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The Top 10 Reasons Marriages End in Divorce

The top ten reasons people get divorced.

File Photo
File Photo
By Mary Montgomery

In life, things happen for a reason and divorce is one of those life events that just doesn’t happen by accident. In a marriage, whether it’s been a year or 20 years, problems tend to build up over time. If one or both of the spouses chooses not to share how they’re feeling, the probability of reaching a divorce at that point is very likely.

Based on a survey conducted by the National Fatherhood Institute, the top reasons for divorce in the U.S. across all demographics included a lack of commitment by one or both partners, too much arguing, and infidelity. In today’s day and age, more marriages end in divorce, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten “symptoms” or reasons why divorce happens.

10 Reasons Why Divorce Happens

1. Lack of communication. This is one of the major reasons why divorce happens. Distance is created quickly if you don’t share your feelings, don’t tell your partner what’s happening, and keep your feelings to yourself. A successful relationship constantly keeps the lines of communication open.

2. Finances. Money talks and can make your life better or in some cases worse than you were. If money becomes a consistent topic of disagreement, the road to divorce is certain.

3. Feeling constrained. You may feel your marriage is holding you back from achieving goals and taking opportunities. If your partner can’t support you, then they don’t support the marriage.

4. Trust. Do you really trust your spouse? Trust is one of the leading factors in having a successful relationship and marriage. Your marriage is unlikely to survive if you don’t trust your spouse.

5. Expectations from each other. When expectations aren’t met, it can put a strain on the relationship. This leads to a personality conflict because one or the other spouse won’t bend to sacrifice their time and comfort.

6. Your spouse doesn’t understand / fulfill your needs and desires. It’s common knowledge that we all have different needs and wants. A partner who won’t acknowledge your interests and desires won’t go the distance to fulfill your needs and wants.

7. Quick change in lifestyle. Couples that can’t compromise and meet in the middle are unable to adapt to new changes and be together in harmony.

8. Insecurity. Jealousy and insecurity can lead to fights, and questioning each other’s intentions can put a dent into trust and your relationship moving forward.

9. Religious and cultural differences. Religious beliefs and cultural values can cause conflict, which affects the way you live your life and raise your children. If you aren’t committed to adapting and practicing these values, this can be an ultimate deal breaker.

10. Abuse. Lastly, if you’ve been in a situation where your partner has been abusive or controlling in any manner, discuss this rationally with your spouse. If need be, contact a trusted family, friend, or your attorney about this matter.

Before You Say The ‘D’ Word

 When a person has a valid reason to divorce, he or she knows when to go through the process. Before you consider the “D Word,” speak to an experienced family law and divorce attorney to discuss your case and options. A divorce lawyer can act as both a counselor and sounding board for you during this stressful life event.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch.

