October 20, 2014

Staying in a Bad Marriage is More Damaging than Divorce

Illinois divorce lawyer, Illinois family law attorney, Marriage

Going through a divorce is overwhelming. For some, life may seem like it is spiraling out of control. However, many unhappy marriages can be healed through therapy, couples counseling, or good old-fashioned hard work. In fact, according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy(AAMFT), more than 50,000 family therapists and marriage counselors are working in the U.S.

In 1960, there were less than 240 members of the AAMFT, yet there were more than 20,000 in 1996. One major reason for the increase in these numbers is a renewed social commitment to the importance of a healthy marriage—even in a country where the divorce rate hovers at just about 50 percent.

But while this is good news, it could be an indicator of a less healthy trend: people are staying in bad marriages that are not salvageable. Additionally, this practice can have severe ramifications for both for couple and their families. According to Psychology Today, there are several reasons why people stay in bad marriages, and these reasons are almost always unhealthy.

One major reason is denial. If a problem (such as an affair) arises in a marriage, pretending that it does not exist can further drive the marriage into shambles—and it could, in fact, drive the cheating spouse into the arms of his or her “other.”

Psychology Today notes how waiting for things to change when you know, deep down, that they will not, can only lead to greater difficulties later on. If, for example, you stay in a bad marriage for decades, you could be unprepared financially, professionally, or physically to make it on your own in the event of an eventual split. Bad marriages can also have severe negative psychological consequences on children and relationships with extended family.

If you are considering divorce, speaking with a family law attorney is as important a step as considering a therapist. Do not go through it alone. Contact a DuPage County divorce attorney today.