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Will You Be Divorced in 10 Years?

Will You Be Divorced in 10 Years?It’s safe to say every relationship starts off great with the honeymoon phase, where your partner can do no wrong and every flaw is viewed as “cute”. The same goes for marriage, although it may not be as pronounced. But does it stay that way? Obviously in many cases the answer is no, but there are some surprises. We often see couples and think “Wow, they are so happy together,” only to find out sometime later that they broke up or got divorced. What happens to these couples? How can a good marriage turn bad and what can you do to prevent such a situation from happening?

A recent study took an in-depth look at 136 married couples, who all claimed they were happy in the first 4 years of their marriage. Over the next 10 years they checked in on the couples, asking specific questions to each spouse as well as asking them to rate specific areas highlighting their marriage satisfaction, level of commitment, personality traits, stress levels, and how supportive they were with their partners. The results will not surprise you.

Can You Hear Me Now?

The most common factor in couples who went on to get divorced over the next 10 years were shown to be poor communicators. The couples who got divorced started out on the same level of satisfaction as those who eventually would stay married, but they did differ in a few key areas. Support and communication were two of the main factors in couples who eventually got divorced. Among the individual factors of communication between the couples who got divorced, the type of communication that was often displayed tended to use blame and invalidation between spouses. Spouses were viewed to discourage the expression of feelings of the other spouse.  Husbands, specifically, that displayed more aggressive verbal behavior early on were also shown to be a factor in the divorce later down the road.

Early Behaviors and Their Influence

Even though this study only followed 136 couples, the evidence that was shown throughout can provide sharp insight into the behaviors that make both successful and unsuccessful marriages. The type of communication and potential issues at the outset of a marriage were shown to play a key factor later on in determining whether or not couples would stay together. An interesting piece of evidence that should be an alarm to some couples is that these serious personal issues can be present in marriages while couples still maintain a satisfactory view of their relationship. Proving that a view from an outside perspective can sometimes be more insightful.

Understandably, there are many factors that contribute to the success of a marriage. The fact is, every marriage, no matter how successful, will have issues. The handling of each spouse’s personal traits and how they mesh together will dictate on how well the couples will keep open communication with each other. Being able to address concerns and work through them can play a pivotal role in the continuing success of a marriage. Many couples are unprepared for the amount of work a successful marriage takes; they believe the game is over once they tie the knot. As the study above shows, the mindset and emotional traits that surface in the beginning, even when couples state there are “happy,” can eventually dictate whether or not they will make it to “ever after” or ending up filing for divorce.

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