Judith February 12, 2014 at 09:25 PM
One of my uncles always said that the leading cause of divorce is marriage! That was his excuse as to why, after his divorce from his first wife, he refused to marry again and stuck by that through two long-term relationships he had before he passed at age 86. He had two children with the first lady and none with the second.
Lori A Grover February 12, 2014 at 09:29 PM
As a divorced mother first, then a divorce Mediator I would have to respectfully disagree with the advice of using a lawyer as a counselor or sounding board or making them the first person to talk to. Unless there is abuse and the need for protection, couples and children are emotional and financially broken by the legal system. The first person they need to reach out to is a therapist who can help them manage their emotions and make sensible decisions. Mediation is by far the best option for divorcing families and it's 85% success rate speaks for itself.
Jesus James Alvarez February 12, 2014 at 10:22 PM
If you google National Fatherhood Institute, you'll end up with no results, lol. You probably meant National Fatherhood Initiative.
Shripathi Kamath February 13, 2014 at 01:22 AM
Where is gay marriage in this? Doesn't two men being allowed to marry each other destroy every heterosexual marriage?
Robert Pearlstein February 13, 2014 at 05:58 AM
one of the couple develops a substance abuse issue, and after constant attempts realizes they can not change their partner. A decision is reached to move on.
scallop scum February 13, 2014 at 07:21 AM
Patch....as local as cnn
George February 13, 2014 at 09:01 AM
OK, I'll say it. where is Sex in all this? If it gets to the point of Christmas, or birthday or worse, is that OK?
Mike February 13, 2014 at 09:59 AM
A Georgia judge named Robert Noland shows how the legal system thinks: "I ain't never seen a calf following a bull. They always follow the cow. So I always give custody to the mammas." http://www.fathermag.com/9607/father-custody/
Shripathi Kamath February 13, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Yes, because ethical behavior among humans should be modeled on what animals do. Has Noland expressed an opinion on breeding based on how many partners a bull has?
Burt February 13, 2014 at 10:27 AM
Marriage is becoming impossible. Most women do not like sex no matter how good it is. They want 2 kids then forget it till they are 40 and then it may be too late. Maybe DUck Dynasty was right. Go find a 15 yr old, with their parents support, and at least you will get some sex for a few more years
Judith February 13, 2014 at 11:03 AM
Well, Shripathi Kamath, I do hope your comment was TIC.
Shripathi Kamath February 13, 2014 at 11:32 AM
No Judith, I was serious about considering animal husbandry practices as a guide to ethics for husbands in the USA. Nothing whatsoever to do with Treasury International Capital.
Mr. G February 13, 2014 at 12:04 PM
Is this really news? I think not! More like just common sense.
Shripathi Kamath February 13, 2014 at 03:27 PM
Of course it is news. Because "Your spouse doesn’t understand / fulfill your needs and desires" is a requirement for marriage, not a cause to end it.
JIM COLETTO February 13, 2014 at 03:47 PM
burt you're a fking riot!!...seems you been married for a while huh?...lol....great post and so true!
Burt February 13, 2014 at 04:14 PM
" Distance is created quickly if you don’t share your feelings, don’t tell your partner what’s happening, and keep your feelings to yourself. Rebuttal: First, women want men to talk so they can use their weaknesses against them, women actually see men as infereior if they start blathering about their fears and emotional disapointments. On the other hand men just expect all kinds of insanity from their wives and have to expend energy, enough to recreate the universe, just to keep them feeling that everything is under control and so they will leave us alone so we can go about doing the important things
dave kapu February 13, 2014 at 06:36 PM
Ok , lets see, I've been married or 42 years, have three children and four grandchildren. Marriage is not as simple as saying its ten things. Its a lot of different set of circumstances. Your marriage may change as you enter into the years of having children, having jobs, your children having children. It takes some real soul searching, to realize your family comes first, your desires and self interest become secondary to the happiness of your family. Its life.
ernesto February 13, 2014 at 10:30 PM
I have been married for 60yrs. When I cut the pie I give her the biggest slice when she cuts the pie she gives me the biggest slice.
Stu Pidasso February 14, 2014 at 12:03 AM
Humans are not biologically wired to be with one mate for decades.. Throw in longevity, womens hormonal issues, and the way we were designed sets us up to fail....
John February 14, 2014 at 08:25 AM
Can we please address the 800 lb elephant in the room? I'm in my early-50s and every divorce that I have seen (friends, co-workers, relatives) are 99 percent due to the wife going through "the change." The wives become emotionally unstable -- loving and caring one minute; raging nut jobs over nothing the next -- and sex becomes non-existent, either due to physical or mental causes. And, when you try to (gently) suggest either counseling or some other remedy to try and help, you get your head bit off followed by weeks of the silent treatment. Sound familiar, folks? The woman we fell in love with years earlier sadly no longer exists and has been replaced by an unrecognizable Linda Blair-in-the-Exorcist clone.
