The number one predictor of divorce is...

… the habitual avoidance of conflict.

At least, according to these people.

Of course, they’re trying to sell classes on healthy conflict, so they have an agenda, but is it plausible? What do the doper masses think?

I would say, not knowing each other long enough to “flesh out” the things that would make the marriage a mistake.

I think the number one reason for divorce is people marry the wrong person. A lot go into their marriage knowing this.

I have a highly inflammatory opinion about this, but I wouldn’t want to rock the boat.

I was thinking the top reasons were different styles of money management, child rearing, or religion.

The bare-nekkid truth about marriages (or other LTRs) is that the two people must connect in enough ways to be able to weather the storms of dissent. If you don’t have those connections, you are doomed. DOOMED I SAY.

I think the best predictor is when they have already pretty much gone their separate ways although they live in the same house. For example, when they sleep in separate rooms, have separate sets of friends, take separate vacations, etc. Strangely, one of the couple will often seem to be quite shocked when the other makes the big announcement.

I once heard a proclaimed marriage expert on the radio say that one major predictor of divorce is openly displayed contempt for each other. As a child of divorced parents, I thought that seemed about right to me.

Hmmm. From what I’ve heard my husband’s first marriage was no holds barred, balls-to-the-wall conflict 24/7. They got divorced.

I did a little research about this, and actually the #1 cause of divorce is the presence or absence of no-fault divorce laws. In the US, they caused a 25% increase in the divorce rate, or a 100% increase in the previous divorce rate. In Japan, Korea, and other countries around the world, the effect was over 100% of the previous divorce rate, from 10% to 25% or so in Korea.

In the US, we have a 48% divorce rate. If 25% of that is directly caused by no-fault divorce laws, then it is by far the largest single reason for divorce.

Anecdotally, if divorce is easy to get, then one of the couple is more likely to see it as a reasonable alternative. If it’s very difficult to get (say in a highly Catholic area) then people try far harder to make the marriage work.

Go for it. :slight_smile:

I thought one of the best predictors for divorce was if the couple smashed cake into each other’s faces at the reception.:confused:

My Ex-wife and I were together (including dating) for 11 years. We had probably 10 arguments. Most of them were via email (while I was at work) and by the time I got home they would be resolved (more or less) and not spoken of. In our case the lack of conflicts were a symptom of our terrible communication. Unfortunately it wasn’t until she left that I realized how little we communicated WRT important things.

  1. This thread is not about “reasons for divorce” or “indicators of impending divorce.” It’s about the article linked in the OP.

  2. The article points to the fact that married couples have, on average, 10 irreconcilable points of conflict, and that couples that don’t learn how to deal with this will split up. I find this hard to argue with; while most disagreements can be settled either by compromise or “agreeing to disagree,” few couples can compromise or agree without talking to each other.

When you avoid confrontation, you are setting yourself apart from the problem. That is not good on serious issues. Yes, many people need to have their individual time and independance from the relationship, but communal problems are a ‘we’ thing. Refusing to deal with problems, glossing them over, ignoring them, and going on your own way is all but saying that it doesn’t matter 'cause if you don’t like it you’re fine; you’re facing away with your hand on the door.

Trust me, I know. :wink:

whispers “oh just like you isn’t it.”

Sorry dear, of course you are right!

Yeah, that is what they warned us of in 1987. Sometimes you really do know right away.

My understanding was the highest predictor was having previously been divorced.

That site makes the claim you’ve noted above, but as far as I can see, provides no cite.


What they teach in the classes such as mentioned in the OP is basically this simple scheme.

There are four basic ways to handle major arguments. Only one of them is the “right” way, in the sense that it is constructive.

One style is “avoidance”. Many people with this style think they are keeping the peace, because they feel the only alternative is all out fights. it isn’t. Avoidance is born of fear of conflicts and a lack of knowledge of better alternatives. In the end, avoidance of conflict is bad for the avoider, because he doesn’t get what he wants, bad for the partner, because he also doesn’t get what he wants and feels he is being ignored, and it is bad for the relationship, because energy that could have been spent within the relationhips is now used outside of it, hollowing out the relationship untill neither partner really needs their spouse for anything important anymore.

One other style is competition. Making the issue a real fight and trying to win over the feelings and wants of your partner. it is easy to see why this is as bad at the opposite, compliance (giving in). It breeds resentment, contempt, and emotional withdrawal in the long term.

The fourth and best style is collaboration. Here both partners state their needs and both try to understand and acknowledge the others needs. That is some major hurdles out of the way right there. Then, both work out a compromise. Compromises can be lukewarm. Then both get about half they want. Even better is a warm compromise, where both have analysed what they both really want, thought outside the box, have gotten creative, and have come up with an idea that lets both people get what they want.
The example of a warm compromise generally used in such seminars is this. Two companies both want to buy the world’s supply of a certain fruit, a variety of lime. What do they do? Compete? It turns out, after some talks about what they really want, that one company needs the juice, while the other wants only the rinds of the fruits to extract, essential oils. Both divide the harvest accordingly, get what they want, and even better, because they can split the cost and have less waste.

There. I saved you the 2000 dollars for the seminar. :slight_smile:

So yes, I would say that applying an non-constructive style to major conflicts is a serious drain on a marriage. Not always enough to divorce though, some people like being married to someone with the same (or compementary) (bad) conflict style. They may like it that they can break crockery in fights and have their spouse join in and punch holes in walls. At least that is familiar. But while they may like it, it still isn’t good for them.

I think the number one cause of divorce
is pressing return at the end of every line.

What’s your denominator?