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Why a Lazy Husband or Wife Can Commonly Lead to Divorce

Michael Tierney
November 5, 2022

Marriage is the ultimate stage of a romantic relationship and cements our commitment to our significant other. When we marry our partner, we agree to a partnership meant to last the rest of our lives. It is a partnership where we agree to share the good and bad parts of our lives and shoulder any burden together. Such a commitment often means agreeing to certain compromises or making certain sacrifices for the good of our relationship.

Marriage is hard work, and the effort we put into that relationship cannot be anything less than everything we have. This might seem like an easy promise to make in the moment, but unfortunately, some people cannot fulfill their commitments in their relationship.

A common issue, especially with modern Americans, is the lack of drive to do anything. Specifically, laziness has become an epidemic that has caused many to be less ambitious and held them back from making progress in life. Laziness affects our physical, personal, and professional lives to such a degree that the three often overlap.

You might not fit the definition of lazy, but your spouse might. While having a lazy spouse might not seem like an issue right away, it can cause serious trouble in the relationship that drives us to the dreaded realm of divorce.

What is Laziness?

We realize that you likely have a solid understanding of the textbook definition of "lazy" and that you already know how to identify the trait. Unfortunately, there is an issue where people often misattribute laziness to genuine exhaustion or inability to perform additional tasks. This thin line has led to the abuse or dilution of the term "lazy" that certain individuals use to hold power over others. Therefore, being painfully aware of what laziness actually means is an excellent way to ensure such misunderstandings are not an issue in your relationship, especially if you are receiving such accusations.

Solution The biggest distinction is that laziness is a disinclination or unwillingness to expend physical, emotional, or psychological energy to accomplish a goal.

A lazy individual will remain idle and stagnate to an unhealthy degree that might compromise their life. The main difference between a lazy individual and an individual unable to pursue their ambitions is that a lazy person chooses not to work on the issue.

A Lazy Wife

For example:

  • Laziness: A man who has been home all day and done nothing is approached by his wife and asked to take out the garbage. He refuses and forces his wife to do the one chore she asked of him.
  • Exhaustion: A man who has worked a 14-hour shift at work comes home late at night, and his wife asks the same favor as the previous example. This man refuses, too but does so because he is so exhausted from his shift that he needs rest.

In the first example, the man refused because he did not want to expend energy despite having plenty to spare.

In the 2nd example, the man refused because he had no energy left to expend despite being willing to take the garbage out for his wife.

This distinction separates the lazy from the exhausted and makes it clear that we cannot make such accusations idly. How this laziness affects marriage is another issue that needs to be thoroughly examined since it can cause divorce.

It Affects the Division of Labor

One of the most obvious examples of how laziness can cause divorce is that there is an expectation of shared effort from spouses. This usually involves the division of chores between you and your spouse so that you are both putting in the necessary effort. This division of labor could mean alternating who takes out the trash or does the dishes. It might also affect the division of childcare or other day-to-day tasks that you cannot ignore.

It is common for spouses to trade off tasks, so neither is overloaded with things to do, with concessions made for work schedules and the like. Unfortunately, life with a lazy spouse skews this division. When your spouse is unwilling to expend energy on anything other than the most trivial efforts for themselves, they are unlikely to adhere to chore routines.

Unfair Division of Labor

Instead, they will attempt to make excuses to compel you to pick up their slack despite them having done nothing for most of the day. This refusal to perform their half of the chores and tasks means you will end up doing more than is physically reasonable. This undue exertion will ultimately exhaust you and leave you unable to do more than get rest at the expense of other important tasks. It also means the forfeiture of all your leisure activities while your spouse is free to enjoy their leisure activities.

This unfair division of labor can be infuriating and make you feel like they are taking you for granted. Such a clear disregard for your significance in the relationship cannot reasonably be overlooked and leads to thoughts of leaving your spouse. Eventually, such thoughts translate to action if the issue persists and your spouse remains unwilling to do anything asked of them.

It Affects the Financial Situation

While your spouse's laziness might be a frustration or point of contention at home, it also directly affects your financial situation. Modern society often has both spouses working full-time to ensure their financial situation remains viable. Two-income households have become the norm due to rising personal expenses across the country. This has led to a major financial crisis for people worldwide and can make paying bills a stressful part of life. This issue is not as severe for those who can find gainful employment, so they can pay their expenses and still live comfortably. However, the situation is prone to change if your spouse is lazy.

A lazy spouse who is employed will lack the ambition or drive to advance within their career path and stagnate instead. Depending on their income, this stagnation is not necessarily an issue. Still, most Americans start with low-paying positions and are expected to work their way up to superior income. A lazy spouse will not exhibit any effort towards advancement and will stay in their low-income position.