RPD February 14, 2014 at 06:17 PM
Trust is one issue, infidelity is another...why is that not listed? I would think that would be number one. Many marriages do not survive infidelity by either spouse, male or female, in any relationship. Either immediately after the discovery or omission, or shortly thereafter. Relationships based on trust are doomed to fail if either party fails in their part to maintain trust and responsibility. I know...
Carole Kaplan February 15, 2014 at 12:09 PM
Lack of sex/intimacy results from many of the other factors listed: lack of communication, lack of understanding he other spouses needs, wants, desires, viewpoints. It's a result not the cause.
Stu Pidasso February 15, 2014 at 01:24 PM
John- Your spot on!! But most are reluctant to admit it. I do feel sorry for the women who are dealing with this. It is not their choice to come off as a raging lunatic 15-20 years later when their body is going through biological and chemical changes. Just think, a nanoliters (a Millionth of a gram) worth of hormone not properly balanced can be the difference between Sanity and Insanity! Seriously, I feel this hormonal imbalance that starts in their 30's-40's is at epidemic proportions in this country and many men are either ignorant or oblivious to what is happening with their spouses. Many men take it personally, when it has nothing to do with them. If we can handle it in a positive manner( I'm not saying that it's easy!) things will work out but it is a grueling road sometimes.
Nanci e. LaGarenne February 15, 2014 at 02:18 PM
You can narrow it down to 2: rogue behavior and neglect. Which encompasses the lot. Dave K. And Ernesto have it. Good for them and their wives! Listen, if Duck Dynasty is your goal, you need to make the bar higher. 15 year olds? Old farts that chase teens are called Woody Allen. Or the P word. And no real woman worth her salt, ever refused genuine love and sweet talk. And check the mirror guys. Changes? That ain't Dermot Mulroney looking back. Linda Blair had nothing on a man-o- pausing man. Can you say man-y mood swings?! Zoinks!
DeWayne Meeks February 15, 2014 at 03:05 PM
It seems to me that you have to be married to get a divorce, so if you never marry you will never have to get a divorce, period. I used common sense on this one...
Dennis Hull February 16, 2014 at 08:18 AM
Been married 50 years now and the last 45 have been miserable. After five years and two kids, my wife just gave up on any marital intimacy (like one of the earlier comments). I hung in there for the kids and hopes that things would get better, but it only got worse with time. By the time both kids left home, I thought the big change would happen... but it didn't. And by then it was too late to find a new mate. So anyone out there who is in the early part of their marriage and experiencing this type of treatment, get out now cause it not likely to ever get better.
John February 16, 2014 at 12:30 PM
Thanks, Stu. I hope that many women are honest enough with themselves -- and their husbands -- so that when their hormones etc. start going off the rails to engage in an honest conversation about what's happening and to make it clear that their bizarre behavior is not personal against the guy and for us to hang in there with them. Sadly, this type of frank dialog is rare and a guy's patience (guilty as charged!) gets frayed after constantly dealing with it, sometimes for YEARS and YEARS on end. It's the dirty little secret that you seldom see talked about publicly, but is rampant nonetheless.
John February 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM
Hate to break it to you, Nanci, but that neglect door definitely swings both ways. Also, it's kinda hard to undertake genuine love and sweet talk when either (a) you're being ignored/not being spoken to or (b) you're being screamed at. It's difficult to hug a porcupine when its quills are out, know what I mean?
Bruce Thompson February 16, 2014 at 01:19 PM
ONLY for legal matters, but only after you or both have sought the knowledge and wisdom of a couple’s/marriage/relationship expert. A marriage is first a mountain to be climbed together to get to the other side - a path that enhances both of your lives if your have the social and emotional intelligence, commitment, good will, shared CORE values, liability, and faith in the unknown. They can be strengthened over time as you move from a road filled with potholes to a shared life path!
Stu Pidasso February 16, 2014 at 01:50 PM
the way I have been looking at relationships since I was 15 years old ( hearing about the intimacy being about as dry as the saharan desert after a few years of a relationship) , is this... If I am no longer screwing the women I am with, do I want to continue this relationship with her next to my side as far as having conversations, being a friend, etc. if I cannot answer yes, it's as good as over then...

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