Even the best marriages face challenges from time to time. Simple circumstances can spiral out of control and cause friction in an otherwise happy home. Here are seven basic situations that can quickly overcome a marriage and end in divorce:
Uprooting your family and moving to a new city can seem like a dream come true. But the reality is moving can often become a nightmare. The stress of starting over somewhere new, dealing with a new school, different job, or lack of support from friends and family can cause a lot of stress. Moving is surprisingly high on the list of events that precipitate divorce. So take an inventory of your life before and after your big relocation. Make sure the ones you love are happy and feel cared and provided for.
Trouble with in-laws can be a death sentence to a marriage. Most families have some strife with extended family, but two things can bring those distance situations closer to home: in-laws having too much say or being too involved in the marriage, and in-laws moving into the marital home. Both situations bring outside influence and opinions into what should be a tight-knit group; raising stress and often causing spouses to choose sides.
Loss of a job can be devastating for the mind, body and soul. It's also incredibly hard on a marriage that relies on that income to survive. Prolonged unemployment creates emotional turmoil that can be difficult to navigate in a marriage. Accusations of laziness or unwillingness to do what's necessary can reinforce the walls that have grown between partners.
4. New job
By the same token, getting a new job with a different set of expectations, schedule or other change to the typical routine can interrupt the normal flow of your household. A stay-at-home parent who now goes to work needs everyone to balance and readjust around their work. Switching shifts from day to night requires a huge adjustment. Going into a field that is dangerous, secretive or stressful puts a strain on the whole family.
5. New baby
A new baby is a joyous and stressful time. Adding another member to an already full family comes with its own challenges. But increased financial, emotional and physical responsibilities at any stage in a family journey take a lot of patience and understanding. Take into account whether or not the child was planned and failing to meet the expectations of the other parent; it could be a recipe for disaster.
Social media is a modern marvel. But unfortunately it creates a direct portal to our past, and the world has a front row seat to the action. Now old flames and new friends can get in direct contact with spouses both in plain sight and behind their mates' backs. This can cause immense friction and create suspicion in an otherwise happy marriage. Just remember, anything posted online or on your phone can now be used against you in a court of law; and in a divorce case.
Drugs, alcohol and sex are of course going to cause major problems in a marriage. But what about gaming? Shopping? Gambling? Or sports? Addictive behavior can come in all forms. And just because a habit seems non-threatening or even healthy doesn't mean the manner in which it's engaged in is. Addictive behavior, even smoking, can put enormous strain on a marriage. And when one partner is ready to quit, if the other is holding tight, the couple may be in the fast lane to divorce.
The common denominator in these basic situations that can lead to divorce is stress. As stress increases communication, empathy and cooperation often decrease. Keeping a marriage healthy and strong through these trials requires effort on all parts. Don't let these facts of life sneak up on your home and take your marriage by surprise.