8 reasons why people decide to divorce

Why couples split

Brides and grooms typically go into a marriage thinking until death do us part. Still, for every 1,000 marriages in the U.S. in 2019, 14.9 ended in divorce, which was a 50-year low.

If you’re going through a divorce and aren’t financially prepared, there are resources that may be able to help. And though the road ahead will be difficult, it might help to consider what life could look like after the divorce.

The following are only contributing factors and not legal grounds for divorce, though there is some overlap.

©Liountmila Korelidou / iStock

1. Money

Perhaps unsurprisingly, finances are one of the most common reasons for divorce proceedings and is a top reason why couples argue. In fact, a survey conducted by Finder in 2020 found that about a third (33.78%) of American adults would reconsider a romantic partnership due to a partner’s debt. In short: It’s a good idea to balance that checkbook.

Ironically, the average cost of a divorce with an attorney is about $10,000. If finances were the reason for your nuptial negation, consider some alternative options for ending it. There are less expensive online divorce services that can save you money if you have an uncontested divorce.

2. Addictions

According to Health Street, 7.3% of divorces are a result of drug or alcohol addiction. Whether it’s prescription drugs, sex, alcohol or illegal narcotics, addictions can become a strain on relationships. Also, addiction can sometimes lead to other behaviors that are the catalyst for divorce, such as money mismanagement, infidelity and abuse.

©DepositPhotos.com

3. Commitment issues

A study by Couple Family Psychol found a “lack of commitment” to be the number one reason couples got divorced, with 75% of couples citing this as the reason for their relationship breakdown. In this context, “commitment” has two references: the first being intimacy and romantic feelings, the second involving willingness to build the relationship together.

4. Infidelity

In a 2020 study conducted by Finder, it was found that Americans were about four times more likely to cheat on their significant other than on their taxes. Roughly 8.8 million Americans admitted to cheating on their taxes versus the 34.1 million who admitted to cheating on their partner.

5. Abuse

Domestic abuse can take many forms, from financial to emotional to physical to beyond. With the pandemic, domestic violence has been a rising global concern. For example, Google reported a 75% increase in searches related to domestic abuse support in Australia. 

With resources limited due to social distancing and people being required to be confined or quarantined together for long periods, tensions can run high.

The abuse might not always be directed at the partner. Abuse toward children might also be a reason couples split. If you struggle with abuse, or have and believe you may relapse, call 800-662-4357 to reach the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s hotline.

©DepositPhotos.com

6. Getting married too young

Getting married too young is one of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce. However, it will be interesting to see whether this continues to be one of the top reasons going forward, with the average age of marriage in the US continuing to increase. The average age of those getting married reached an all-time high in 2018 for both men (29.8 years old) and women (27.8 years old).

7. Health issues

When a spouse becomes their partner’s primary caregiver due to an illness, it can create a stressful environment for all. Beyond the financial demands, the time commitment for care and other sacrifices can wear down a relationship. 

In a 2009 study on gender, illness and partner abandonment, it showed women are more likely to experience separation and divorce after experiencing a serious illness.

8. Lack of communication

While we have more ways of communicating now more than ever, it seems we still can’t get it right sometimes. Frustration and anger can reach a boiling point when constructive communication isn’t present in a relationship.

A 2013 survey claimed communication problems as a top reason leading to divorces, according to over 60% of 100 mental health experts. While counseling and mediation could be used to work through it, reconciliation isn’t guaranteed.

What role has the coronavirus pandemic played in the reasons couples are divorcing?

“2020 has been a universally difficult year for everyone,” attorney Lisa Bustos said. “New challenges, such as online learning decisions, spending an inordinate amount of time with family or unexpected unemployment.” 

“However, almost every single new client who has come to me has been thinking of this prior to the pandemic. The problems in people’s marriages have often existed for years, but now people are inspired to make a change in their lives. 

