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Disconnect in perception of marital tension may indicate divorce

It's not uncommon for relationships to sour. In fact, a significant number of marriages end in divorce. Statistics regarding the frequency of divorce are abundant, but it has been a little more difficult for researchers to pinpoint why, exactly, divorce occurs. One recently released study hoped to shine light on the subject.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, found that marital tension perceived by wives was a significant indication of divorce. The study took a look at 355 couples for 16 years, finding that marital tension, in general, increased over time. It also found that this tension increased in men more than it did in women. Yet, when women reported high relational tension with their husbands, the rate of divorce was increased. This was especially true when their husbands reported low levels of tension.

So why does this disconnect seem to indicate divorce? It's not certain, but some researchers think that husbands in these situations may be disinvested in the relationship. This, in turn, may cause them to fail to change their behavior in an attempt to relieve marital tension. Experts think that marital expectations may come into play, too, as women tend to be more realistic whereas men are more idealistic. Regardless, the study found that 40 percent of the couples divorced over the study period, which is on par with the national average.

Although there may be steps these couples can take to avoid divorce, the reality of the matter is that many times it is too difficult or even impossible to salvage a marriage. Many who attempt to do so find themselves even less happy than they were before. When an individual decides to proceed with marriage dissolution, he or she may want to seek legal help, especially since some divorce legal issues can affect an individual for years, or even decades to come.

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