You know things are not going well for you and your spouse. Your partner did seem stern, aloof and resentful that last time you spoke to each other.
Like always you expect them to come around, let go of the steam and become their normal self with time.
Instead, one day, you come home to find their clothes missing from their cupboards and a piece of paper on the dinner table- a divorce notice.
Do you think this scenario could transpire into your life?
It’s not uncommon that couples start to fight and make up, fight and make up, until one day they fall apart for good.
Don’t neglect your relationship issues, you never know, your relationship could be treading towards rocky roads too!
What are the real top reasons for divorce?
Infidelity, lack of communication, financial troubles, sparing sessions of sex and intimacy are some of the common reasons for divorce.
Let’s look at the 20 most common reasons for divorce and hope that you can learn from the mistakes of others.
20 top reasons for divorce
Extra-marital affairs are responsible for the breakdown of most marriages that end in divorce.
This is one of the most common causes of divorce. The reasons why people cheat aren’t as cut and dry as our anger may lead us to believe.
Anger and resentment are common underlying reasons for cheating, along with differences in sexual appetite and lack of emotional intimacy.
Infidelity often begins as a seemingly innocent friendship, says infidelity expert Ruth Houston. “It starts as an emotional affair which later becomes a physical affair”.
Infidelity is the number one reason for divorce.
It is also one of the legal reasons for divorce, besides living apart for more than a year and subjecting your partner to cruelty (mental or physical).
Money makes people funny, or so the saying goes, and it’s true.
Why is divorce so common due to financial incompatibility?
According to several studies and divorce statistics, a “final straw” reason for divorce is a lack of financial compatibility and
money mistakes in marriage.
Everything from different spending habits and financial goals to one spouse making considerably more money than the other, causing a power struggle can strain a marriage to the breaking point.
“Money really touches everything. It impacts people’s lives,” said Emmet Burns, brand marketing director for SunTrust.
Clearly, money and stress do seem to go hand in hand for many couples.
Financial troubles can be categorized as one of the biggest causes of divorce, following infidelity, the number one reason for divorce.
3. Lack of communication
Communication is crucial in marriage and not being able to communicate effectively quickly leads to resentment and frustration for both, impacting all aspects of a marriage.
On the other hand, good communication is the foundation of a strong marriage.
Yelling at your spouse, not talking enough throughout the day, making nasty comments to express yourself are all unhealthy methods of communication that need to be ditched in a marriage.
Poor communication is one of the biggest reasons for divorce.
Practicing mindful communication, to change age-old marriage mistakes, can be hard but it’s well worth the effort to improve and save your relationship.
4. Constant arguing
From bickering about chores to arguing about the kids; incessant arguing kills many relationships.
Couples who seem to keep having the same argument over again often do so because they feel they’re not being heard or appreciated.
Many find it hard to see the other person’s point of view, which leads to a lot of arguments without ever coming to a resolution, which can ultimately be a cause of divorce.
5. Weight gain
It may seem awfully superficial or unfair, but weight gain is one of the most common reasons for divorce.
It may seem odd but weight gain is also one of the leading causes of divorce.
In some cases a significant amount of weight gain causes the other spouse to become less physically attracted while for others, weight gain takes a toll on their self-esteem, which trickles into issues with intimacy and can even become a cause of divorce.
6. Unrealistic expectations
It’s easy to go into a marriage with lofty expectations; expecting your spouse and the marriage to live up to your image of what they should be.
These expectations can put a lot of strain on the other person, leaving you feeling let down and setting your spouse up for failure.
Wrong expectation setting can become one of the reasons for divorce.
7. Lack of intimacy
Not feeling connected to your partner can quickly ruin a marriage because it leaves couples feeling as though they’re living with a stranger or more like roommates than spouses.
This can be from a lack of physical or emotional intimacy and isn’t always about sex.
If you are constantly giving your spouse the cold shoulder, then know that over time it can become the ground for divorce.
Ignoring your partner’s sexual needs is being called the number one cause of divorce in recent times.
Making your relationship intimate and special is the responsibility of both partners.
Practice little acts of kindness, appreciation and enjoy physical intimacy as much as possible to sweeten your relationship.
8. Lack of equality
Lack of equality comes closely behind another cause of divorce, lack of intimacy, in recent times.
When one partner feels that they take on more responsibility in the marriage, it can alter their view of the other person and lead to resentment.
Resentment often snowballs to become one of the reasons for estrangement, in fact, it is a leading cause of divorce.
Every couple must negotiate through their own and unique set of challenges, and find their own way of living together as two equals who enjoy a respectful, harmonious and joyful relationship.
9. Not being prepared for marriage
A surprising number of couples of all ages have blamed not being prepared for married life for the demise of their relationship.
Divorce rates are highest among couples in their 20s. Lack of preparation is one of the most common reasons for divorce.
Almost half the divorces occur in the first 10 years of marriage, especially between the fourth and eighth anniversary.
