Marriage is a union that bonds two people together as spouses. In Oregon law, a marriage is a civil contract between males and females at least 17 years old. The potential spouses must be capable of understanding what they are doing, consent to marry, and make the marriage official with a ceremony.
Approximately 2 million couples marry yearly in the United States, with an average of 25,000 marriages occurring in Oregon. Individuals marry for different reasons. Commonly, couples express their desire to marry because of the love and romantic feelings they have for each other. However, other people may get married for financial advantages, cost-effectiveness, companionship, cultural traditions, and legal benefits.
Married couples may have moments of ups and downs. Many times, spouses work through the problems and continue with their marriage. In other cases, the issues are too significant, and the spouses file for divorce. Before the couple reaches the point where they decide to dissolve their marriage, they may miss the indications that the relationship is nearing its end.
Here are seven signs that your marriage is heading for a divorce.
- Changes in values, behaviors, and priorities
Spouses can share and enjoy their everyday things and learn from their differences. Two common phrases state how individuals connect – “birds of a feather flock together” and “opposites attract. Although they sound contradictory, they can contribute to a strong marriage.
Over time, individuals’ values, behaviors, and priorities change – for the good and the bad. However, such changes in the marriage may cause a wedge between spouses. Some couples can accept the shift, but others cannot adjust. The compatibility may no longer exist, and the differences are too significant to sustain the relationship.
- Breakdown in communication
Marriages are not perfect. Sometimes spouses disagree and argue. Communication is the key to resolving conflicts. It helps to determine the root of problems and understand each side’s perspective. While harsh words can make a person defensive, a spouse’s tone can sound harsher. Angry, accusatory, mean, or contemptuous communication can break the relationship.
Spouses may respond to disagreements by not speaking to each other at all. Sometimes silence is worse than an argument. It can also lead to avoidance and indifference about addressing and fixing marital issues.
- Lack of quality time
Adult life is full of appointments, deadlines, work, and responsibilities. In marriage, spouses may become so consumed with their obligations that they fail to spend quality time with each other. With packed and busy schedules, it is sometimes hard to prioritize their personal lives.
Like communication, social interaction in a marriage is essential to maintain a healthy relationship. Although spouses live in the same household, they may not have meaningful contact. Quality time involves taking intentional moments to give someone undivided attention. When a married couple lacks adequate quality time, they may begin to feel comfortable or unhappy with not spending time together.
Spouses define the rules and boundaries of their marriage. Intimacy outside of the agreed terms of the relationship is infidelity. What one person may determine as unfaithfulness, another person may allow. Therefore, different actions can constitute cheating.
Marriage is a commitment between two people based on their goals of how to feel secure in their relationship., If the couple has a requirement of fidelity, then each spouse should remain faithful.
Although some spouses restore the marital relationship after infidelity, other marriages lead to divorce., Oregon is a no-fault divorce state. A spouse cannot file to dissolve the marriage for cheating because it is a fault ground for divorce. In a no-fault divorce state, a spouse can file for divorce because irreconcilable differences caused a breakdown in the marriage that is beyond repair.
- Uneven contribution to the household
Spouses rarely have a 50/50 contribution to the household. One may perform more tasks or have more duties that help to make the family work. While both may contribute financially to the home, one may primarily manage the household.
The upkeep of the home requires numerous tasks, including cleaning surfaces, dusting, sweeping, mopping, organizing, picking up items, garbage disposal, laundry, grocery shopping, and vacuuming. The household chores occur daily, weekly or monthly, and the spouse who mainly handles the weight of the tasks can become resentful toward the other spouse. Bitterness can build and break down the marriage.
Abuse is the mistreatment of one person by someone else. It occurs in several forms, such as physical, mental, emotional, sexual, and financial. In marriage, abuse creates a dynamic in which one spouse exerts power and control over the other.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), intimate partner violence impacts millions yearly. A CDC study shows that 41% of women and 26% of men experience relationship violence. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that on one day in 2020, over 21,000 calls came to domestic violence hotlines. Abuse can result in missed workdays, post-traumatic stress, fear, insecurity, depression, health impairment, and pain.
Domestic violence is an urgent safety concern. The spouse who is the victim of the abuse is in a harmful situation. The danger can lead to the necessity of getting a divorce to protect the harmed spouse.
- Financial issues
Financial issues can destroy even the happiest marriages. Whether a couple has an economic advantage or disadvantage, situations and disputes involving money add pressure to the relationship. The monetary strain can lead to divorce due to the following:
- Pre-marital debt
- Post-marital debt
- Spending habits
- Contribution to household income
- Arrangement of paying bills
- One spouse has financial control
- Unexpected costs
- Financial emergencies