Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Why marriages end

Divorce is very common nowadays , ever since it became socially acceptable and ever since women were able to support themselves.

When we hear that someone we know is getting a divorce, specially if they are celebrities, our first reaction is to ask: “what happened”? Well, marriages have many enemies. A lot of factors can break a marriage.

I am compiling a list of these factors. If you can think of others, please comment:

1) One becomes a lot more successful than the other, especially when there is competition between the couple. In happy couples, one’s victory is the other’s, but in unhealthy couples, there is no sense of communion.

2) The woman after several years of marriage loses a lot of weight, becomes “hot” again and wants male attention (I have heard this story a few times).

3) The couple has little in common and starts having separate vacations, hobbies, etc. Eventually one meets someone else.

4) Too little money (puts pressure on both).

5) Too much money (the man usually will look for a younger and better looking model), greed, excess, vices and a frivolous lifestyle can ensue.

6) Different sex drives (the ones with more mojo may eventually look for sex elsewhere).

7) Resentment that grows and grows and creates distance and kills intimacy.

8) Online contacts making people cheat more.

9) Affairs in the workplace.

9) Illness (some husbands leave their wives when they get very sick).

10) Mental illness, which can develop later in life and make it very hard for the sane spouse.

11) Substance abuse.

12) Death of a child, where one blames the other and neither turns to the other to help with the pain.

13) Unemployment for long periods.

14) Depression, for obvious reasons.

15) Merged families. There is a lot of stress in dealing with children that are not yours.

16) Loss of attraction for your spouse. Yes, some couples are not able to keep the attraction due to too much familiarity (and sweatpants :)). When the sex ends, many marriages just break. Some people also have the need to feel the rush of new love. They are “endorphin junkies”. Once the passion is over with their current spouse, they need a new love to start over again.

There are many couples, however, who survive some or many of these challenges and remain committed. What makes them different?

1) A sense of loyalty.

2) A strong sense of family (having extended family around helps).

3) A strong attraction, either intellectual, emotional or physical.

4) Strong bonds formed through similar goals and life purpose. These bonds can be participating in a certain church/religion, politics as a “power couple” (think the Clintons), charities, groups or sports actitivities together. These bonds can be also be as simple as similar political views or religious (or lack thereafter) views. Belonging to a big group of friends and the possibility of losing this social circle may also affect any divorce decision.

5) Fear of being alone. Fear of never being able to fall in love again or find an adequate partner.

6) Financial dependency on each other, more common in women who historically have made less money than men.

7) For couples with younger children, making a choice to not disrupt their lives.

8) For many women raised in traditional/non-feminist households, a sense of loyalty to their husbands no matter how badly they behave.

9) I could mention love. But I think love is something very abstract. It is a combination of friendship, a sense of loyalty and family and an emotional and pyhsical attachment to someone.

No matter what, divorce has many evils and hazards. A lot people pay the price (the couple, the kids and the whole family). Society pays the price (latchkey kids, single moms, etc). And it should be avoided whenever possible.

One type of divorce that does not cause a lot of harm is between younger and childless couples. They each go their own way and it is not different from breaking up with someone you date. Still, it is one of the major problems in our contemporary societies. Fortunately, there are many cases of people who are able to get divorced amicably without major repercussions for all.

Yes, there are many success divorce stories out there, and we would like to hear more about them. What we normally hear is constant conflict between ex and current spouses, ex-in laws, parents who rarely see their children, custody battles, child support battles, jealous or rebellious step-children, evil step-parents, unhappy kids, kids juggling two households, guilt, money battles and other potential conflicts.

Too bad churches and conservative groups make us believe they have a monopoly in trying to keep marriages intact. I do admire the work they do towards strenghtening marriages, but in reality, non-believers have a lower divorce rate than religious folks do. Non-believers have usually a higher education level which supposedly is more conducive in negotiating marital conflicts. Divorce has a higher rate in the southern bible belt states. See here:


January 5, 2010 - Posted by | Relationships

1 Comment »

  1. Sometimes it’s better to end the relationship rather than delaying the inevitable. I know of couple who are miserable that will try to wait until their kids age out of their house before making the break they both know they will make. The result is a hostile, loveless house. What message are they sending to their kids then? If they cannot model what a healthy relationship looks like, then they are teaching their kids that ‘dysfunctional’ is what a relationship is supposed to be.

    My kids tell me they are much happier with both me and their mom since we split up. We’re both in new and happy relationships and they are much more resilient than either she or I expected. I also think the taboo of having divorced parents has been broken.

    Family is important but families, like all other things in life, change. Trying to make things ‘the way they were’ seems to be human nature, but also seems to be unproductive and doomed to failure.

    Life is a ride and you only get one turn. There is no ‘next time’ to be happy. Be happy now and help those around you enjoy the ride also. Do as little harm to others and generally try to avoid being a prick and you’ll get along okay.

    This of course is just my opinion.


    Comment by Pete Dwyer | January 15, 2010 | Reply

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