Does having Thoughts of Divorce Doom My Marriage?

Sometimes we have thoughts that scare us.  It can lead to shame and fear, especially if we think we are the only ones to have these kinds of thoughts.  The National Divorce Decision-Making Project recently surveyed 3,000 individuals between the ages of 25 and 50 who have been married for at least one year.  They had some interesting findings.  Roughly one in four of those surveyed had “divorce ideation”, thoughts about divorce in the last 6 months.  Most of the individuals didn’t’ want to be divorced and wanted to work on their marriage or were willing to if their spouse was serious about making some important changes.  Only a few (5 percent) said they were done with the marriage. 

It seems that thinking about divorce isn’t the same as being ready to end a marriage.  This is probably like having second thoughts about the car you bought when you find out about the expensive repairs or questioning the decision to take a job after experiencing a difficult week at work.  We live in a disposable society.  When something breaks, we get a new one.  Steven Harris, Minnesota Couples on the Brink Project, suggested that perhaps, in a society like this it is difficult not to think about divorce.  We see it all around.  Most of us know of many people who have been divorced, perhaps we’ve experienced it ourselves. 

One more interesting thing from the study was that one in four (28%) had thought their marriage was in serious trouble in the past but had not thought so recently.  Nearly 90 percent were glad they were still married while less than one percent were not glad to be together.  Much of the time, it appears, that perseverance helps a couple outlast the problems. 

Here is a link for those who are interested on the report.