterpillar on a branch, “God’s not finished with me yet.”

  38. Lee Bush says

    Well done. The question is how do you get a good friend to understand these simple principles. They always want to do it their way with the same results. If only they’d “let go, and let God”, their world would change overnight. I counsel a friend and an always steering then toward God’s truth in all I tell therm. So win or lose, at least I can sleep well knowing my option, bias, dislike, etc wasn’t the curative cause of their failure or success. I simply give freely what I was given. The trick is not letting the life guard drown along with the person being rescued. There are heavy burdens to bear when aiding a friend (or my own marriage) who is being torn in two by a relationship not grounded in biblical principle. It always comes back to the bible. 2 Cor. 6:14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness. De. 22:10 Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.

    • says

      I understand all to well. It’s not easy to counsel a friend when your words fall on deaf ears.

      As my dad says, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

      And you’re so right. It always comes back to the Bible. It NEEDS to come back to the Bible.

      We can talk, share our opinions, our thoughts, our advice, and even be certified counselors – but that’s simply ‘man’s opinion’.

      If you bring it back to the Bible, and show them verses that are God’s words, not just ours, it would hopefully have more impact. You can’t argue with God.

      Well, you can – but it isn’t going to do you any good. :)

  39. SLNixon says

    Well I’ve been married much longer than 9.8 years- to be exact 26. And this is all good & grand advice & everything I would want my children to read & abide by before they even take the step of marriage.. .but you have to have both partners willing to participate AND a husband willing to work less than 80-90 hrs a week to trully make any if this a success.There’s my 2 cents worth after 26 yrs of a ‘sucessful’ marriage.

  40. will says

    I find a lack of empathy in this. It is written with ones own beliefs, and belittles the reasons for divorce. A lot of the reasons are generic mostly because the state provides a small line on a form. It really doesn’t play well in polite company when you write that you are filing for divorce because you are afraid you will kill your spouse in their sleep if you stay together.

    I am happily married for the short period of 6 years, but speak from the perspective of a child of divorce. I count myself lucky that my parents got divorced. I grew up with 3 loving parents, who all provided a safe and encouraging environment. If my bio parents had not divorced, I do not think I would have had even one for the majorityof my youth.

    Most people who divorce are not doing so lightly. Most have endured.a bad situation for years. I think by the time of divorce, it is insulting to say buck up, you can do it – they have tried.

    On the contrary, this is phenomenal advice for those considering marriage – they should know the pitfalls and have a better idea of what they can do to avoid this bad situation.

    • Titus2Homemaker says

      We all tend to have the bad habit of using our own experience to color our perceptions of why OTHER people do the things they do. If you’ve been close to a divorce situation where truly awful things were happening, it’s easy to project that onto others. But the statistics do NOT show that this is the case. I have a number of family members who are divorced. ONE of them was in an abusive situation. The others just got tired, bored, or decided they didn’t feel like doing the hard work anymore that marriage requires.

      We need to stop making excuses for those who are simply doing just that – making excuses. Our laws have made it easier to get out of a marriage we promised would be life-long than it is to get out of a lease on a car or a mortgage on a house. There’s something very, VERY wrong with that picture. But it’s hard to effectively address the truly ugly situations when we’re all bogged down in messes from people who simply decided they didn’t feel like putting forth an effort anymore..

      • carrie says

        Ok I get it. But the thing is I was married for 4 1/2 years and the first year there was two times my now ex-husband asked for a divorce. Then we would work through it and the following year he did it again. We worked it out then the following year he did it again. I had three kids and a husband that did not want to be a responsible adult. I put up with this fir as long as I could. But the thing of it was that after dealing with his wanting a divorce every six months really tore my heart out and I dispised him. I tried to muster up the strength to get over it But I just couldn’t. Then I realized. It was a form of abuse. So not every marriage can or should be saved. Maybe I am wrong in some people’s eyes but I feel no one deserves to be made to feel like that ever. Especially the person whom vowed to be by your side untill death do you part. Cause that is a very long time to feel like you are nothing.

