There are many conditions that affect the stability of marital life which may and often do lead to divorce. The most important of these are given in below:
Conditions Affecting the Stability of Marriage
Number of Children
There are more divorces among childless couples and those with few children than among couples with big families, mainly because the former can manage better after divorce than the latter. Aside from that, children can contribute to the stability of marriage through marital satisfaction.
Desertion is more common among the lower social classed, and divorce among the upper-middle and upper classes.
Similarity of Background
Divorce is much more common among couples who have different cultural, racial, religious, or socioeconomic backgrounds than among those whose backgrounds are more similar. This is especially true of couples with different religious backgrounds.
Time of Marriage
The divorce rate is very high among couples who marry early, before they are vocationally and economically established. There are three reasons for this: First, young people know that it will be relatively easy for them to remarry; second, those who marry early are likely to be plagued by financial problems, which make marital adjustment difficult; and third, young people often have overly romantic concepts of marriage, which inevitably lead to disenchantment.
Reason for Marriage
Those who are forced to marry because of pregnancy have a higher-than average divorce rate.
Time at Which the Couple Become Parents
The shorter the interval between marriage and the birth of the first child, the higher the divorce rate. Couples who become parents early have not had time to adjust to marriage, which complicates their adjustment to parenthood.
The lower the economic status of the family, the higher the rate of desertion and divorce. This is true of couples of all ages.
Marital success or failure tends to run in families. Children of happily married parents are far less likely to be divorced than children of unhappily married or divorced parents.
Ordinal Position in Childhood Family
Men who were only-children have the highest divorce rate, while women who were only-children have the lowest. This can be attributed to the fact that only boys tend to be spoiled, while only girls learn to assume responsibilities. Firstborn men, who also assumed responsibilities when they were young, have a low divorce rate; firstborn women, who may have been domineering toward younger siblings, have a high divorce rate.
Maintenance of Identity
Adults who can maintain their identity after marriage, and who have opportunities for self-actualization, are far less likely to be divorced than those whose own lives are completely submerged in that of their spouses.
Not one of the conditions alone, it is important to realize, is likely to lead to desertion, separation, or divorce. Instead, a constellation of causes is far more apt to be responsible.
Furthermore, although all these conditions contribute to poor marital adjustment, they are not the actual cause of divorce. It has been found, for example, that there are slightly more divorces in families where the wife works than in families where she is a full-time homemaker. However, when such a marriage ends in divorce, it may not be the wife’s working but rather the low economic status by the family that caused the marital unhappiness.
It has also been found that the cause of divorce varies from one period in marriage to another. Drinking, for example, is the cause of only 9 percent of divorces during the first year of marriage, as contrasted with 43 percent after twenty-five years of marriage. Similarly, adultery is rarely given as the cause for separation in the first year of marriage, but is the cause for one-third of all separations in the eleven- to – fifteen-year period. Those who marry because the woman has become pregnant are much more likely to seek a divorce early in marriage than later.
Certain people who have made poor personal adjustments seem to be “divorce-prone.” Many poorly adjusted adults feel that marriage will be the solution to their emotional problems. It rarely is. Not only do they become more poorly adjusted with the assumption of new responsibilities, but they also create such an unhealthy atmosphere in the home that divorce may be the only solution.