6 Bad Habits That Lead Even ‘Perfect Couples’ To Divorce
Most western countries claim a startlingly high divorce rate of around 50%, which is a worrying statistic for newlyweds and long-married couples alike. Australians, it seems, are a little less prone to this phenomenon than other nations, with around one in three Australian marriages ending in divorce. In fact, our divorce rate has been slowly but steadily lowering in recent decades. Despite this, its important for all married couples to understand some bad habits that can lead even the most ‘perfect’ couples to divorce. While some are more serious than others, each of these habits can make or break a marriage, if not addressed.
1. Talking badly about your spouse behind their back
We all like to have a good whinge about our partners to our friends or family every now and again, don’t we? Despite how common this habit is, it can be really destructive for a marriage – especially if word gets back to your spouse about it. Whether or not you’re discreet about your venting, talking badly about your partner to others can be harmful, as it can lead to an increase in feelings of resentment and eventually drive a wedge between married couples. Whilst it’s healthy to open up to friends, family or even a counsellor about your marriage, it’s not helpful to let things devolve into speaking badly about your partner. Keep an eye on your own behaviour and make sure you’re not falling into this trap without realising it.
2. Not taking a break
When we say ‘take a break’, we don’t mean from the responsibilities of your marriage, but rather, a break from each other. That’s right: Taking a break from your partner can help your marriage! No matter how healthy your marriage, or how well you get along, it’s important for each partner in a marriage to feel as though they have their own space sometimes. Doing things that are interesting or important to you, or that help you recharge, can help to give you a feeling of capability, independence and sometimes much-needed decompression. Rather than drive two partners apart, time apart can actually help a marriage because it leaves each spouse feeling happier and more fulfilled. Of course, the key to developing the good habit of taking time apart is to do so in a healthy and communicative way.
3. Never fighting
Since when is fighting a good thing? Despite how good it sounds to be in a marriage where you never fight, having disagreements is a part of any relationship. It’s a simple fact that by putting two people in close quarters for any amount of time is going to lead to certain differences of opinion. After all, you each have your own mind, your own set of priorities and your own opinions about what’s important in life. No matter how closely your values align, you will face disagreements at some stage in your relationship. A total absence of ‘fights’ is a sign that things aren’t being addressed properly in your relationship and can lead to building resentment and an eventual boiling over of tempers. The key to disagreements in a relationship is dealing with them in a healthy way. If you and your spouse have difficulty doing this, it could be helpful to see a counsellor for some relationship counselling. Your counsellor can teach you how to address your differences in a healthy way.
4. Putting on a brave face
‘Keeping calm and carrying on’ can be one of the most destructive habits in a marriage and can eventually lead to divorce. Putting on a good face all the time signifies, just like not fighting does, that you’re not properly dealing with your issues. Whilst it’s important not to have big rows in front of your family, friends and kids, that doesn’t mean always acting as though things are perfect. Sometimes, admitting that you’re not feeling great about things can be incredibly important for maintaining a happy marriage. The most important thing is to be sure that your spouse knows how you’re feeling and doesn’t have to find out about it from someone else. Open communication, as always, is the key!
5. Getting some sleep on it…for too long
The old adage ‘you should never go to bed angry’ is a cliché for a reason and suggests that we should address issues with our spouse before things fester and become even worse. Getting some sleep to gain perspective in a difficult work or social situation can be helpful in certain situations and can even help to cool down a difficult situation with your spouse. However, cracks can begin to appear if this technique is used as an excuse to not address your issues. It can be very tempting to wake up the next morning, and the next, and the next, and try to forget the issue altogether. But, if there’s one thing that’s true about issues within a marriage, it’s that they don’t just go away over time. Don’t let your difficulties fester without paying them the proper attention. This bad habit can be the silent killer of even the most ‘perfect’ marriages and can lead to divorce if not nipped in the bud.
6. Forgetting to have perspective
Whether you’ve been married for a month, a year, or 30 years, it can be easy to forget your perspective when it comes to how you feel about your spouse. Ever heard the saying ‘it’s hard to see the forest for the trees’? This can be applied to your marriage, to how you feel about each other, and how you deal with issues that arise. Living with someone day in and day out can make it hard to remain objective and rational about problems that arise. From having fights over small issues because you’re both stressed and tired, to making a habit out of assuming the worst about your spouse – forgetting to keep perspective can be damaging for even the strongest of marriages. It’s critical to remember what’s important to you and remember that you’re in this together! Try putting yourself in your partner’s shoes the next time they do something to ruffle your feathers. You might just find that your perspective has become a little skewed.
It’s no secret that marriage is tough! No matter how ‘perfect’ a couple’s marriage might seem, these 6 seemingly subtle habits can lead to divorce, over time. Remember to keep yourself in check, understand where your feelings are coming from and, most importantly, keep the lines of communication open. If you’re struggling in your own marriage, seeing a relationship counsellor can make the world of difference. Find out more about our relationship counselling service and how it could help you, today.