Study: Unhappy Couples Stay Together for Many Reasons

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Jul 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

His "Achy Breaky Heart" may be soothed – for now.


Billy Ray Cyrus and his longtime wife, Tish, have once again called off their plans to divorce, saying in a joint statement that the two had again reconciled after attending marriage counseling.

Our Birmingham divorce lawyers wish them well.

We recognize that all couples who are together for decades are going to have their ups and downs. It's part of the natural ebb and flow of a relationship. Sometimes, love and hard work is enough to fix it. Other times, it's not.

However, a recent study showed that sometimes, long-married couples may stay that way not because it's working, but because they've simply given up. They fear they wouldn't be able to establish a successful life outside of that partnership. For many, that relationship is all they've ever known.

It can be understandably difficult to step outside of one's comfort zone and make the decision to strike out on your own. With the proper planning and the help of a good divorce lawyer, it doesn't have to be a disastrous one.

The recent British study questioned 2,000 married couples in Britain. What they found was that more than a fifth reported feeling "trapped." They indicated they would end their marriage "today" if they felt they could do so without having to be concerned with financial security.

One in 10 described their marriage as "loveless." A total of 15 percent said they found themselves wishing they had married someone else.

As for the reasons they stayed, women mostly cited financial reasons. Men mostly cited concern for the impact it would have on their families. A quarter of people said they were staying together for the sake of the kids.

More than half of respondents said their partners take them for granted. A third said they have serious doubts about whether their union will last. Only a quarter said marriage had turned out as they had hoped.

Nearly a third said they were considering ending the marriage, though far fewer believed they might actually go through with hit.

Among the top reasons people said they were putting off divorce:

  1. Feel I lack the courage to go through with it.
  2. I fear I might regret it.
  3. I keep hoping things will improve.
  4. Need to stay together for the children.
  5. I couldn't sustain myself financially.
  6. I don't want to leave my home.
  7. I'm too old to start over again.
  8. I would feel guilty.
  9. I'm afraid of being alone.
  10. I don't want to be lonely.

Of course, divorce should never be a split-second decision, especially for those who have been married a long time or who have children to consider. But that doesn't mean people should have to feel like the rest of their lives must be spent in this joyless place.

Divorce is a last resort, but the idea that potentially hundreds of thousands of people in this country are staying together solely because they worry about the financial struggles is very sad.

Even those who are not wealthy can manage a divorce. Again, it just takes proper planning.

Call us today to learn more about how we can help.

If you are seeking a divorce in Birmingham, contact Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

Additional Resources:

Billy Ray Cyrus, Tish Cyrus, calling off divorce, July 22, 2013, By Christie DZurilla, Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama


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