The Leading Causes of Divorce: A Complete Guide
In the United States, just under half of all marriages end in divorce, and it’s becoming more common than in decades past.
There can be many reasons why someone is getting divorced, and the causes vary from couple to couple.
Read on to learn some of the leading causes of divorce and why they affect so many families.
Table of Contents
Conflict and Relationship Breakdowns
In some cases, couples may realize that they simply cannot get along. When fighting and arguing are constant, the relationship starts to deteriorate.
Rather than live together in a state of constant turmoil, many couples simply choose to get divorced instead. You may be familiar with the term “irreconcilable differences,” which basically means that a husband and wife are no longer able to make things work.
The reason for fighting and arguing can vary from differences in how people want to raise their children to simple differences in lifestyle. While this may seem vague, it’s also quite common since it simply means that the marriage and the relationship didn’t work out.
Causes of Divorce: Infidelity
Sadly, infidelity is another one of the leading causes of divorce. One partner may “cheat” on the other behind their back, causing mistrust, pain, and anger for the other.
Once the trust is broken, it can be extremely difficult to gain it back. In some cases, a partner may be disloyal because they’re unhappy with their current situation. In other cases, they could simply have a lack of commitment and end up giving in to seduction from another person.
Infidelity or having an extramarital affair is an extremely destructive behavior that can make reconciliation almost impossible. However, with counseling, some couples are able to make it work. You can read this how to guide to learn more about ways to make a marriage work.
Physical and/or Verbal Abuse
Domestic abuse can happen between parents and children, siblings, and married couples. When someone is physically or verbally abusive, it can make living together virtually impossible.
In fact, abuse is another of the most prevalent divorce causes, and it often ends in someone getting physically injured or worse. Abuse is a very serious problem that can’t easily be “cured” and often goes undetected until things boil over.
If you know someone who is being abused, it’s important to encourage them to get professional help and to at least temporarily remove themselves from the situation. Partners who have been abused will either stay or file for divorce in order to be free of their abuser.
Sadly, finances are yet another reason why some couples get divorced. If a partner loses their job and has difficulty finding another one or if they’re not paying their fair share, it can lead to serious conflict and other issues.
Things like losing a home, one partner working more or “harder” than the other, and partners who go into debt without their spouse’s knowledge are common. While many financial issues can be rectified, sometimes, the issue is much too serious or too far gone to repair.
Many times, a spouse may feel as if they work harder than their partner, which can lead to frustration and resentment. Other times, it could be that debt is just too much for the couple to get out of, leading to feelings of confusion and hopelessness. Aside from marital counseling, a financial counselor can help couples get their situation in order so the marriage can be saved.
Lack of Commitment
In marriage, one partner might have higher expectations from their spouse than the other. Eventually, they could feel as if their spouse simply doesn’t care as much as they do, as if they’re just not as committed to the marriage.
This term is called lack of commitment, and it can be a serious issue in a marriage. If someone feels that their partner isn’t giving as much to the relationship as they are, they may decide to divorce in order to pursue are a more loyal or more committed partner in the future.
One government study showed that lack of commitment was actually a leading cause of divorce for couples. Without good communication and an understanding of expectations about the marriage, some couples will simply disagree on what their marriage should be.
Drug and alcohol addiction is a common problem for many people in the United States, not just married couples. However, it’s another leading cause of divorce in this country.
People who are addicted to drugs or who have issues with alcoholism will often end up driving the people in their lives away. In a marriage, having a partner addicted to drugs or alcohol can be extremely difficult and painful.
Unless the addict gets the help they need to free themselves of addiction, the other partner will likely leave the marriage. In some cases, the addicted partner can overdose or become incarcerated which also leads to serious problems.
Saving Marriages is Possible
While there are many causes of divorce, it’s also possible to keep marriages intact with the right help. Working together, getting counseling, and recommitting yourselves to the marriage are just some ways that you can overcome divorce and stay together.
Not all marriages can or should be saved, but many can as long as each partner wants the marriage to continue.
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