According to the U.S Census Bureau, many first-time marriages that end in divorce usually do so in the first three to five years of marriage. In addition, marriages in the United States face roughly a 50 percent chance of success and the number of second marriages ending in divorce is even higher, around 65 percent.
Psychotherapist Pamela Blair says there are many factors contributing to the increase in the divorce rate. These include women's financial empowerment, less parental and social pressure to stay married, longer life spans and removal of the stigma of divorce..
Blair, who is also a contributing editor of Divorce Magazine, says long- and short-term marriage partners may want to consider divorce if the following dynamics exist in their relationship:
- Tried to have open, honest discussion of the issues. When you've tried everything - with or without a counselor or therapist- it means you've taken the time to invest wholeheartedly in the relationship and over months, perhaps years, very little has changed for the better.
- Tried to communicate your needs and you are not being heard. When you've honored your spouse's request for change and it is still not enough.
- Experienced physical or emotional abuse. It's time to get a divorce when you and/or your children have been physically or emotionally abused and your spouse is unwilling to get help. Or you are abusing your family and are unwilling to stop.
- Shown lack of respect and support. It's time to get a divorce when you recognize that there is absolutely no respect for your personal or spiritual growth; or conversely when you continue to be unsupportive and disrespectful of your spouse's growth.
- Have substance abuse problems. It's time to get a divorce when your spouse refuses to get help for a serious drug, alcohol, computer or sex addiction.
According to DivorceMagazine.com there are three main categories of troubled relationships:
The stormy relationship is filled both with passion (romantic energy and sexual energy) and comfort (the ability to work things out and enjoy each other's company). The indifferent relationship lacks passion, and the one-sided relationship is just that, a situation in which one person puts out much more effort and energy towards maintaining and nurturing the relationship.
In all of the above troubled relationships, a couple/spouse should ask, "What is the potential for change?" If the answer is "none", the next questions to ask is "Is this still where I want to be."