What Causes Divorce?  Common Reasons why marriages end?

Roughly 50% of marriages in the U.S. end in divorce.  While unhappy families are unhappy in their own way, there are certain factors that are common in many divorces.  Several researchers have published the results of in-depth surveys of divorced couples to compile lists of common reasons why couples divorce. Some of the most common reasons for divorce are Lack of Commitment; Conflict; Infidelity; Money Problems; Substance Abuse; Domestic Violence; Getting Married Too Young; and Different Values.

Read on to learn more about what causes divorce.

  1. Lack of Commitment

When a couple gets married, they make a “till death do us part” commitment to each other.  So, it seems strange that in several surveys, lack of commitment was the number one reason for divorce.  Commitment is vital because couples who are committed to the marriage are less likely to be overwhelmed by day to day challenges the couple will face.  Sometimes commitment gradually erodes to the point where there is not enough left to sustain the relationship.  Other times there is a dramatic drop in commitment due to a negative event, such as an affair.

  1. Conflict

Too much arguing is often cited as a reason for divorce.  Couples that have too much conflict usually have communication problems.  Couples that yell at each other, make nasty comments, or give each other the silent treatment are not communicating effectively.  These couples continue to have the same arguments over and over and their problems are rarely resolved.  Poor communication can lead to feelings of hurt and isolation.

  1. Infidelity

Infidelity is a major reason for divorce.  There are many reasons why a person might cheat- lack of intimacy, feeling neglected by their partner, or sometime the cheater is just a habitual cheater.  Many times, the marriage is already crumbling and the affair is the final nail in the coffin.  In most cases, cheating on a spouse is the point of no return.  Once it happens, divorce is inevitable.

  1. Money Problems

Financial problems can be a contributing factor in divorce.  Couples with lower incomes are more likely to cite money problems as a factor in their divorce- struggling to pay bills is extremely stressful.  When a marriage ends due to money problems, the couple usually has different values when it comes to money.  For example, one spouse may make big purchases without consulting the other.  Or one spouse will not set financial goals, or if the couple does set financial goals, one spouse will constantly subvert those goals.

  1. Substance Abuse

One partner having problems with drinking or drug abuse is another reason that is frequently cited as a reason for divorce.  When substance abuse is cited as a reason for divorce it is because the partner with the problem refuses to seek help for their addiction.  After several attempts to address the problem, the marriage ended.

  1. Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, both physical and emotional, is a major factor in many divorces.  Usually, the abuse develops gradually and the couple will go through intensifying cycles of abuse and contrition.  Eventually the abuse will become so intense that the marriage becomes intolerable.

  1. Getting Married to Young/ Lack of Preparation

A couple that gets married in their 20s is more likely to divorce than one that gets married later in life.  Couples are young and in love and have unrealistic expectations of wedded bliss that quickly changes when the realities of marriage set in.  Partners who divorce after marrying young often cite that they wish they knew their spouse better before they married.  Some couples have said that good premarital counseling would have told them they should not be getting married.  Some couple cited that they had a premarital education class but it did little to prepare them for the realities of marriage.

  1. Different Values

Successful marriages depend on the couple having an overlap in interests in values.  A couple may find that they have different values when if comes to raising children or how household duties should be divided.  Religious differences is a common factor in divorces.  Couples of different faiths are less happy than ones who are from the same faith.

These are some of the common reasons for divorce, but they are not the only ones.  When a marriage ends, it is usually due to a combination of several factors that led to the disintegration of the relationship.

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