Doing Life Together

car-1149997_1280Some things we do are completely predictable when it comes to divorce-having affairs, being abusive, struggling with an addiction, etc. But a family law firm, McKinley Irvin,  put together a list that might not be so obvious. After listening to the stories of people going through divorce, here are a few things that might surprise you.

How did you begin your marriage? Did you have a big wedding? Did you feel pressured to spend and make it an event that everyone will talk about for years or light up Instagram? Well, the law firm found that spending big on a wedding can be a predictor of divorce. Those who spent over 20,000 on a wedding were more likely to divorce than those who held back the costs. Since the average cost of a wedding these days in $25,500, this means that a lot of people are beginning married life in debt. And that is the connection—starting out a marriage with financial stress. Add to this, college debt that many couples bring to marriage and you have financial pressures that stress the relationship.

The fix: Watch your wedding costs and be sensible. Yes, weddings are hopefully a once in a lifetime event, but you don’t need to compete with social media for the most incredible wedding ever. Consider your finances and throw a wedding within your budget.

Here is one that took me aback. This was based on a 2010 study that found that couples were more likely to stay together when they had boys rather than girls. Moms with daughters were more prone to leave a marriage when the relationship was going downhill. The women in the study said they wanting to set a good example for their daughters by not staying in a bad relationship. Staying meant they could damage their daughters.

The fix: Show your daughters how a strong woman works through difficult marital problems regardless of gender. And if there is abuse, both genders need protection.

Another predictor of divorce you may not think about has to do with commuter time. The lawyers found that a commute longer than 45 minutes puts you at risk for divorce. Long commutes create stressed and cranky people. When you deal with traffic and long rides, you don’t enter the household in the best mood! Traffic can get those stress hormones going and you are not a happy traveler.

The fix: Take public transportation and listen to calming music, podcasts, and uplifting media to put you in a great state of mind. Carpool and enjoy the company of others (choose your carpool friends carefully or this can add stress). And if you are in traffic, listen to podcasts and accept the reality that this is a cost of a great job! Change your thinking, change your mood.

Now, I realize that none of the above will cause a marriage to break up. The lawyers were simply trying to point out that stress comes in all types of ways that can put pressure on a marriage if not handled well. So be aware of all the areas in your relationship that can stress you as a couple and take care of business.



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