Why Get Divorced… When You Can Stay Married?
We justify the items we purchase, the foods we eat, the career we choose, the cars we drive as well as the place and home in which we live.
We also justify friendships and relationships. Marriage is no different. We justify who we marry.
“Should I stay married?”
“Should I get a divorce?”
First marriages have become expendable much like first homes and first cars.
There are a few reasons I have observed why couples get divorced.
- Kids and Parenting Differences
- “We are getting divorced for the kids.”
- Many couples divorce to “protect” their kids from seeing them argue and fight all the time, as the marriage has become toxic.
- They may divorce due the inability to have kids.
- They may also divorce due to the death of a child or having a child with special needs.
- One may want children and the other does not.
- The challenges and stressors of adoption can also cause divorce.
- Values and Beliefs
- Religious, social and political differences may also end a marriage.
- Each individual may have different values and believes they brought into the marriage, or they may have changed over time.
- Spiritual, religious, social interest, political preferences and opinions may have changed and have become divisive.
- Poor Communication
- “We just don’t know how to talk to each other anymore.”
- The couple may have grown further apart.
- Communication has become difficult or has stopped all together.
- If the couple has been able to communicate, it was more than likely about the kids, paying the bills or the days events‑much like a business meeting.
- They may no longer feel they have the time or energy to invest in themselves or each other.
- “My Spouse Has Changed”
- “I deserve to be happy and someone else will make me happy.”
- “Someone else will make me happy.”
- Many may feel that their spouse is not the same person they married.
- Their spouse has changed too much, and they do not know who they are.
- This can also include physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual neglects, abuses or traumas.
- “They cheated on me and have been lying to me.”
- Social media, busy schedules, long hours at work with opposite sex coworkers, pornography, dating sights and services may have made infidelity one of the biggest reasons couples divorce after a physical or emotional affair.
- “I cannot not trust my spouse anymore.”
- “They lie to me about the smallest things.”
- We live in a culture full of addictions.
- Some addictions (such as drugs, sex or too much alcohol) are more socially acceptable than others (food, coffee, social media, gossip, or anger).
- Addictions create distrust.
- Falling Out of Love
- “I can’t imagine life with them one more day.”
- “We just do not love each other anymore.”
- “I do not even remember why I married you.”
- “I knew I should have listened to my mother!”
- The amount of money spent, saved or invested can make a difference in marriage.
- “I cannot trust them with money.”
- “They are a spender, and I am the saver.”
- “They never stay within budget.”
- Family and In-Laws
- Crack Pots.
- “My in-laws are crazy!”
- “They always talk bad about me behind my back.”
- “Blood is thicker than water.”
- “They will always take my spouse’s side.”
- Unfulfilling Sex Life
- A marriage sex life can become worse than ever.
- “I am not attracted to my spouse anymore.”
- “They just do not do it for me anymore.”
- “I would rather view pornography.”
- “I have had better.”
- Kids and Parenting Similarities
- “We are staying together for the kids.”
- Many couples stay together to model how to work out their problems together rather than “running away.”
- “Just because things get difficult does not mean that we quit.”
- “If our children can see us argue, they can see us forgive each other and make up.”
- Values and Beliefs
- Religious, social and political similarities can keep couples together.
- “We got married because we have the same values and beliefs and want instill them to our children.”
- Poor Communication
- “I love my spouse…even more.”
- Some couples choose to grow closer together.
- “Good communication takes a lot of work.”
- “We are learning how to listen twice as much as we speak.”
- “We are learning how to validate each other even if we disagree.”
- Validating each other is not about winning or losing…its about validating.
- “I Have Changed”
- Change is constant.
- Not only may your spouse have changed, but YOU may have changed also…emotionally, spiritually, relationally and probably physically.
- Change is not a bad thing. It takes work to be able to keep up with it.
- “Regardless that we both have changed, we deserve to be happy and fight for each other.”
- “They cheated on me and have begun to be honest with me.”
- Recovery from infidelity is difficult work.
- Couples who choose to be honest with each other and take responsibility for themselves can have the marriage they have always wanted.
- Infidelity can be a gift that can destroy a marriage, but it can also be a gift that can transform a marriage.
- “We love each other more than ever.”
- Trust may have been caused by addictions.
- Recovery is not only for the addict, but it is also for the spouse.
- Most addicts are married to a spouse who is codependent.
- “My spouse’s addiction was a gift that opened by eyes to my codependency.”
- “We have more trust in our marriage than ever before.”
- Staying in Love
- “I can’t imagine life without them.”
- “I remember when we fell in love and why we got married.”
- “Sure, we have had some hard times in the past, but we are hopeful for our future.”
- “Each day is better than the last.”
- If you have similarities about the amount of money spent, saved or invested, it can make a difference in marriage.
- “We do not want to pay for two households.”
- “We agree more than we disagree regarding our money.”
- “Therapy is cheaper than divorce.”
- “Therapy and recovery was an investment in our marriage and our legacy.”
- “We do not want to give up our lifestyle.”
- “I have spent more money on the maintenance of my car engine’s over 20 years than on the engine of my marriage…and I wonder why my marriage is on the roadside?”
- Family and In-Laws
- You may have struck the jack pot.
- “I get along better with my in-laws than I do with my own parents.”
- “I do not always agree with my in-laws, but my spouse and I are learning how to set boundaries with them.”
- “They are not perfect. But my spouse loves them, and I love my spouse.”
- Fulfilling Sex Life
- A couple’s sex life may be better than ever.
- Statistically, married couples have sex more often and are more satisfied than their divorced or single counterparts.
- “Since we have been working on issues of communicating, dating, encouraging and appreciating each other outside the bedroom, sex in the bedroom has greatly improved.”
- “We learned how to do sex right.”
- “Sex is better than I could have imagined with anyone else.”
It is ironic that people get divorced for the same reasons… they stay married.
However, I have observed most often people choose what looks like the path of least resistance.
Now, I am not saying it is easy or without pain‑right, wrong or indifferent‑I am saying couples justify which road to take.
Where do you go from here?
What direction are going to take and why?
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.