10 Common Reasons That Cause Couples to Get a Divorce
Written by Craig Cherney

10 Common Reasons That Cause Couples to Get a Divorce

It’s a fact that almost half of all first marriages in the US end in separation or divorce; the percentage is even higher for second and third marriages. People leave marriages for a variety of reasons.  Knowing some of the most common reasons for divorce can help you understand why so many marriages fail so you can try to avoid the same pitfalls in your relationship.

In most cases, collaborative divorce can help you avoid the high cost of divorce litigation, by keeping your case out of court. Collaborative divorce also includes processes designed to help achieve the best outcome for your children after divorce. Contact one of the professionals at Best Legal Choices to learn more about the collaborative divorce process.

Below you will find discover some of the most common reasons for divorce as well as some of the peaceful divorce options available to you.

1. Emotional or Physical Abuse

Emotional, physical and verbal abuse is responsible for as much as 34% of all divorces. Even if one spouse hasn’t put their hands on the other, behavior such as name-calling and screaming can be perceived as emotional abuse and the scars from being on the receiving end can last a lifetime. In some cases, one spouse commits domestic violence against the other; however, there are some situations where both spouses are physically or emotionally abusive to each other.

2. Mismangament of Funds or Overspending

Couples who constantly fight about money or struggle with debt often end up divorcing. Divorce can also be caused by a partner’s mismanagement of funds or overspending habits. In some cases, some people are waiting to get divorced until they feel financially independent enough to do so.

3. Physical or Digital Infidelity

It’s not uncommon for a marital relationship to be tested if a spouse has been unfaithful. Even internet relationships, which can rise to the level of “emotional affairs,” have been known to cause marital issues.

4. Alcohol or Drug Addicition

Alcohol and drug additions are one of the most common reasons people get divorced. The partner with the addiction will often focus on feedingtheir addiction rather than tending to their relationship.  Some people stay in a relationship with an addicted partner in hopes they will change and stop using. According to AddictionCenter, “While addiction is a heavy burden on a marriage and sometimes divorce may be the only answer, treatment for addiction can be an alternative solution for some married couples. With professional help and support from family and friends, a person who gets treatment can recover from addiction and save their marriage.

5. Lack of Communication

It’s easy to forget to talk to each other with when we get so busy with our careers and our children. However, something might be wrong if you find yourself having nothing to say to your partner for long periods of time or you are falling short of words.

If you try to talk to your partner about your relationship and you feel like they constantly withdraw or won’t discuss martial issues, you may feel like they are not interested in maintaining or repairing the marriage. But lack of communication doesn’t necessarily mean you should get divorced. Maybe you should try marriage counseling. According to MomJunction, “If communication gap is the only cause for divorce, it is better sorted out through professional counseling than through divorce.

6. Lack of  Intimacy

Intimacy keeps the romance alive between couples. As people age or grow apart, their desire for intimacy often wanes. If one spouse is content with a celibate marriage and the other is not, this incompatibility may lead to divorce. Whether one partner is making excuses, not trying, or refusing to compromise, not having an intimate relationship with your partner can lead to divorce.

7. Losing Yourself

With all the responsibilities you have as a parent, child, employee, or boss, it’s easy to lose pieces of yourself along the way. Every relationship will require sacrifice or compromise, but if you are sacrificing too much of yourself it can be damaging to you and to your marital relationship. Don’t run out the door to get divorced just yet. It is possible to find yourself again without ending your relationship. Try having a date night friends, pursing passion projects, taking a vacation without your partner, or find a hobby. Focus on yourself for a while and be open with your partner about why you are doing so.

8. Too Much Pain

Some couples are dealt the devastating blow of the loss of a pregnancy or a child. While many turn to their partner for comfort and guidance, others see their spouse as a reminder of an event too painful to bear. If individual or couples counseling doesn’t help, these grief-stricken spouses may feel that the only way to escape the painful past is to leave it all behind and start over without their spouse.

9. Interference of In-Laws

Maybe your parents are getting older and need help with their day-to-day needs. Or maybe you and your spouse have fallen on hard times and you have to live with their parents to make ends meet. It can be difficult living under the same roof with your in-laws, especially if there are no clear boundaries. The same can be true even when the in-laws don’t share the couple’s home. You want your spouse to have a healthy relationship with his/her parents, but not to the extent of running to them every time you have a squabble or when you’re trying to make a major decision together as a couple. This is particularly true if your in-laws are the interfering type.

10. Unrealistic Expectations of Marriage

No couples stay ‘head over heels’ in love forever. Even those who seem to have the “perfect relationship” will tell you that a successful marriage take hard work by both spouses. Unrealistic expectations of marriage can set up couples to fail. According to Clinton Power, a clinical relationship counselor quoted in an article posted on PsychCentral, you expect that your relationship is meant to be a certain way, and that expectation doesn’t happen, this can create feelings of anxiety, sadness, and despair.” The article goes on to say that this unrealistic expectation “can spark resentment, which can ruin relationships.”


  1. Feb, and Marriage.com. “9 Reasons to Leave a Marriage and Start Life Afresh.” Best Marriage Advice – Get Marriage Tips from Experts, 13 Feb. 2019, https://www.marriage.com/advice/separation/reasons-to-leave-a-marriage/.
  2. “Healing Intimate Relationships Worldwide.” Couples Therapy Inc., 25 June 2018, https://couplestherapyinc.com/3-top-reasons-to-leave-a-marriage/.
  3. Wong, Brittany. “6 Reasons Women Leave Their Marriages, According To Marriage Therapists.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 3 Aug. 2016, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/reasons-women-leave-their-marriages-according-to-marriage-therapists_n_579fc7b9e4b0e2e15eb6ea31.
  4. Navuluri, Bhavana. “21 Devastating Reasons For Divorce And What The Laws Say.” MomJunction, 24 Aug. 2019, https://www.momjunction.com/articles/devastating-reasons-for-divorce_00409217/#gref.
  5. Warren, Shellie, et al. “Top Reasons for Getting a Divorce.” Best Marriage Advice – Get Marriage Tips from Experts, 2 Sept. 2019, https://www.marriage.com/advice/divorce/the-top-reasons-for-getting-a-divorce/.
  6. “Divorce Statistics and Facts: What Affects Divorce Rates in the U.S.?” Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP, https://www.wf-lawyers.com/divorce-statistics-and-facts/.

See Also:

Collaborative Divorce is a Peaceful Divorce Option

Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. One of the legalfinancial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.


The collaborative divorce process is designed to help people who are willing to work together to make an agreement that benefits the family. Resources that help parents communicate effectively during this process can help them model appropriate behavior for their kids. With love and support, children can more effectively deal with their parents’ divorce. Contact one of the professionals at Best Legal Choices if you’re ready to take the first step toward starting your new life.