Divorce is one of the main problems that have penetrated today’s society and has negative effects on societies economically, socially and psychologically especially for the parties involved. Economically, parties involved in divorce litigation which has financial implications and may ultimately cost the wealthier couples more when they have to divide their property. Socially, a person may be viewed as a failure especially if they go through more than one divorce. This may have psychological effects on such persons as they go through criticism and the pain of divorce. Additionally, where children are involved, they may suffer psychological toll after the divorce. Children may also exacerbate divorce legal battles as parents seek custody and this may result in the children choosing sides in certain cases. This can be psychologically tumultuous for the children and cause strain between parents. This can result in emotional, psychological and legal battles. Although in most cases women are given custody of children, there are instances where men are awarded custodial rights. This can cause devastation for the women and divorce can be even more complicated in same sex families.
Divorce has suddenly become a very important issue that needs to be urgently addressed because of the frequency with which divorce cases are occurring. The fact that divorce negatively affects children also makes it important for society to prevent it. According to statistics from the
U.S. Census Bureau, one in every two marriages end up in divorce (McCurley & McCurley 1). In the United States, the estimates of first marriages that end up in separation of divorce range between 40-50%. This estimate grows even larger to stand at 60% for second marriages (Hawkins & Fackrell 42). The past five decades have seen an escalation of divorce as compared to the 1970s and 1980s.
Regardless of the soaring rates of divorce, the importance of marriage cannot be overlooked especially considering that it has been attributed to increasing couple’s lifespan. McCurley & McCurley states that “married people live longer, suffer fewer health ailments, have higher net worth and are sexier than single people” (1). The need to stay married is not only for purposes of safeguarding the welfare of children in the picture but also enhancing the overall well-being of the couples involved. This makes it imperative for any forward-thinking society to foster lasting solutions that deal with divorce related concerns.
Professional help through marriage counseling is considered one of the plausible solutions that couples can take in a bid to salvage their marriage. During marriage counseling, the counselors usually assist the parties involved to explore the main causes of their problems and possible solutions to them. Marriage counselors often use their knowledge and understanding of human behavior and psychology to help couples resolve their problems and sustain their marriage. Through counseling, couples are given a platform for interacting with a neutral third party, in this case the counselor, who not only points out their individual weaknesses and wrongdoings, but also helps each one see the best in the other.
Any relationship and marriage in particular is a union between two people who mutually consented to being together. This makes it pertinent for these two parties to come up with effective solutions when their relationship or marriage encounters challenges. In most cases, problems arise when the couple stops communicating and spend more time with other people or pursuing parallel goals. This makes it essential for the couple to come up with tailored solutions that are fit for resuscitating their partnership. . It is therefore logical to say, “Your relationship will improve when you stop working at changing your mate and warmly allow your mate to be whoever they are” (McDonald & Jackson, 15). Couples can thus keep their marriage intact by accepting their partners as they are and working together.
While lack of commitment is one of the reasons why about 73% of couples divorce, sexual infidelity tops the list as the commonest cause for divorce (Hawkins & Fackrell 44). Lack of commitment may arise when couples ignore gaping problems in their union because of other commitments that consume their time and energy. Additionally, some couples tend to encounter this problem because they push aside the contentious issues in their marriage. Ultimately, failure to communicate stalls a relationship and reduces commitment between the parties. By working out their issues, couples can use communication as an important tool in resolving their differences (Amato & Previti 605).
In the face of a turbulent relationship, women will often be seen to be more vocal than the men because by nature, they observe their relationships more keenly (Amato & Previti 605). Men, on the other hand, often withdraw from conversation and avoid discussing the concerns in their relationships. This culminates into women initiating divorce procedures against them. On the other hand, males tend to withdraw from discussions concerning relationships, and the more reason why women initiate divorce. Open communication is therefore the best way for working through marriage problems and avoiding divorce. Even though consulting with third parties such as marriage counselors may offer viable solutions, the longer lasting solutions are those that are initiated by the couple after intimate discussions and mutual agreements. Third parties may also not receive support from both couples and hence their solutions may not be viable in every marriage.
Lack of communication between married couples is viewed as extremely dangerous as it creates loopholes for other factors such as infidelity, which may lead to divorce. Infidelity being the number one cause for divorce is perceived differently by the sexes. Whereas women feel that emotional infidelity is wrong, men perceive sexual infidelity as negative. According to research, 71% of unfaithful men and 49% of unfaithful women state that infidelity arises as a result of ineffective communication concerning sexual needs between couples (Norhtrup et al).
In order to avoid divorce, couples must endeavor to work things out by committing to each other and communicating openly about their concerns in the relationship. Research shows that most divorcees wished they would have resolved their differences and avoided divorce. Even though infidelity is a major cause for divorce, lack of commitment is the main reason why couples fail to resolve their differences. Despite the importance of marriage counselling in helping couples resolve their problems, a marriage can only be saved when the couple involved decides to communicate and work through their differences together.
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Amato, Paul, R & Previti, Denise. “People’s Reasons for Divorcing: Gender, Social Class, the Life Course and Adjustment.” Journal of Family Issues, 24.5 (2003):602-626
Hawkins, Alan, J. & Fackrell, Tamara, A. Should I Keep Trying to Work It Out? Utah: Utah Commission on Marriage, 2009. Web. 19 October 2013
McCurley, Mike & McCurley, Mary Jo. Divorce: Prevention Survival & Recovery. n.d. Web. 19 October 2013
McDonald, Homer & Jackson, Dean. Stop Your Divorce. Florida: New Information Inc, 2011. Web. 19 October 2013
Northrup, Chrisanna et al. The Normal Bar. Harmony, 2013. In Huffington Post. “Why People Cheat: ‘The Normal Bar’ Reveals Infidelity Causes.” The Huffington Post, 2013 January 22. Web. 19 October 2013. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/why-people-cheat_n_2483371.html