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David Baxter PhD

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Why Is It Over? 8 of the Most Common Reasons For Divorce Today
Oct 15, 2020

More than 780,000 couples divorce every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With so many pairs parting ways, it’s not uncommon to wonder why. Every couple will have their reasons for divorce. But there are a few that you’ll hear again and again if you ask enough people.
So, what are the top reasons for divorce? Here are the eight most common responses from couples who have decided to split.


1. Health Problems
When couples get married, they make a vow to stay together in sickness and in health. But many of them get divorced because sickness tears them apart.

A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that 18.2 percent of couples cited health problems as one of the contributing factors in their divorce.

This doesn’t mean that couples split solely because their partners got sick, though. Instead, these situations often cause debt, as well as unending stress for both parties. Some spouses might feel that they lose themselves in their partner’s illness, which inspires them to walk away, too.

2. Substance Abuse
On that note, couples divorce because of substance abuse. In the same National Center for Biotechnology Information study, 12.1 percent of respondents who said their marriage had a “final straw” put it to substance abuse.

Either way, dealing with a partner who has a substance abuse problem can be taxing. It’s a lot like a lingering health problem — it puts stress on the finances, can change a person’s personality and leave one to rely too heavily on the other.

3. Physical or Emotional Abuse
Abused spouses should walk away, whether they’re hurt physically or emotionally. Most couples who cite this as a cause for their split note that the problem developed over time.

If you find yourself in this situation, there are people out there who can help you. Contact the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence for anonymous advice. And, if you find yourself in an emergency, you can call the police for a quick response.

4. Financial Troubles
Interestingly, the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s study didn’t put financial troubles in its top tier of divorce-causing issues.

Instead, many couples cited financial issues as a contributing factor in their decision to split, but they didn’t consider them to be their main problem.

But it makes sense why money would make the list. It can be a tense subject, especially if a couple has different ways of dealing with money. For example, one person might spend every cent they have, while the other spouse is big on saving.

5. Age
Getting a divorce may come down to the age at which a couple got married. Tying the knot too young is a commonly cited problem amongst divorced couples.

This problem is becoming less and less prominent, as couples are waiting until their late 20s to get married, on average. However, in decades past, people often got hitched in their early 20s.

As they get older, couples realize they didn’t have time to explore the world or themselves. They may feel the need to part ways in order to experience what they feel they’ve missed.

6. Arguing
Conflict between couples is one of the main reasons for divorce. Indeed, all of the above reasons could cause conflict between spouses.

But former couples surveyed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information said that their arguments became insurmountable. They said they had trouble reaching a resolution or even a compromise after a conflict. Instead, they couldn’t reach an agreement.

Some couples pointed out that these discussions weren’t calm ones, either. Constantly fighting without any resolution doesn’t make for healthy communication between couples. Instead, they might grow frustrated or resentful of arguing all the time — and that can cause an irreparable break.

7. Infidelity
Some couples can overcome infidelity in their relationships. But the reality is that most pairs won’t survive it.

Nearly 60 percent of divorced pairs in the National Center for Biotechnology Information survey cited cheating as a dealbreaker. It was often something that happened as the relationship started to fall apart. As such, many divorcees pointed to infidelity as the turning point in their marriage — a point from which they could not return.

People cheat for a number of reasons, many of which may stem from the fact that a marriage has already started to fall apart. For example, unfaithful partners have admitted to feeling neglected or insecure, which pushes them to cheat. You can see how these feelings might arise from some of the aforementioned scenarios.

8. Loss of Intimacy or Commitment
We all know that marriage is a serious commitment — even those filing for divorce knew that when they walked down the aisle.

However, some people fail to realize exactly what it is they’re signing up for when they say “I do.” Over time, they might realize that their commitment to their partner just isn’t there.

For many couples, this realization dawns when they realize that they feel more like friends than a romantic pair. It’s much like the saying, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”

And that feeling could make its way into the bedroom, too. Plenty of divorced couples end up that way because they don’t have intimacy anymore. The slow drift apart could be to blame.

Reasons for Divorce: Every Couple is Different
These are only eight of the many reasons for divorce. Every couple’s reason for splitting is different. But, if everyone’s happier at the end of the day, then it might be worth embarking on the legal proceedings to live separate lives.

On that note, we have plenty of legal tips to help you through divorce and beyond. Click here to learn more.
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