  41. says

    Currently going through some trying times with my wife of 18 years. Truly believe with all of my heart that WE are meant to be together. I have acknowledged some areas where I can/need to improve in and will do my very best to show her as well. I self consciencely took her for granted and stop loving her like she deserved, wasn’t affectionate like I should have been. I don’t want to lose her because my world would be turned upside down. Great article!!

    • says

      Thank you for sharing!

      I think your biggest hurdle has been crossed – when you see the error of your ways (not saying it doesn’t go both ways), and are willing to change/improve so that your marriage can thrive.

      Here’s to 18 more years!

  42. Romina says

    What happens when there is abuse? I’m supposed to stay and take it. For years I tried some of your suggestions I also read one of the suggested books. We git proffessional help and yet we didnt make past nine. I for once had to put myself first since no one else was and took action to get my kids and I from a bad situation. So yes I am selfish for wanting a better life, good for you for making it this far in your marriage but not all marriages are alike and sometimes divorce saves lives.

    • says

      I’m sorry you had to be in a terrible situation like that.

      Please don’t hear me saying that if there’s abuse in a marriage, you can’t take yourself and your kids out of harms way. Separation is a viable answer to being safe while at the same time staying married and attempting to make things work.

      In the article I’m speaking to both husbands AND wives – not just one of you. It takes both spouses to make a failing marriage work – and a lot of times that healing can start by just one of you stopping in your tracks and taking the first step.

      My hope is to gently stop that person headed out the door and make them think again.

  43. Brian Thomas says

    It’s funny when I started reading this post the first word that I thought of was selfishness that’s exactly what you put well done

  44. says

    I am of the older generation. My husband and I have been married for 58 years. They have not all been happy. But we grew up in a generation that considered marriage a life-long proposition. We were hit with many of the things I’ve read about here, but we did not consider them fodder for the divorce mills. We lost a son to cancer, my husband was rendered a paraplegic at the age of 38. I discovered at around 50 that I had been seriously sexually abused for my first 16 years of life in a “happy, healthy Christian” family by a brother who insured my silence by dismembering a newborn kitten.
    But in all these years God has been part of us. He has held us in a circle of protection and led us to those who could help us heal. I pray for this generation who are pulled this way and that by the media and the ‘experts’ who have no foundation in truth but only ‘modern interpretation’ of mores.
    Donna Swanson, author of With Heart Divided.

  45. Anonymous says

    I despise articles like this, because long, long ago, before I married and had two kids with a psychopath, I was also judgmental like this. I figured those who divorced just didn’t try hard enough. They must have had one of those top ten reasons and gave up without a fight. I wonder who exactly is giving those top ten reasons? The general public, or churched Christians? BECAUSE of my commitment, my marriage lasted 8 years. Please don’t insinuate it ended after only 8 because I was selfish. You have no idea what life with a psychopath is like. I read another response above with similar sentiments. And I bet you are writing this article and have no idea the real reasons friends of yours divorced. And when you think like this, and act like this, they know you are judging them, which only makes them want to flee where they need to be the most…at church. Don’t get me wrong, I think these reasons are weak, and I know there is a divorce problem in society. But it is not so easy to see the truth through the glasses that you wear.
    I am a work at home, homeschooling mom of two middle schoolers and I’ve been separated/divorced for 7 years. My kids currently are taken by me, myself and I, to 6 different sports/activities each week, including church (on Sunday/Wednesday/Monday choir). Call me selfish. Go ahead.

  46. Megan says

    I stopped reading after the numerous assumptions that I, the woman of the family, is responsible for the laundry and all other homemaker responsibilities. Shame on you.