By Richard Laycock,Allan Givens for Mediafeed©

Source: 8 reasons why people decide to divorce (msn.com)

How to Use a ‘Bid’ to Strengthen Your Relationship

What is a bid?

According to Erika Evans, PhD, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist and sexologist in Pennsylvania who trained at the Gottman Institute, bids are defined as units of emotional communication. “They are means for gaining attention, affection, and/or acceptance,” she explains. “They are requests from one partner to another—both verbal and nonverbal in nature—to connect. These moments of connection create safety in the relationship and support vulnerability.” And, she adds, bids can take many forms such as jokes, questions, expressions, affection, or sexual overtures. For example, one partner may say, “Look, how funny this meme is” or, “Did you talk to your mom today?” or, “Can you rub my back?”

Unfortunately, many bids often go unrecognized either because the other partner didn’t realize it was a call for connection or because they perceive the bid as nagging, criticism, or annoying, according to relationship therapist Darcy Sterling, PhD, host of E! Network’s Famously Single. So, understanding how to spot a bid, is an important part of fostering deeper connection. But bids can do so much more than that.

How bids can strengthen the relationship

Although bids can be small, how couples respond to them does majorly affect the relationship. Here’s why: “The quality of our relationships depends on the quality of our connection,” Dr. Sterling explains. “And to be connected, we need to let our partners know that we are open to their bids, even when we’re exhausted, and it’s the last thing we want to do.” Moreover, Dr. Evans adds, “these interactions help a relationship to flourish and for the participants to go deeper in their connection with one another in a variety of ways.”

Dr. Evans says there are three ways a partner can respond to a bid: “turning to the partner and connecting, which includes being vulnerable and engaging, turning away from the bid, which means the bid is being ignored, or turning against the bid, which means the response to the bid is angry or aggressive.” In a healthy relationship, Dr. Evans says partners respond to bids by turning to their partners and actively connecting.  

How to improve the way you make and respond to bids

Make your partner feel seen and heard

Often, one partner will ignore or disregard the other partner’s bid and say things like: “I can’t, I’m in the middle of something” or slam the conversation shut if they felt like they were being nagged or criticized. Instead, Dr. Sterling recommends saying something like, “Give me five minutes to finish what I’m doing, and I’ll take a look.” This shows the other partner that they want to give them attention, just at a different time.

Or, if one partner says, “I can’t stand working with my boss anymore,” instead of responding with a “so, quit,” ask what happened. Dr. Sterling says this is an example of a bid for connection through sharing, Dr. Sterling says, and it shows the other partner is interested in hearing more, which fosters connection. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want

“Understandably, it’s scary to be explicit, but being subtle often creates opportunities for bids to be missed, not because of a lack of desire, but more so because of the chaos of everyday life,” Dr. Evans says.  

Keep it simple

To harness the power of bids, take the pressure off by keeping bids quick, short, and simple. “They don’t always have to be grand gestures,” Dr. Evans says. “As a result, responding to, and giving out, bids in abundance throughout the course of a day is helpful for couples in building that desired connection.”

Pay attention to subtle cues

Again, your partner’s bids may often be subtle. For this reason, Dr. Evan’s best tip is to pay attention and learn to read your partner’s cues to better understand when they need connection. This can look like being more present when you’re spending time together by putting down your phones, making direct eye contact, listening attentively, asking questions, and really taking an interest. Remember, she says, the goal with bids is to turn toward your partner as often as possible. 

Article by Jessica Estrada for Well + Good©

Source: Bids in Relationships Are Fundamental for Communication | Well+Good (wellandgood.com)

4 Traits of a Serial Cheater 

The biggest misunderstanding about cheaters, says sex and relationship therapist Tammy Nelson is the notion of “once a cheater, always a cheater.” “Although there may be some truth to it for some; there are a few indicators to look out for when someone is a serial cheater,” Dr. Nelson says. Below, she outlines four signs that a transgression in your partner’s past may actually be part of a pattern, and thus, it may be worth taking an audit of your trust in them.