Physical or emotional abuse is a sad reality for some couples.
It doesn’t always stem from the abuser being a “bad” person; deep emotional issues are usually to blame.
Regardless of the reason, no one should tolerate abuse and be removing yourself from the relationship safely is important.
Substance abuse or addiction of any kind – alcohol, drug, gambling, sexual predating, compulsive lying, or excessive smoking batters a marriage irreparably.
It takes a toll on your relationship with your spouse, impedes your career growth, disturbs the financial equilibrium, and leaves a negative impact on children.
12. A difference in parenting styles
A gap in parenting styles is one of the most common causes of divorce.
You are a strict disciplinarian who gives no leeway for any kind of misbehavior or cuts slack in discipline from children, while your spouse has a more relaxed and flexible approach to rules.
In this scenario, children would naturally gravitate towards the parent who is fine with breaking or bending rules.
This tug of war in parenting style and lopsided dynamics can lead to an estrangement between spouses.
13. When you don’t marry for love
If you have married your partner because they look like a million bucks or if your partner has married you for your wealth, then the foundation of marriage is not true love.
A marriage lacking foundational love is not strong enough to overcome relationship challenges and eventually succumbs to the end of love and need to be together.
14. Lack of sincerity
Sometimes insincerity, dishonesty, and lies creep in a relationship over a period of time.
You and your partner make-do with living together for the sake of children, the comfort of familiarity, social security, and finances.
Even if one of the partners is dishonest with the other, the marriage is bound to break.
Lack of full disclosure in terms of finance, whereabouts, emotions and other aspects of life eventually may attribute to reasons for divorce.
15. Losing your identity
If you are a woman, sometimes loss of individuality hits you without you even realizing the gravity of it, sometimes becoming one of the causes of divorce.
Your status is relegated to being a loving and caring wife, a doting mother, a dutiful daughter-in-law, and more but have you subsequently lost every shred of YOU?
Years down the life, when you reflect, you realize you have lost your identity.
To aggravate the situation, your sacrifices go unacknowledged.
Losing your original self and lack of recognition for your contribution to your spouse’s life can be one of the most common reasons for divorce.
16. Irreconcilable differences
Ongoing conflicts can leave a marriage at a stage where there is no point of return.
If conflicts happen very often and on trivial issues, it leads to prevalent unpleasantness in a couple’s life and the relationship crumbles.
So, what causes divorce?
A point of no return is one of the divorce reasons, even if it does not constitute one of the most common grounds for divorce.
17. Long-distance relationship
Being separated from your partner by miles, and struggling to remain close and yet failing, is one of the top reasons for divorce.
A lot of misunderstandings, suspicion, frustration, and lack of communication stems from a lack of physical proximity.
In a long-distance relationship, partners end up imagining the most dreadful reasons for their spouse not picking up the call, or responding to messages.
Why do people divorce in an LDR?
Lack of responsiveness and unavailability in a relationship may end up as the leading cause of divorce.
18. Control struggles in relationships
Toxicity arising out of a need to control between partners is why people get a divorce even if they had a strong love bond at the beginning of a relationship.
The compulsive need to intrude, isolating a spouse from others, coercing and controlling a partner by dictating terms to them leads to unpleasantness and a feeling of suffocation between couples.
A thirst for control can deteriorate a relationship beyond repair.
19. Interference of parents in married life
If your in-laws interfere in every conversation, decision and lifestyle choice that you and your partner make, it can end up making to the list of valid reasons for divorce.
It is annoying to have somebody telling you, no matter how experienced and wise they are, on how to interact, what to do with your life and where and when to go.
An overbearing, looming presence of in-laws in a couple’s married life is one of the causes of divorce today.
20. Jealousy and insecurity
As opposed to a common belief, jealousy is not a sign of love.
On the contrary, jealousy and insecurity can lead to cracks in a relationship and eventually become one of the reasons for divorce.
Jealousy often stems from a lack of self-esteem, emotional instability, feelings of possessiveness, inadequacy, unhealthy codependency, and anxious attachment style.
Unwarranted jealousy in a relationship wreaks havoc on the relationship stability.
Amongst other reasons for divorce, the inability to deal with jealousy and insecurity is a potential threat to a marriage.
No marriage is easy.
A final word on common reasons for divorce
Even couples with the best intentions are sometimes unable to overcome their challenges and end up in courtrooms.
That’s why it’s important to address issues in your relationship early on, don’t let them become one of the reasons for divorce. Don’t wait until they are beyond fixing.
Practice kindness, make intimacy a priority, go on holidays and seek marriage counseling (even when things are fine) to preserve the health and longevity of your relationship.
Try your very best before you decide that things are beyond your control, there are too many reasons for divorce and it is time to give up.
That way you can have the peace of knowing you tried all of the alternatives before the big step.
Divorce is one of the worst things you can experience emotionally, but sometimes, it’s inevitable and for good.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Shellie Warren