Top 10 Reasons To Divorce (NOT!)

Mar 3 09:02 2009 Lee Baucom, Ph.D. Print This Article

The Top 10 justifications people use for wanting a divorce -- and the fallacy of each!  Learn THE TRUTH about these.

Divorce.  A big word and a big decision.  One that many take too
lightly.  After 2 decades working to stop divorces,Guest Posting I have heard
all the reasons people give -- really the justifications.  So here is
my Top 10 List!

10)  This just isn't fun anymore!

Reality Check:  "Fun" isn't really what it is about, is it?  There is
no promise that times will be fun.  In fact, I think the real
question is "what can you learn from these tough times?"

Did you ever think about quitting that "parenting gig" because it
wasn't fun?  OK, maybe in a fantasy, but not seriously.  Or how
about school?  Did you stick with it to get where you wanted to?

Marriage can be tough.  But for couples that actually work on
making their marriage better, the tough times fall away.  There
will always be tough spots, but couples learn to better manage
them -- if they focus on improving the relationship.

9)  He/She changed!

Reality Check:  Thank goodness!  We all change.  Sometimes,
the changes are more popular with those around us. 
Sometimes, we forget that we changed, too.  In fact, what we
really missed is that we change each other.  The fact that
change happened, that is part of the deal.  Talking about the
changes, good and bad, that is the sign of health and growth.

8)  That toothpast, toilet seat, (fill in the blank) drives me crazy!

Reality Check:  We all do things that drive others crazy. 
Marriage puts us into close proximity to those idiosyncracies --
and therefore much more into the "crazy zone."  But really, is
there no way around that?  How about 2 tubes of toothpaste? 
How about figuring out a way around those issues?  Are they
really that big?

Oh, and isn't it nice to be accepted for ourselves, crazy habits
and all?  It amazes me how often people want to be accepted,
but forget that the other person really wants to be accepted,
too!  Work to accept, rather than judge.

7)  We don't have anything in common.

Reality Check:  First, this can be changed.  Any two people
should be able to find SOMETHING in common.  We are really all
more alike than different.  So look for the commonalities, not the

Then, seek out some places of connection:  vacation
destinations (perhaps not your first choice, but still fun),
hobbies, food styles. . . maybe the kids???  Really, I am just
suggesting a shift in outlook, not necessarily a shift in anything
else.  I can either look for how my wife is different than me, or
how we have commonalities.  The choice is mine. . . if I choose

6)  Our finances are driving me crazy!

Reality Check:  The most commonly reported reason for marital
discord is money.  That is the symptom.  The real issue is power: 
who controls the money, what priorities get funded, etc.  Money
is merely a tool.  Use it to further life together.

Whenever power is an issue, the true connection of marriage
hasn't happened.  So, time to shift the focus back to connection
and away from money.

BIG Reality Check:  Think you are fighting about money now? 
You haven't seen anything, yet!  Divorces attorneys ask for a
retainer, usually $3 to $5K.  That, my friend, is a downpayment! 
Double that, since there are two attorneys involved.  Then
double or triple it.  The average divorce in America costs
$20,000.  Think you can do it for less? So have MANY others. 
Few succeed.

Oh, then you need to factor in the drop in your retirement to 1/2
of what it is.  Then factor in the cost of maintaining 2
households.  There is only one financial winner in a divorce:  the

5)  The kids shouldn't see us fighting!

Reality Check:  Agreed!  It is very unhealthy for children to grow
up in conflicted homes.  The constant stress creates a much
higher diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder, clinical depression,
and anxiety.  Quite a price to pay!

But there is that other option of working on your marriage and
making it a happy one!  You may be teaching your child an
important lesson:  you don't have to quit.  Sometimes, you can
work through tough times and come out better.

4)  It won't harm the kids!

Reality Check:  This one fails the research, big time!  At one
point, some research indicated that children are not affected by
divorce.  That research has been shown to be flawed.  No
serious research shows children unaffected.

Think about it, you are tearing away everything a child knows as
safety.  Even if it has been conflicted, the family is still where a
child finds security.  Their entire world is turned upside down by
divorce.  How could that NOT affect them?

Would they recover?  Sure, they will move forward.  But the
scars are permanent and lifelong.  Don't be fooled by those who
quote bad research to justify the whole divorce industry.

3)  We don't love each other!

Reality Check:  This usually means that the feelings of passion
and attraction are missing.  No surprise, since the majority of
marriages do not nurture the relationship.  If I quit exercising,
become sedentary for a few years, then look down and am
surprised to see little muscle and lots of fat, it would be wrong
to use that as proof to not exercise! It is just a reality I have
created by not taking care of myself.

The real answer is to get with a program of exercise.  In
marriage, it becomes about becoming intentional about
nurturing the relationship.  Will it be easy?  No.  Ever started an
exercise program after being sedentary?  Did you get sore?  Did
that mean you should stop?

The obvious answer is the soreness comes from the muscles not
being used to the exercise, and the real solution is to keep
exercising.  Now, I can't just jump in and run 20 miles after
doing nothing.  I have to build up.  Same in a relationship.  You
start slowly and build up. . . and the feelings will return!

2)  I didn't sign up for this!

Reality Check:  Likely, you did!  Remember this?:
"For richer or poorer"
"In good times and bad"
"In sickness and health"

Not much left there, is it?  Broke?  Covered.  Chronic or even
terminal illness?  Covered.  Lots of tough days, no fun, no
talking, lots of tension?  Covered.

So are the up times -- days of plenty, health and fun.  We get
too caught up in the negative times and lose our focus.  A
marriage vow is for life, and works when the relationship is
nurtured (notice a common theme here?).

1) (Fill in with your reason)!

Reality Check:  (Fill in with your own thoughts)

This is the most important to think about and evaluate, because
it is your's, the reason you are here.  Challenge yourself.  Think
about your reasons, and see if you have built it up into fiction.

Final Word:

There are so many reasons people list for "having to divorce." 
Most are fictional, just plain inaccurate.  They are reasons we
use to justify our decisions.  But there are two reasons I find

First, I do not think abusive relationships should be addressed
by the abused.  Abusive relationships are always about
imbalances in power.  But more than that, abuse usually
escalates and sometimes becomes life-threatening.  Safety
outweighs working on the marriage.

Second, I believe that people who are involved in several affairs
have a deeper issue that must be addressed before the
marriage is addressed.  In other words, if someone has had
multiple affairs, he or she is unwilling to live within the marriage
and the spouse must accept this reality, often by enforcing her
or his boundaries -- leaving the relationship.

Finally, if there is an addiction involved, this must first be
addressed before anything can be addressed within the
marriage.  Otherwise, it will be a practice in a) futility and b)
blame-shifting -- the issue centers on the marriage, not on the

Other than those issues, I believe that marriages can be saved,
divorce can be avoided.  Healing is possible and connection is
the result.

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Lee Baucom, Ph.D.
Lee Baucom, Ph.D.

Divorce CAN be avoided.  You CAN save your marriage!  Learn how at

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