  47. anonymous says

    My husband of 13 years has been unfaithful twice and inappropriate several more times. Each time he blames it on alcohol or abusing prescription medication. After the last incident, I gave him 3 requirements for regaining my trust: treat me at least like a friend, no more alcohol and no more pornography. He agreed but hasn’t complied. He says I am trying to control him. When we married, he was a professing Christian but for the last 10 years he has told me he has no faith and doesn’t believe God really cares about people. (His dad committed suicide 10 years ago and we found him.) He has let that control his present situation ever since. He says we could be happy even if he isn’t the spiritual leader etc and even if he doesn’t believe anymore. We have been to a lot of counseling, individual and marriage. I have been there for him in ways that no body would ever think of and comforted and coddled him for 10 years. So…..recently I decided I just have to emotionally distance myself from him because I can’t handle being vulnerable and heartbroken all the time. I stopped hugging, kissing talking about anything important to me and he seems like he doesn’t understand why. I am just about at the end of my rope. We have 5 precious children 10 – 10 months old. What do I do?

    • says

      I’m so sorry your husband has lost sight of what’s important and that he’s treating you so hurtfully. :(

      From what you’ve described, it sounds like you’ve tried all you can to make your marriage work. Have you ever separated from him? Perhaps realizing that you aren’t willing to put up with anything more – and are willing to leave him if need be – will make him realize what he has to lose.

      I don’t like to encourage divorce, but when a spouse is unfaithful and shows no attempt to change, you do have grounds for it. I can’t imagine this is an easy decision to make – how could it be! – so please know that I’m praying for you and your little ones.

  48. Kathy says

    Good article, but it’s wrong in the beginning. We’ve been studying marriage for 12 years now and have been teaching marriage classes for 9 years and when one grasp the true meaning of marriage & covenant and they believe in God’s creation of it, they will never leave it or forsake it NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS in the marriage because marriage is not about them but all about Jesus Christ. They will either then stay in their true covenant marriage, or go back to the “bride of their youth” (their covenant marriage partner they’re still in covenant with), or stay single until death do them part and they can then marry again in the eyes of God.

    Marriage = An earthly picture or example of Jesus Christ in relationship with His church (us) promising to never leave or forsake it no matter what situation arises. NOTHING can break covenant with Him though we are unfaithful to Him everyday. The same is with His creation of marriage.

    When one lets Jesus Christ lead in their marriage, no matter what issue arises and they fold firm because of who He is and what He can do while waiting on Him to act, whether it be one day or 25 to 50 years, one never will leave or forsake the covenant because of what marriage is, as He created it to be just like Jesus Christ and His church in a relationship together. Forever.

    Anyone who thinks infidelity is an out in marriage is dead wrong and they need to read the words in this article below and then watch the videos below that. It’s pretty clear in the Word of God when one takes the time to study marriage. There’s no out in marriage. It’s forever in the eyes of God. Marriage is not a contract, it’s an unbreakable covenant until death.

    The article:

    http://www.marriagedivorce.com/Please-Pastors-Count-the-Cost.php

    The video:

    http://davidpawson.org/resources/resource/1187

    • says

      Hi Kathy,

      I don’t suggest infidelity is an ‘out’ as if the second your spouse is unfaithful to leave and hope for something better next time. I’m sorry if that’s the impression you had after reading this.

      I too believe that marriage is a replication of Christ and the church, and by all means I don’t encourage divorce. However, in Jesus’ own words, in Matthew 19:9 he says, “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”

      He states, ‘except for immorality’.

      As you can see from previous comments, this is a very touchy subject for many. I’m sharing my opinion and beliefs in this article, but I trust (and pray) that if I’m wrong, God would graciously show me and that I would yield to His truth.

  49. says

    I loved your analogy of turning off the movie right after the previews! I hope everyone will hear your heart in this and think twice before turning prematurely to divorce. I was really surprised that nothing about financial stress made the top 10 list, but maybe it is an underlying cause for many of those reasons you listed here.

  50. says

    Julia,

    I’m sorry you had a husband who treated you that way and that you had to endure years of hardship with him. Obviously he was a selfish man, who didn’t care who he hurt.

    I’m also sorry that my message was misconstrued.

    I’m guessing the part where it says ‘the majority of divorces occur due to selfishness on both parts’ made you see red. That’s why, perhaps, you didn’t see the sentence directly before it that plainly states: I believe there are biblical reasons for divorce – infidelity (which means cheating).

    I pray your hurting heart will heal and that your ex-husband realizes how lost he is without God.

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