In society, divorce is compared to an epidemic as it spreads at an alarming rate the moment it infiltrates a society. Divorce affects various aspects of life, particularly the life of children, and out of every two marriages, in most cases, one of them end up in divorce. Divorce is brought about by changes in the traditional norms producing uncertainties in marriages; hence, there is a need for new ones to be embraced. Sociology usually focuses on how various sides of life come together to shape the human behavior. On this basis, social class, life course, and adjustments in life have a role in influencing people’s motives to divorce. Status is one of the social aspects organized by social structures. People are differentiated and defined by what they have through their achievements and possessions. The life course places people in a number of statuses, known as status set, which comprises of gender, race, and social class. Status in the social system, which influences social class, life course, and adjustments in life, impacts people’s daily lives, and it is directly linked to divorce.
The roles that people play in society are guided by social norms, and they determine the privileges and responsibilities different status groups receive. These roles contribute to man’s behaviors in certain situations. Many cases of divorce are due to failure of either of the spouses to fulfill their roles. Statuses and roles are paramount social structure components as they help in organizing our lives in consistent and predictable ways (Turner, 2006). The presence of social stratification in any society leads to prejudice, social stigma, and aspects of discrimination of the parties who are ranked at the bottom and the most affected group, who are the female. This is no wonder why women are the most likely initiators of divorce. In most cases, the family and workplace roles compete with each other resulting into conflicts in families as it affects the couple’s time and attention. Nevertheless, the reasons that cause divorce are diverse, and they range from infidelity, incompatibility, drug abuse, and growing apart issues which differ among people as a result of structural and life course predictors.
The life course variables in reasons for divorce include age at marriage, issues of having children, and the duration of the marriage. Women are fond of monitoring keenly their relationships; this is the key contributor of divorce. In case they perceive a problem, they will initiate a discussion more readily, but men, on the other hand, may withdraw from the discussion, - an aspect that makes most women file divorce suits. Additionally, women more readily refer to emotional and relational issues, personality and their husband’s negative behaviors as their most probable causes of divorce, while men consider external factors such as problems with in-laws, work, and excessive demands as the causes. Aspects of social class like individuals’ income and education either place them in a high social class or a lower one. Education will promote effective communication, thus facilitating resolutions. Economic hardship increases disagreements on financial matters, thus decreasing the emotional support, and this promotes divorce (Amato & Previti, 2003).
People in high social class often attribute the causes of divorce to changes in interests, communication problems, self-centeredness, and incompatibility. On the contrary, people from low social class focus on lack of economic support, financial problems, drinking issues, employment problems, neglect of household duties, and criminal activities as the key attributes to divorce. Thus, while low social class people consider instrumental reasons and self-centeredness, high class individuals report repressive and relationship-centered reasons. When people marry at a younger age, they tend to experience greater risk of divorce due to more cases of marital problems associated with their age as compared to those who marry at elder age. The reasons for this include unstable employment, psychological immaturity, shorter spousal search process, and communication problems (Dillon, 2009). People married for short time attribute the cause of their divorce to activities of the in-laws and sexual problems. Those who married early suffer from infidelity due to changes in interests, which makes people to search for new partners, hence facilitating divorce.This explains why divorce is high during the early ages of marriage as people discover conflicting values, incompatibility, clashes of personality since courtship stage was characterized by imperfect communication (Amato &Previti, 2003).
The life course variables also contribute to the causes of divorce. Once people have divorced, they experience post-divorce adjustments. Most experiences include lower level of satisfaction, increase in health problems, higher depression levels, and higher levels of subjective distress. The major cause of these is the underlying attribution of blame about the divorce, which haunts people in post-divorce adjustments (Turner, 2006). Ex-spouses who initiated the divorce feel more satisfied than their counterparts who played a minimal role in divorce.
Divorce is currently on the rise, and the major contributors to divorce are gender, social class, and life course variables. These aspects are linked to the status the people occupy in society. Divorce happens in most cases out of dissatisfaction emanating from the social status they enjoy. Moreover, those persons who considered themselves instrumental in initiating the divorce process usually show positive adjustment after the divorce. The adjustment after divorce depends on the attribution to it as the spouses are affected by the causes of divorce, all of which revolve around social structures and life course variables. The longer people stay together, the higher possibility of them being used to each other; thus, early marriages majorly suffer from divorce.