As most married people can confirm, marriage can be both a blessing and a curse. Both partners might have the best intentions, but even the strongest couples have their low moments. Some make it out even stronger while others decide it’s best to go their separate ways.
As a matter of fact, 40 percent of first marriages end up in divorce in the first 15 years, with the percentage increasing when it comes to subsequent unions. According to a survey by Forbes Advisor, where 1000 divorced couples were asked about marriage and divorce related topics, there are several reasons that most surveyed people repeated as the main causes of divorce.
Read on to find out what the most common causes of divorce are, as explained by relationship experts.
Top 9 reasons to divorce, as explained by experts:
Different values or morals
There’s no such thing as a perfect couple, no matter what their Instagram pages say. However, if you and your partner are on the same page in terms of values and morals, you can solve every conflict that tries to rock your marriage. Not only that, but working towards the same goals can strengthen your relationship.
According to Meredith Silversmith, MA, LMFT, a licensed marriage and family therapist as well as the co-founder and director of Nassau Wellness Marriage and Family Therapy, many couples seem to get along just fine until they realize they do not have the same ideas, values and morals.
Getting married too young
Among the surveyed couples, ten percent admitted that tying the knot too young was a decisive reason for getting separated.
According to Gary Tucker, a licensed psychotherapist with D’Amore Mental Health, “getting married too young can result in a divorce if the couple doesn’t have enough time to get to know one another before jumping into marriage or realizing that their ideas of life and partnership are incompatible”.
Many times, people marry young without getting to know each other that much; in time, they mature, discover themselves better and realize they are not compatible any more, says Steve Carleton, LCSW, CACIII, a clinical social worker and the executive clinical director at Gallus Detox.
Different parenting ideas
It’s normal for parents to want their best for their children. However, parenting strategies don’t always align, even if the intentions are the same. This is one of the reasons many couples fight and even break up. In fact, 20 percent of the surveyed couples admitted that conflicting parenting styles caused their separation, says Bayu Prihandito, a life coach and the founder of Life Architekture.
Divergent opinions do not have to cause rifts, says Prihandito. Parenting classes can help parents who are not on the same page about raising their children, meet on commo ground and be more open to dialogue.
Lack of commitment
Lack of commitment or mixed feelings about one’s relationship can create serious issues among married couples. As a matter of fact, twenty-three percent of the surveyed people stated lack of commitment as one of the causes of their separation.
When partners are distant, emotionally unavailable and disinterested, it seems like they no longer care about the other person. This prompts the other partner to act the same way, leading, in the end, to an irreconcilable divorce.
Many might say that money doesn’t bring happiness, but lack of money can surely contribute to a couple’s unhappiness. That’s because financial problems can take a serious toll on someone’s wellbeing and even health, problems which also reflect in the relationship. Add the fact that many couples have different spending habits and financial goals, and you have a recipe for disaster.
According to Ferris, to be able to get over the financial differences, couples should agree on a spending budget, set the same financial goals and be open to discuss whatever money problems arise.
31 percent of the surveyed couples who ended up divorcing admitted to being pushed to separate from their partners because of the constant conflict. You might say that arguments are normal in a marriage, but a hostile environment where every discussion ends up in a fight, is not healthy for anyone. “Too much conflict can wear down even the most resilient individuals, infusing the relationship with negativity,” warns Carleton.
Lack of intimacy
Physical and emotional intimacy are crucial for a strong relationship. 31 percent of the surveyed divorcees said that their marriages fell apart because there was no intimacy whatsoever between them and their partners.
Intimacy brings people together. On the other hand, no intimacy can deteriorate a relationship, chipping away at its foundation and making it crumble. It’s not just sexual intimacy that helps partners feel connected, but also emotional closeness. Their absence can make spouses feel alone and isolated and even frustrated.
The key to this problem is communication. Unfortunately, many people fall prey to their egos and avoid communication until it’s too late. To help you out, check out these 7 Quality Time Tips for a Stronger Connection With Your Partner.
Fidelity is essential for a long-lasting relationship. The other side of the coin is infidelity. Infidelity is one of the most common reasons for divorce, if not number one. Thirty-four percent of the divorced couples admitted that extra marital relationships had a crucial part in their divorce.
Infidelity can destroy the foundations of a marriage, creating emotional havoc in partners, warns Najamah Davis, MSW, LCSW, a New Jersey-based therapist and counselor. The cheated partner will feel betrayed, frustrated, insecure and even unwilling to work on repairing the relationship.
Fortunately, some couples do succeed in making out alive from this struggle and try to work things out. This does not mean that they forget, but manage to move past the infidelity by freeing themselves from anger and resentment and focusing on their well-being.
Lack of family support
One of the most common reasons for people getting divorced, believe it or not, is lack of family support. Families do matter even in the case of marriages. Forty-three percent of couples admitting that their opposing families aggravated their relationships with their partners and contributed to their divorce.
When a couple has to fight with their own families to protect their marriage, it can sometimes create a feeling of isolation, says Laura Wasser, a family law expert and chief of divorce evolution at Divorce.com. It makes it even more difficult for partners to get thorough all sorts of problems together, when their own family members are turning them against each other.
Creating strong family ties might help a couple strengthen their relationship as well. If disagreements do arise between partners and families, asking for the support of a relationship councilor or therapist might help things and unblock the situation.