An all-star cast portrayed a family in the 2009 film "It's Complicated" that was navigating its way through being a family of divorce. An ex-husband, ex-wife, new wife and potential love interest all crossed each others' paths and made for lots of awkward moments and laughs.
But the term, "It's complicated," is becoming increasingly popular in use in order to define the state of U.S. marriages. A recent column in Politics Daily reflects on the growing rate of married couples whose marriages are best defined as avoiding divorce rather than living in love.
Apparently, some couples just can't find it in themselves to officially split. The main reasons are financial consequences, family effects, comfort and, some would argue, fear of truly moving on.
Getting divorced costs money. How much it costs depends on legal representation and the climate of the divorce. Especially in this recession, some couples would rather stay married, even if they are unhappy, as long as they can save money.
The cost of the legal process is not the only financial consequence of divorce. Again, the economy leaves little room for the possibility that couples can afford to live separately from each other or afford sufficient healthcare without being named on their spouse's policy.
Because not all couples who, financials aside, would probably get divorced still care for each other, agreeing to stay together for money's sake is doable for them. According to Politics Daily, some couples even arrange to live in the same house but on different floors. They might care for their children together but live otherwise separate lives.
Financial Cost vs. Cost of Real Happiness
While it is completely understandable that money is scarce today and almost everyone is making sacrifices to get by, some relationship experts challenge the trend of staying married for money alone. What is independent happiness or the happiness one might find with new love worth?
If couples truly do care about the financial future of their spouses after divorce, they can make the decision to approach divorce with a financial focus, perhaps using mediation, which is an affordable divorce option. A lifetime of living together in an unhappy marriage seems entirely more threatening to one's quality of life versus the relatively small amount of time and money that could be spent coming to an amicable divorce agreement.
Money is not the only reason why some couples avoid divorce. Check back in later this week to learn more about the familial and emotional factors that play roles in some couples' decisions to stay married despite unhappiness and whether experts think living "un-divorced" is healthy.
Politics Daily: The Un-Divorce: When Leaving Your Marriage is Just Too Much Work (8/2/2010)