Pay attention. This could save your own marriage!
Many people think marriage is both outdated and unnecessary, mostly because they believe it doesn’t’ work. The demise of Brangelina after just two years of marriage seems to be proof.
For their first twelve years together, they appeared perfectly happy as an unmarried couple. If the tabloids are to be believed, their problems began almost as soon as they said, “I do”.
Marriage isn't some magic bullet. Tying the knot won’t miraculously make your relationship wonderful. On the flip side, getting married isn't an automatic kiss of death either.
The simple truth is that marriage becomes what two people make of it.
No outsider can ever know what happens behind any couples' closed doors, no matter how public they may be.
While it is accepted that the divorce rate for first marriages is currently around 40-50%, not all marriages are equally susceptible. There are certain factors that increase — and decrease — any couple's chance of divorce.
Here's a look at 7 ways Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's marriage may have been doomed from the start:
1. The risk of divorce is 40% higher when one partner comes from a divorced home.
Divorce in families impacts children in two ways — how they handle conflict, and their commitment to marriage. Angelina Jolie’s parents separated when she was very young.
2. The rate of divorce is 67% for second marriages and 73% for third marriages.
3. The rate of divorce is around 75% for marriages that began as affairs.
There can be guilt over breaking up a marriage, unrealistic expectations about the new relationship, distrust about marriage, and distrust in a partner you know will cheat. It is thought that Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston when he and Jolie got together.
4. They both have a reported history of self-medicating.
Jolie had addiction issues as a young woman and is reported to smoke and drink when stressed. Not being able to eat is another common reaction to unmanaged stress. Pitt’s use of marijuana seemed to be a problem and there were reports that he was intoxicated during the incident on the plane.
5. It appears they couldn’t find common ground on fundamental life issues.
There are reports that the two couldn't come to agreements on several basic issues, such as what kind of lifestyle they would live, their choice of friends, how to raise their children, and how much time to spend together. While no two people agree on everything, having shared or compatible values and goals make for a stronger foundation to build a life on.
6. They didn’t seem to spend much time together as a couple.
Like most A-list celebrity couples, both Pitt and Jolie had hectic schedules that often demanded they be in different parts of the world than each other for extended periods of time. When they were in the same place, much of their time was spent as parents instead of partners. No relationship can thrive when it is neglected. Making regular time to be together as a couple is critical for success in any marriage.
7. They reportedly got married because it was what their children wanted.
Some couples slide into marriage because of outside pressure, instead of clearly deciding it’s the right next step for the two of them. Choosing to marry for the sake of the children is as weighted a decision as staying together for them.
Marriage is too big of a responsibility to enter into for any reason other than it’s what you truly want as a life choice. When you deliberately decide to get married, the significance of the choice is far more deeply felt for both individuals.
Marriage itself is not the problem. Not understanding what marriage is — that’s where the challenge lies.
Love and marriage are not incompatible. Keeping both alive and thriving, regardless of the factors you each might bring, isn't only possible, it’s worth it.
Lesli Doares is a therapist, coach, and the founder of foundationscoachingnc.com a practical alternative for couple's worldwide looking to improve their marriage without traditional therapy. Call Lesli at 1-919-924-0463 to schedule a free 1-hour consultation today or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for a private discussion about how to make your marriage thrive!