With half of marriages ending in divorce, we wanted to get to the root of the problem. We surveyed over 100 YourTango Experts to find out the top predictors of divorce so that couples can know—in advance of getting married—whether their union is likely to fail.
The top answer? Differing values around kids, money and/or sex, clocking in with a whopping 74% of the vote. So, we dug a little deeper to understand the significance of this result, and here's what our experts had to say:
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When it comes to starting a family, "[i]t's essential for couples to be on the same page about kids," explains Nancy Philpott, "to ensure the kids receive clear, direct, easy-to-understand communication supported by both parents. Anything short of that," adds Nancy, "lends itself to confusion, misinterpretation, misunderstanding, conflict and sometimes manipulation between any of the parties involved in the communication." On the other hand, "[c]ouples who explore, discuss, decide, commit and honor that commitment to support each other before not after they have kids are happier and so are the kids!"
As for the importance of money, in their article 6 Money Matters To Discuss Before Marriage, Scott & Bethany Palmer, a.ka. "The Money Couple" explain that "[u]nderstanding how each of you thinks about and deals with money is the foundation of a healthy money relationship," warning, "[i]f you can't communicate about money, you have a long, painful future ahead of you."
Relationship Coach Kim Olver adds that "[m]oney, and a person's values around that, are typically personal and private until a couple decides to co-mingle their debts and assets. If their financial blueprints are vastly different, this will become a major source of conflict. She may spend without regard to consequences while he is attempting to save for the future. He may be able to tolerate high risk in investing, while she is terrified of anything riskier than CDs. When couples have different beliefs around finances, they will need to negotiate these differences in order to find balance and harmony in their relationship." Continue reading.
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