Berman & Asbel, LLP

Life events that may fan divorce flames

Divorce isn't something couples pursue when everything is going right. As we noted in a previous post, physical issues can degrade relationships to the point of divorce. The reasons why aren't fully understood, but what some research suggests is that the risk of divorce is higher for wives who contract some serious illness later in life.

There really is no such thing as a charmed life. Every person and couple experiences difficult events in life and they deal with the challenges in different ways. And experts dealing with n family dynamics and family law likely would agree that there are many events that can stress a marriage.

If the foundation of a marriage is solid, the couple may weather the storm. If it is shaky and divorce results, it becomes important to understand all possible options and to work with experienced counsel to explore how to achieve the outcome that's desired.

We've already identified that illness can be an event that can be detrimental. Experts say other significant stressors include:

  • Job change. It should surprise no one that losing a job can add friction to a marriage. But a change in job situation that results in just a disruption of normal marital routines can be bad, too.
  • Having children. It used to be thought that having children could save a marriage. The truth is that having a child can pull a couple apart, even if they both want children. Sometimes the reality of family life never quite lives up to what's envisioned.
  • Long distance relationships. Research of military families backs this one up. It's not just tours of combat that create difficulties. Deployments of any long duration can increase risks of divorce. And separation can have the same effect on civilian couples.
  • Trauma. Any tragic loss or catastrophic experience may trigger tensions. If a partner's presence keeps bringing the event to life, divorce may follow.
  • Empty nest syndrome. If the children have held a couple together, the partners may find themselves distant and with little in common after the children are gone.

As is nearly always the case, experts say honest communication and being willing to seek help are crucial in getting through the challenges life may bring.

Source:, "7 Life Events That Can Lead to Divorce," Amanda MacMillan, March 20, 2015

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