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Five Risk Factors for Divorce

In a recent article for U.S. News and World Report, New York City-based psychotherapist and former reality TV show host Robi Ludwig discusses what she believes are the top 5 risk factors that can lead to divorce.

1.      Contempt or mockery.  According to Ludwig it is difficult or impossible to believe how one person can love another if they are unwilling to share in the other's joys and disappointments.

2.      Earning inequities.  Although the income gap between men and women has closed considerably over the years, Ludwig finds that some women resent earning more than their husbands.  It can make them feel less feminine and feel angry that they have to take on greater financial responsibility than their husbands.

3.      Sickness.  Some spouse love to play the role of caregiver in the relationship, as it makes them feel needed, nurturing, or even powerful.  Once the previously ill spouse recovers, many partners move on in order to fill this 'need to be needed'.

4.      Addiction or abuse.  Ludwig believes that addiction to alcohol, drugs, or gambling can easily ruin even the firmest of relationships.  So too, can physical or emotional abuse.  Unfortunately, many family law cases contain allegations of both addiction and abuse.

5.      Feelings of missing out.  Couples who marry at an unusually young age can be especially vulnerable to this.  Responsibilities like child rearing can easily overwhelm young people, as well as the feeling of having missed out on life experiences that other people their age routinely enjoy.

Even if none of these are present, Ludwig acknowledges that some couples were either never meant to be together in the first place or simply grow apart over time.