Photo: Getty Images/d3sign

4 serial cheater traits that point to a past offense being part of a pattern

1. Has issues with self-esteem

For some, pursuing affairs might be a means to momentarily raise low self-esteem—and doing it perpetually can be a subconscious exercise to prove something to oneself.

“Sometimes people cheat to prove their worth, to show that they are good enough, or worthy enough, or desirable—and this can be a way to fill a gap in their self-esteem,” Dr. Nelson says. “For those whose self-esteem is low enough, the repetitive nature of their chronic affairs can have a pressured quality, where one affair isn’t enough, where they have to continue to prove themselves over and over. Because the reality is, being with another person will never prove that they are truly good enough to themselves.”

2. Blames exes for the demise of past relationships

It’s a common serial cheater trait to not accept responsibility for one’s own indiscretions and choices, Dr. Nelson says—and it’s a trait to avoid.

It’s a problem if your partner refuses to accept any responsibility for a failed relationship—and it’s especially troubling if this is the stance for numerous past relationships. When you place all the blame on an ex, there’s not much room for personal growth or healthy self-reflection. “Cheaters should stop blaming their partner for their affair,” she says. “No matter how unhappy or angry they are with their spouse, they should stop using the excuse that their partner ‘deserves’ the affair.'”

3. Has commitment issues

While there’s nothing wrong with playing the field when that’s the relationship structure all parties involved have agreed to, something else is the case, it’s different. For instance, if you’ve had a DTR conversation, and you’ve landed on being committed and monogamous, claiming to have commitment issues (and acting accordingly) is less acceptable, and could point to serial cheater traits at play.

4. Is highly compulsive

This can lend itself to sexual, emotional, and other generally unacceptable behaviors, because the goal isn’t gratification anymore—it’s seeking that becomes the whole pursuit. And that points to forming a pattern. “When a cheater repeats the same behavior over and over—here, having sexual or emotional affairs repetitively—then it becomes compulsive, and the need for an affair is no longer about seeking excitement or love, or passion, it is the act of seeking.” Dr. Nelson says.

If you’re having trouble dealing with news that your partner displays traits of being a serial cheater, or you suspect something sinister could be going on in your relationship now, these signs can provide helpful insight for you to think on. But, people are complex, and if your partner is, say, having a self-esteem issue, it isn’t automatic cause for romantic concern. Basically, don’t take any of these tips in isolation, and when in doubt, communicate with your partner. And if you have problems with chronic cheating, Dr. Nelson advises that you seek the help of a therapist who focuses on cheating.

“Infidelity is anything but simple,” Dr. Nelson says. “As much as we want to think cheaters are bad people, most want to be honest. They want to tell the truth.”

Article by Mary Grace Garis for Well + Good©

Source: 4 Serial Cheater Traits To Look Out for in a Relationship | Well+Good (wellandgood.com)

What Makes You Boring to Other People

Forget about delusions of grandeur — turns out many of us could be suffering from delusions of being interesting.

A new paper, “Boring People: Stereotype Characteristics, Interpersonal Attributions, and Social Reactions,” set about identifying what makes a person boring, and the results are pretty harsh.

Led by the University of Essex’s Wijnand Van Tilburg​​, researchers asked more than 500 people to rank the most boring characteristics, hobbies and jobs in other people. Here are some of the top results of those surveys. (Prepare to be offended.) 

theawesomedaily.com

Boring personality traits:

No sense of humor

Bad conversationalist

Being inactive

Self-centered

Actively disliking things 

Boring occupations:

Accounting

Banking and finance

Librarian

Manual labor

Sales

Boring hobbies:

Watching TV

Collecting

Crafts

Gaming

Playing golf

What’s so bad about being boring?

While no one wants to see people stifling yawns whenever they start to speak, the study suggests that being boring can have a bigger negative impact on our lives than we think. Study subjects admitted to regarding boring people as a burden that they would rather avoid than suffer through in social and business settings. “Our research shows that people who possess stereotypically boring features are perceived as both less interpersonally warm and less competent, and they elicit social avoidance by others,” write the researchers.

