TOP reasons for divorce in the early years of marriage.
1. Conflicts about 🛀 cleanliness. If spouses did not live together before marriage and just move in when they marry (like many religious couples, for example) – they have different ideas of personal and household hygiene, cleanliness, dirty socks on the floor, who runs the laundry, etc.
2. Conflicts about 🛒 household chores. Who does what, and when? Sometimes men expect the woman to do all the cooking, and sometimes the husband may be unhappy that the woman wants to hire a cleaning person or cleaning crew.
3. 💰 Joint finances are a major source of conflict because oftentimes people do not discuss how they will run their joint budget after marriage, what income and expense contributions will be by each spouse. For example, who pays for what? What if one spouse is a much higher earner? What about expensive presents and big ticket purchases – who contributes to what? What about expensive gifts for each side of the family (example – husband wants to buy his mother an expensive bag for mom’s birthday, but the couple is saving for a house)?
4. 💕 Sex. One person may expect to have it daily or even 3X a day, while the other is okay with once a week. Discuss ahead of time and make sure to check in with your partner on a weekly basis to see if they are not sexually deprived and angry about it with you (passively or outright).
5. 👨👩👧👦 Children. Many couples fight about when to have kids, how many they want, which are incredibly complicated and permanent decisions.
6. Child-rearing and ❓ parenting issues. People often have very different ideas about how to “properly” raise their children.
7. If one spouse should 🏡 stay home with the kids when the babies come. Spouses may have different expectations about whether the wife should return to work after maternity leave, or if the father (if he is the lower earner) should stay home, or to hire a babysitter. Should the babysitter be live-in? Is there a stay-at-home rotation, will it be just the stay-at-home mom or stay-at-home dad?
8. Each 👨👩👧👦 spouse’s families interfering. How much should your new family come before your separate families’ desires, interests, demands?
9. How much 🕐 time each spouse should spend with their separate family and separate friends. Make sure you have an agreement on time spent together versus separately. Both are healthy and the balance between the two is unique for each couple.
10. 🚗 Travel – where to go, how much to spend on trips, who to bring with the couple (i.e. should friends and family accompany on trips).
11. 🍗 Food. Cooking in vs eating out – eating out all the time really adds up. How often to go out for food, who will cook, how much money are you willing to spend on higher-quality or easier meals?
12. Big 💰 expenses to save for (saving for a new car, a new house, etc.) – savings on a weekly basis for big expensive things require commitment and dedication. These financial milestones require NOT going out to eat, NOT traveling, not wasting money on Starbucks or cigarettes. One spouse may want the house MORE and the other may resist cutting on every-day miscellaneous expenses.
13. ✈ Relocating to another state for a job, travelling for work – one spouse may be against the other travelling for a job and may not want to move to another state for the other spouse’s job.
14. 🎣 Hobbies that annoy your spouse. Examples can include playing poker, going out to drink with your buddies, a wife going on yoga retreats for weekends and days at a time or getting expensive beauty/spa treatments.
15. 💊 COVID-specific reasons
16. Disagreements about spouses’ 💉 vaccinations.
17. Disagreement about what each spouse does to 😷 prevent COVID (masks, how they behave at work, who they visit, where they go, how many people they’re around, etc.).
18. Disagreements about 👶 kids’ vaccinations, mask mandates, etc.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
🚩 Live together before marriage for at least one year. Learn each other’s habits and make decisions as you go, before they become fights.
🚩 Travel together before marriage to learn about your partner. If you are traditional, you can book separate rooms; it’s still very important to make sure you can spend time away, without others around you, for extended periods of time together.
🚩 Discuss and write down the expectations about everything. This goes from budgeting as a family to travel, to cooking and chores, to having and raising children.
🚩 Have monthly, quarterly and annual “meetings” about your family financial and personal goals. Check in with each other on a regular basis to see how the other one feels about what’s happening in your lives. These don’t have to feel like meetings, but there are crucial items you need to be in touch with frequently, like saving money or wanting to travel, or even talks about having kids.
🚩 Date nights. Romance, put your intimate relationship FIRST, even when you have kids or hard times are happening. This is the number one reason people get married; make it count. Don’t ever take your spouse for granted. If you are not being treated the way you wish, communicate with your spouse.
🚩 Keeping a family budget – spreadsheet and everything. Track your income and expenses and see what needs to be adjusted on a monthly basis.
🚩 Invest jointly as soon as you get married and track your portfolios.
🚩 Family therapy – there is no shame in asking for help, or even support! This can just be an opportunity for guidance and making sure you are having productive conversations about difficult subjects. These meetings are your business alone, there is no stigma around it, especially if you keep it private, between your spouse/family and your therapist/counselor.
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