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Divorce: The Factors of Marital Discord in Contemporary Society

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Words: 3151 |

Pages: 7|

16 min read

Published: May 17, 2022

Words: 3151|Pages: 7|16 min read

Published: May 17, 2022

A divorce is a formal ending of a marriage between married people. In our society today, most marriages do not succeed, and some end in disharmony and break and culminate into divorce. Generally, divorce is the outcome of the failure of marital adjustment between a husband and a wife. A divorce is more permanent than separation as it involves a legal process. What constitutes marriage and divorce varies widely. When you’re in the midst of a divorce, you may experience intense feelings of loneliness or that nobody understands what you’re going through. There are many factors involved which may lead to divorce. This essay will discuss some of the reasons or factors that are basically responsible for divorce in society. These include infidelity, money, constant arguing, addiction, incompatibility, young age, laziness, lack of communication, high expectations, abuse, lack of intimacy, and physical appearance.

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Infidelity is the act of being unfaithful to a spouse or other partner. It means engaging in sexual relations with a person other than one's significant other. Infidelity - also referred to as 'adultery' and commonly known as 'cheating' on one's partner - is near the top of the list of reasons for divorce among couples. It does not matter whether it is a wife or husband who is unfaithful, the repercussions can be devastating for the entire family. Various factors may lead to adultery such as lack of intimacy and communication as well as sexual dissatisfaction in marriage. Some cultural beliefs may also promote infidelity; for instance, after giving birth (during the postpartum period of sexual abstinence), a woman is expected to abstain from sexual intercourse for a specific period to recuperate. The disadvantage of this practice is that some men may become tempted and indulge in promiscuity, which is detrimental to the couple's relationship and marriage.

For some, infidelity is the main reason for divorce, and for others, infidelity is something that happens at the end of years of other problems, such as nasty conflicts, incompatibility, and substance abuse. Marital infidelity is one of the factors threatening family structure and consequently the most fundamental sense i.e the sense of belonging. It also raises the fear of rejection among individuals. Extra-marital affairs are responsible for the breakdown of most marriages that end in divorce. Sometimes, people who cheat do so simply for sex. Sometimes, it’s not about the relationship but just because the cheater doesn’t respect the marriage. Infidelity is one of the most distressing things you can experience in a romantic relationship.

The reality is infidelity fundamentally changes your marriage. It erodes trust and leads to a breakdown in communication. Sooner or later, infidelity usually catches up with you which is why it is one of the leading causes of divorce. Even if your marriage does survive, it will be fundamentally changed forever. You will end up admitting to being a cheater, or you’ll end up carrying around a fair amount of guilt (assuming you have a conscience) for years. People cheat for different reasons. Passion fades over time. The thrill with your spouse is gone, but the desire for thrills remains. Sometimes it has to do with anger and resentment over something a spouse is doing. Cheating may take place due to a lack of self-esteem. At other times, it may be something as simple as a difference in sexual appetite or a lack of intimacy that needs to be satisfied. Infidelity may also start as a casual relationship that evolves into an emotional affair, and then becomes a physical affair. That is often the case with people in work situations who spend large amounts of time together.

Money fights are the second leading cause of divorce analyzed in this essay. The way couples handle money is an indicator of a successful relationship. The inability to deal with money can lead to divorce. Financial considerations — wives’ economic independence and total household income — are not predictive of divorce in either cohort. Time use, however, is associated with divorce risk in both cohorts. For marriages formed after 1975, husbands’ lack of full-time employment is associated with a higher risk of divorce. Most couples make financial mistakes that ultimately lead to divorce in society. These mistakes include; first is managing money separately: the choice to keep money separate doesn’t lead to divorce on its own, but it can often lead to dishonesty about spending habits, income, or savings. A spouse may keep secret accounts if they find out that their partner’s spending habits are unsavory. According to a Policygenius survey, one in five people keeps and manages money separately from their partners. An even greater percentage (24%) don’t share any major financial accounts, including checking, savings, credit card, or mortgage account, while almost 30% of couples don’t even know each other’s salaries. Among couples who don’t manage money together, 20% say they plan to leave their partner due to financial problems, while only 4% of couples who manage money together told us they plan to leave due to their partner’s money issues. Rudder said. “If you agree to be together, there should be some sort of shared financial dream together.” The second is the lack of communication. A couple that doesn’t know where they stand financially, due to a lack of proper communication between them, will ultimately fail and this can lead to resentment and distrust. The Third is financial infidelity, this is a horrible betrayal and it’s almost as bad as physical cheating. Financial infidelity is often the result of small financial choices made without the other’s partner’s knowledge.

