As the month of January comes to a close, I have learned January is the month of the year with the highest filings for divorce. Apparently, this is the time of year couples are not marching to church but to the courthouse or attorney’s office. They have made it through “the most wonderful time of the year,” with disappointment and unmet expectations. They find themselves still married, but… miserable.
I would imagine there are endless reasons a spouse files for divorce in January looking for new love in February. They might include the person rationalizing:
- The holidays were awful and we’re to be happy and loving
- I can’t do this another year
- I am not happy in this marriage
- I deserve to be happy
- This is not the person I married
- We have changed too much
- We argue all the time
- The kids want us to divorce
- Marriage is too difficult
The reasons for divorce are endless, such as cheating, infidelity, drug, sex, and alcohol addictions, immaturity, the inability to have children, career stress, death of a child, children with mental or physical health issues. Let’s not forget the most commonly known reason, such as money, sex, and in-laws.
In our office, we have worked with couples when one spouse struggles with pornography or sex addiction, and the marriage ended in divorce. We have also worked couples when one or both have had numerous affairs or sex acts outside of the marriage, and the marriage survived. When it comes to infidelity, many think the marriage is over and cannot be restored, but this is not true. Sex addiction and infidelity do not always equal divorce.
You may wonder why do some marriages make it through spousal indiscretions and other marriages do not survive smaller issues. For example, I have worked with younger couples in age as well as the amount of time married when one spouse is struggling with pornography and no infidelity, and the marriage ends in divorce. I have also worked with older couples in age as well as a good number of years into their marriage who have had many years of lying, infidelity, numerous romantic or anonymous partners. Yet, after intensive work and time, the marriage survives and thrives. How can this be?
I believe it comes down to what I call leverage. How much leverage the marriage has as a whole in comparison to how much leverage divorce has, as each individually considers going their separate way.
Here are somethings to consider about whether your marriage has the leverage and strength to survive sex addiction or infidelity.
- Being married 7 years or more
- Being over the age of 35
- Financial independence or dependence, single or dual income
- Joint accounts and finances
- The presences of children or grandchildren
- They have children as a couple
- Common interests as a couple
- Strong in-law relationships
- Low life stressors
- Sexual satisfaction
- High level of trust between them
- The absence of an addiction(s)
- Individual’s high level of maturity and commitment
- The absence of intimacy anorexia [http://transformedhearts.com/intimacy-anorexia/]
- Spiritual similarities
- Political similarities
These are areas I have observed that can give a marriage and a couple leverage in their ability to overcome sex addiction and/or infidelity. This does not guarantee that a couple’s marriage will not end in divorce. However, the more of these areas that are present – the greater the leverage the marriage has, and the more likely it will survive sex addiction or infidelity.
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.