How to not be boring

Does this mean you are doomed if you are an accountant who isn’t good at small talk and likes to knit on the weekends? Of course not. Psychology Today suggests these methods to keep yourself off the dull list:

1. Don’t complain to other people.

Friends are interested to know if something serious is happening in your life, but no one wants to hear you go on and on about a delayed flight.

2. Don’t talk about yourself — ask people questions about their lives.

And don’t just ask one question, follow up to get deeper. This isn’t being nosey, it is being interested.

3. Don’t be afraid to change the topic of conversation, even if it seems random.

People tend to perceive this as rude, but it is a surefire way to keep a conversation crackling.

4. Be present when someone is talking (i.e. don’t grunt while checking your phone).

Body language is just as important as what you say to show that you are engaged.

5. Told a story that got a good laugh? Remember and retell it at your next gathering. 

Like a standup comedian, have a couple of reliable stories to fall back on. (Note: only do this if you’re not hanging out with the same people!)

Now, go forth and be the riveting friend and colleague you’re almost certain you are.

By Dan Bova for Entrepreneur.com©

Source: Scientists Have Determined What Makes You Boring to Other People (chron.com)

What is ‘Stashing’? The Latest Dating Trend That’s Honestly Worse Than Ghosting

It’s been four months since you started dating Jim. You’ve gone hiking, binged the entire second season of Fleabag together and eaten at his favorite pizzeria so many times you feel like the staff knows you’re together. But you haven’t met any of his actual friends—let alone any family. Wait, you did run into his college buddy on the street, though! And they chatted for a bit…but now that you think about it, he glazed right over an introduction, didn’t he? And when you posted a pic of you two, he asked you to delete it. Welp, take a seat. We’re sorry to say it, but it sounds like this Jim character is stashing you.

© ‎Apatow Productions

Hold up. What is “stashing” exactly?

Stashing is when one person in a relationship makes the conscious decision to hide the other person from his or her inner circle, and yes, that includes both in real life and on social media. (Deep breaths.) Of course, this is so much more a reflection of the stasher than the stashee, but c’mon, it’s downright rude and hurtful as hell.

Great, the person I’m seeing is stashing me. Why is this happening?

There’s no one reason why stashing happens, but we spoke with marriage and couple’s therapist Irina Firstein about it. She told us the stasher may be stashing you because they 1) are embarrassed by or have issues with their family, 2) don’t see a serious future with you or 3) are carrying on another relationship simultaneously. None—we repeat, none—of these reasons (or any others) are good enough to justify making you feel like dirt but having a little bit of insight might take the edge off.

How do I bring up stashing to the person I’m seeing?

“Ask them why you haven’t met anyone important in their life,” Firstein says, “and follow up with questions if they give you the runaround.” (Psst: “There hasn’t been a convenient time” can be filed under “runaround.”) The conversation might bring you closer together over some shared vulnerabilities—maybe the so-called stasher is not on speaking terms with certain family or friends after a falling-out—but there’s also the potential for the opposite to happen.

What if I’m met with backlash?

If this person is doing something hurtful to you and they respond in any way that’s not supportive, understanding or at least curious, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship, because let’s be honest, that wasn’t that tough of a question. Sidestepping your feelings is a major red flag. And, as Firstein sees it, “If they play ignorant, that’s a form of manipulation.” Tough love, people.

Remember that a caring partner will not want you to feel this way, and if they really do have a good reason for keeping you stashed, like a family matter or they just weren’t “there” yet, they’ll be receptive to the conversation and interested in moving forward. If not, then you deserve to be with someone who wants to roof you. (That’s the term we just made up that means “shout from the rooftops that they get to be with you.”)

By (Ariel Scotti for PureWow©

Source: What is ‘Stashing’? The Latest Dating Trend That’s Honestly Worse Than Ghosting (msn.com)