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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What Leads to Divorce?

By Susan Knight

I was surfing the Internet and came upon an interesting search on Google about Facebook being a cause for divorce. There were several articles, one leading to another.

Many of the commentaries tried to debunk this "urban myth" first perpetrated on the media in December 2009 by the UK.

What a coincidence. That's just about when I found out my husband had "friended" his high school sweetheart on Facebook. It was the impetus of my divorce. The date--November 2009.

The headline read, "Facebook linked to one in five divorces in the UK." Add me to those "debunked" statistics, please. Facebook was a definite link in my divorce.

I also concede to the very "real" causes of divorce, of which social media is just a symptom. Certainly, after thirty-three years of marriage, there were bigger reasons than Facebook posts to end mine. It was just the beginning of the end.

I found other Internet articles which cited the top reasons why couples divorce.*

Abuse is in the mix and no stranger to me. Verbal and emotional abuse lowered my self-esteem and caused me to suffer for years with depression, chronic pain and multiple auto-immune diseases.** I'm happy to report, since I left my husband, I have no more diseases. I am off all drugs to combat those symptoms. I do get flashbacks of his verbal abuse, but they don't happen all the time as they used to, and the length of the flashbacks is shorter because I can now shake it off.***

Infidelity was at the top of the list of divorce reasons. No surprise there. I put up with years of verbal abuse, but it took the knowledge of his cheating to finally break my camel's back. I suppose I could have put up with anything but betrayal. I felt so violated. Still do, when I think of it. And trust is in negative numbers.

Addiction is one of the top five and played a role in my divorce as well. The culprit--pornography. To this day I am still flashing back to incidents in my marriage that I couldn't explain . . . until now. "Oh, that's why that happened," I think, as the light bulb flashes above my head. "He was addicted to pornography then." The number of years of his addiction grows longer as I recollect and ponder my past.

Most will say Lack of Communication is the biggest issue of any bad marriage. Communication, in my opinion, is the umbrella encompassing all the other reasons. A good marriage is imbued with honesty, emotional connection, understanding, humor, joy, sharing, agreeing to disagree, service to each other, integrity. When communication breaks down, other influences take over. Think of the opposite of all those words above.

In addition to Facebook/social media, other causes of infidelity/divorce that I have heard about from some church leaders are carpooling and working out in a gym. Sad, but true.

If one man and one woman carpool together, there is dialogue and sharing, which can lead to emotional intimacy. This intimacy may lead to sexual desire. It's true. How strong are you that you can "just say no" to this?  If the man and/or woman are married, it may lead to adultery, which may lead to divorce.

Yep, carpooling is a definite no-no.

Working out in a co-ed gym in skimpy clothes, all sweaty and "buff," may lead to sexual desire. Women, in their naïveté, don't realize how little it takes for men to be aroused. Certainly women working out in tight, gym clothes, bouncing on the treadmill, will do the trick. Likewise, men showing off their muscles as they lift weights is quite a temptation for some women.

Yep, count working out in a co-ed gym as another no-no for married people.

Contemporary women in the workplace think men should control their sexual impulses as they flaunt their scantily-clad bodies, but many men have trouble doing so. One of my pet peeves is women wearing provocative clothing at the office. I balk and wonder, "Why is that woman dressed like a prostitute?" What is she thinking? I pity the poor men I work with. They have to shield themselves in the workplace at every turn from cleavage, strategically placed tattoos, fishnet stockings under too short skirts, spiked heels, and lingerie worn on the outside, instead of hidden underneath. Men are visually oriented. Get it?

Women of the workplace, please dress appropriately?! What message are you intending to send? I had no idea, until I got a job in corporate America, that women dressed like that. I shudder to remember my husband coming home to an exhausted mom in jeans, and a T-shirt stained with spit-up and dried snot. Think about it!

What other reasons do you think could lead to divorce? What led to yours? What might you be going through now?

I'd love to read your thoughts. Please leave a comment.

2017 edit:
Below is a table from a blog by Lisa McDougle based on a survey she did about causes for divorce in the LDS community. Finances used to be the biggest cause for divorce. Now look at it. The adversary is working very hard on families. After all, the family is the basic unit of society. Where else would he strike?

* Top reasons why couples divorce, to name a few: Infidelity, Getting Married Too Young, Financial Issues, Addiction, Lack of Communication, Lack of Commitment, Abuse, Expectations not met

** Read "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans,

** *

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