Addiction is often referred to as a family disease, due to the way it negatively impacts the addicted person’s loved one. This impact can be acutely felt within the landscape of a marriage. Addictions can range from alcohol to sex to work. Addictions hijack a partner's brain and can become one's top priority. And when it’s gone so far, the victimized spouse can say enough is enough and he/she gathers the courage to leave hence leading to a divorce. Alcohol and substance use are among the most common reasons that cause divorce in society. Some of the effects resulting from alcohol and drug abuse by a spouse are; destruction of trust, financial hardship, instability, disruption of intimacy, both at an emotional and physical level, increased rates of domestic violence and aggression, and increased rates of childhood abuse and neglect. When you think of addictions, you probably think of drug or alcohol abuse. But addictions come in many forms. All of them can threaten the very survival of a couple staying together. When couples grow apart, they may turn to other addictions such as gambling, pornography, uncontrollable spending, or infidelity. An addiction can take control of a spouse’s life and put them in danger of losing their jobs, friends, and marriage. When addiction is present in a marriage, it will cause a spouse to lie, cheat, steal, or otherwise betray the foundational trust that a marriage is built upon. It’s no wonder that addiction is one of the most common causes of divorce.

When couples are not aligned on the big things in life, like religion, core values, where they want to live, and how they want to live, friction is bound to happen. Incompatibility isn't easy to deal with especially if one spouse has significantly changed over the course of time. Incompatibility in marriage wrecks the mental peace of both partners. It makes day-to-day relationships boring and uninteresting, and this may often lead to divorce. When you got married, you were sure your spouse was the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with. But truth is, people, grow up. You both take on new challenges. Habits and interests change. Your careers move forward. You become parents. Perhaps you both modify your political and religious views. Local and world events impact your way of thinking. Tragedies affect you. Your circle of friends breaks up. New people enter your life, and you like them, but your spouse may not. Change is inevitable. Change is necessary. And in many cases, change is healthy. Like it or not, if you have been married for any amount of time, the person you are now is not the person you were back then. The same goes for your spouse. In a healthy marriage, change is welcomed. It is celebrated. But in other marriages, change means growing apart. You no longer share the same vision for your day-to-day living or your future. You no longer share the same passions that you once did. Your circle of friends changes. More often than not, you do “your thing,” and your spouse will go off and do “their thing.” It’s unfortunate. But it happens more often than you might like to think. That lack of compatibility often leads to lots of arguments. Things that used to roll off your back don’t any longer. You are constantly unhappy. You go from having great expectations to just seeking a way out. And in some cases, distancing yourself from your partner may also lead to acts of infidelity as you try to replace what you’ve lost in your marriage. When people from quite dissimilar backgrounds (different religions, caste, class, culture, educational status, ethnic group, etc.) marry, the necessary adjustments in role expectations are more difficult and divorce is more likely.

Marriage done at a very young age increases the likelihood of divorce, especially in the early years of marriage. Higher divorce rates in society are mostly among those who marry in their teens. Couples who marry between the ages of 18 and 35 are most likely to divorce. Among 25- to 29-year-olds, the rate of divorce is more than twice as high as among people in older age groups. But those who delay their marriage until 20’s are probably more mature and able to make better marriage decisions and handle the challenges of married life better than those who marry in their teens. One big reason couples cite for getting a divorce is not being fully prepared for what marriage is all about. Marrying too young can cause divorce for many reasons: Couples who get married at an early age are more likely to face more money issues because their careers are not established yet. In some cases, they have not matured and do not understand how to communicate effectively. Without experience to guide them, a lack of maturity will often overtake a calmer approach to marital problems. Young marriage problems can be further aggravated when a couple decides to have children at an early age as well. The amount of energy, effort and financial resources required to engage in parenting can challenge a couple at any age. But when parents are still children themselves in some ways, the burdens of being a parent are overwhelming. Getting married later in life means you have experienced more of what life is about. You tend to draw on more experiences and have a better understanding of how to deal with hardship. You have also been living on your own for a more extended period, so you better know what is required to meet the demands of living day-to-day. If you have been financially prudent and saved for those inevitable rainy days that are sure to come, you’re in a better position to calmly react to setbacks, instead of lashing out and undermining your marriage.