Couple Reviewing Financial Situation

Solution Most lazy individuals do the bare minimum at work and exhibit a poor work ethic.

This usually results in their termination and the loss of their paltry income altogether, making you the sole provider of finances in the household. This issue can be exacerbated if your spouse freely spends money on personal purchases without contributing anything to your financial reserves.

In more extreme cases, a lazy spouse will fail to seek employment and rely on you for all your collective financial needs. Having to finance your life, that of your spouse, and any children you might have can tax your resources to a breaking point. A spouse whose laziness causes them not to contribute financially means you will spend money on expenses that require 2 incomes to cover. This financial drain can cause your expenses to pile up and drive you to a breaking point. Eventually, divorcing a spouse who does not contribute financially might look more appealing than financing their sedentary lifestyle.

It Affects the Relationship

While laziness is usually considered an issue of physical effort, a psychological and emotional component makes marriage to a lazy spouse difficult. When a spouse is lazy, they do not want to use their energy or devote time to anything outside their limited scope of interests.

A lazy spouse typically fixates on lying around watching television, playing video games, reading, eating, or other unconstructive activities. The ones who spend their time awake tend to devote their consciousness to the sedentary activities they enjoy rather than solving problems. Unfortunately, this lack of focus on anything outside their interests affects their relationship with their spouse.

Their inability to use energy on anything outside these narrow interests means they are unable to dedicate focus to you. This could mean they are too lazy to engage in healthy communication because it interrupts what they want to be doing.

Solution Healthy communication is a cornerstone of any marriage and cannot be disregarded.

Couple Not Communicating Healthily

Unfortunately, a lazy spouse will happily ignore their spouse's emotional needs if it allows them to remain stationary and focused on their leisure. This is not to say everyone who watches television or plays video games is lazy, but that such activities are often all that hold a lazy person's interest.

This lack of communication results in an emotional gap between you and the person you married, which can severely affect your mental health.

Solution Without communication, it is impossible to resolve differences or confide in the person with whom you spend your life.

Our spouses are meant to be the ultimate confidant and someone we can rely on when we need emotional support.

A lazy spouse will only have the capacity to consider their own needs, which seldom go beyond whatever will make them happy at the moment. Most lazy people seek instant gratification and will not want to put work into what will make them happy. Instead, they want the best result immediately, no matter how infeasible it might be.

Over time, this distance and your spouse's unwillingness to work on their issues or what is upsetting you can drive a wedge between you. Eventually, you might give up on your spouse and want to end the relationship since your needs are not being met. The effect laziness has on relationships is extremely profound and is often overlooked due to the traditional connotations behind the disposition.

Can Laziness Be Fixed?

With all the issues laziness can cause in a relationship, you might wonder if correcting your spouse's behavior is possible. The answer is "yes," but it is not optimistic. There is no standard cure for laziness since it is less a disease and more a state of mind.

Solution The only "cure" for laziness is for the lazy individual to set their mind to contribute, commit to a series of lifestyle changes, and put a lot of hard work into saving the relationship.

Such a transition is extremely difficult and time-consuming, so the likelihood of someone with severe laziness overcoming the issue is low. That said, it might be possible if you can break through to your spouse and convince them their behavior is harming your marriage.

A Lazy Person

The issue is that breaking through to someone like this can make it difficult to know when to stop trying. You cannot help someone unwilling to help themselves, so your spouse's rehabilitation needs to be their decision. Otherwise, they will be as non-committal with their lifestyle changes as they are with everything else. If, after a reasonable period, your spouse shows no signs of correcting their laziness, you might find yourself unable to continue dealing with them.

On top of the above, laziness can often stem from a variety of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, and executive dysfunction. There's no easy way, no shortcut, and no simple drug that can solve these problems.

Learn the Law

Contemplating divorce for any reason is always a terrifying prospect, especially if you have been married for some time. Dealing with a lazy spouse can destroy a relationship, and their behavior can be infuriating. Over time, this behavior might be sufficient to drive you away from your spouse and seek a fresh start.

While this sentiment is understandable, divorce can be a tricky and complicated process. While a lazy spouse might not be interested in a lengthy divorce, some might put up more of a fight than you were expecting. They might even be willing to employ underhanded techniques to secure a victory.

Learning the Law

The complexities of divorce law enable certain individuals to abuse the system if their opposition is unfamiliar with the tactics involved. Fortunately, educating yourself on divorce practices and situations is far easier than it once was. While you might not be able to get the same level of understanding that an attorney has, you can prepare yourself for certain scenarios that might apply to your case.

A little research can yield a treasure trove of information you can use to protect yourself and your interests during divorce proceedings. We realize this is a complicated and unpleasant situation, and we hope this article provides a little clarity.

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Written By:
Michael Tierney

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