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What leads happy couples in Texas to divorce?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Most people in a new marriage are not likely thinking about separating from their spouses, but the truth is that many marriages end in divorce. So, what factors can indicate the possibility of a Texas divorce? Understanding influences linked to the possibility of divorce may help identify important predictors and offer couples the opportunity to work on those issues before they become too much to handle. Whether or not being aware of these factors can help couples avoid divorce may not be clear, but the findings are nonetheless interesting.

A study followed 136 married couples and questioned them periodically over 10 years. All of these couples reported being happily married within the first four years of marriage. Researchers asked the couples to answer questions about marriage satisfaction, level of commitment, personality traits, whether there was emotional support in the relationship, and other questions.

Interestingly enough, the couples who later divorced did not vary from others in the study with regard to how happy they were initially, but there was variance in the categories of communication and support. Those who subsequently divorced reported poor communication and lower emotional support from their spouses.

Couples who were more likely to divorce were found to use blame and invalidation more often than other couples in the study. Verbal aggression on the part of a spouse and the discouragement of expressing feelings were also significant factors.

These findings have led researchers to believe that issues with communication and emotions at the beginning of the marriage may predict problems that could ultimately lead to divorce. It is important to keep in mind that even as the study may point to predictors of divorce, many variables exist in a couple's decision to end their marriage. The current research merely shows factors that could contribute to marital issues down the road.

Source: The Atlantic, "What Kinds of Happy Couples Eventually Get Divorced?," Alice G. Walton, April 16, 2012

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