Pure and simple, people don't know how to talk to each other and they know even less about listening. The most important conversations people have are with a spouse yet they put so little effort into wisely expressing their feelings and openly listening to their spouse. It is also common for spouses to want to avoid conversations they fear will cause them or their spouse pain. If you can't communicate, you can't solve marital problems. The easiest way to build trust in a marital relationship is via open and honest communication skills. If talking and listening don't become a habit there is no hope. Communication involves talking about bad things and coming together to develop a plan of action for solving marital problems. Marital problems can’t be solved without a willingness to communicate. You’ll end up with unresolved problems, an unfulfilling marriage, and questioning whether “that’s all there is” to marriage. Poor or no communication will lead to growing apart, it will also impact your children because you aren’t setting a good example for them. If you aren’t able to communicate about the good and bad in your marriage, there is no way to feel fully secure in the marriage. When you are no longer able to communicate with your spouse constructively, your marriage may be in deep trouble. Communication can be an early casualty when you get so wrapped up in all the layers of your life. Kids, your job, activities, family relations, your mental health, your standing in the community, and more can suck the time out of your day and the life out of your relationship with your spouse. Sometimes, you go on autopilot and make assumptions when it comes to communication. That’s just as dangerous. You are setting yourself for a ton of resentment, frustration, anger, and more that will spill over into all parts of your married life.

If there is a pattern of domestic abuse in a marriage, that’s certainly a valid reason to walk away from your marriage. Many people think that abuse is only physical, but emotional and financial abuse are also quite common. Yelling, neglect, constant displays of anger, withholding money, vulgar comments, and other negative displays can be just as damaging. Abuse is not just directed at a spouse, either. Children, grandparents, brothers and sisters, friends, or other people who live in the same home for any reason can be targets of abuse as well. Threats to their well-being are just as concerning as any threats to a spouse. In some cases, a marriage may just be going through a rough patch (as many marriages do), and any abuse may be out of character. In some cases, domestic violence may be coupled with external issues such as substance abuse, the loss of a job, or the death of a close friend or family member. In these cases, a person may be emotionally wounded and can be helped to heal over time. However, in cases where abuse is physical and ongoing, especially when children are involved, being together can be dangerous. Getting away should be an immediate priority.

Over time, marriages become less about physical contact and more about a transition to a deeper and more spiritual kind of love. That’s normal. Sex is still an essential part of every marriage at every step of the way, but intimacy is also much more than just sex. Newsweek magazine estimates that 15 to 20 percent of couples are in a sexless relationship. Studies show that 10% or less of the married population below 50 have not had sex in the past year. Also, less than 20% report having sex a few times per year, or even monthly, under age 40. However, it doesn’t mean that intimacy should disappear from marriage even when the physical side becomes less frequent. When these small acts of intimacy go away, each partner may feel rejected. That can lead to a downward spiral in the overall quality of a relationship. Over time, this can blossom into intense feelings of feeling unloved and unappreciated.

Growing apart in your marriage due to changes in you or your spouse’s physical appearance may sound shallow, superficial, and unfair. But it is a real reason why marriages end. Men and women want attractive spouses, and when one or the other gains a significant amount of weight, it can be a real turn-off. Conversely, when one spouse loses a lot of weight, it can also have dramatic changes in a relationship. A spouse can become more attractive to others, perhaps for the first time in their lives. These changes in physical appearance can impact your level of intimacy, self-esteem, and many other parts of your life, including your health. That can also create a separate set of challenges for marriage, as well.

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In conclusion, for many centuries, marriage was regarded as virtually indissoluble in many societies, and divorces were granted only in limited cases in extraordinary circumstances. But now almost all societies have made some provisions for divorce in certain situations. Today, marriage is less often seen as a sacred spiritual union, but more as a personal and practical commitment which can be broken if it fails. The trend is towards making marriage consensual. Attitude to divorce is changing rapidly. It is no longer treated as an unpardonable sin. Even a few years ago, there was more of a stigma attached to divorce. Now, it has become a more practical option for marital discord. It is believed to relieve married partners and their children from stress.

References

  1. Messripour, S., Etemadi, O., Ahmadi, S. A., & Jazayeri, R. (2016). Analysis of the reasons for infidelity in women with extra-marital relationships: A qualitative study. Modern Applied Science, 10(5), 151-162.
  2. Killewald, A. (2016). Money, work, and marital stability: Assessing change in the gendered determinants of divorce. American Sociological Review, 81(4), 696-719.
  3. Mohlatlole, N. E., Sithole, S., & Shirindi, M. L. (2018). Factors contributing to divorce among young couples in Lebowakgomo. Social Work, 54(2), 256-274.
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Divorce: The Factors Of Marital Discord in Contemporary Society. (2022, May 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 28, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/marital-discord-divorce-in-the-society/
“Divorce: The Factors Of Marital Discord in Contemporary Society.” GradesFixer, 17 May 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/marital-discord-divorce-in-the-society/
Divorce: The Factors Of Marital Discord in Contemporary Society. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/marital-discord-divorce-in-the-society/> [Accessed 28 May 2024].
Divorce: The Factors Of Marital Discord in Contemporary Society [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 17 [cited 2024 May 28]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/marital-discord-divorce-in-the-society/
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