Professional athletes experience a lot of marital discord. It’s estimated that as many as 80% of pro athletes will end up divorced at least once — compared to 50% (or less) of the general population of Americans.
What many pros don’t realize, however, is why it happens. Here are some of the most common reasons that athletes end up divorced:
- Professional athletes have to devote a tremendous amount of time and energy to their craft. Practice sessions, private physical training sessions, travel and games can leave the athlete with little ability to devote more to their families or marriage.
- There’s a lot of separation. Pro athletes are on the road a lot of the year, and that means that spouses have to cope with all of the pressures of family life on their own.
- There can be a lot of intrusion from outside forces. Sometimes fans will throw themselves at a professional athlete and that creates friction in a marriage. Or, the media attention may become overwhelming to some spouses — especially once they have children.
- Professional athletes feel a lot of pressure to succeed and always be at the top of their games. The stress can easily manifest in depression and bouts of anger — and that can be misdirected toward their spouses or families.
- Money woes can happen. Pro athletes sometimes get overwhelmed with their sudden wealth and make poor financial decisions. Money troubles are often a precursor to divorce.
Some of these issues may be surmountable with the right sort of effort and assistance — some of them aren’t. If divorce is likely in your future, it’s wisest to address the issue head-on. A proactive approach can save you a great deal of money and trouble.