Every marriage is unique. However, when researchers talk to couples about the reasons that they have chosen to file for divorce, various trends and patterns emerge. Although every marriage is unique, the reasons that most couples get divorced boil down to several key challenges.
Certainly, these challenges change over time. After all, technology rarely inspired divorce for any reason 50 years ago, yet technology-related tensions now regularly contribute to the end of marital unions. Currently, these are two of the leading causes of divorce as regularly reported by individual spouses and couples in the media and research studies.
Lack of commitment or infidelity
The two top-reported divorce causes definitely have some degree of overlap. A majority of spouses reported a lack of commitment to the marital relationship on the part of one or both spouses as one of the primary reasons for their divorces.
A significant percentage of people also report marital infidelity as an issue that led to their divorce proceedings. Some people have expanded their definitions of infidelity in recent years to include certain types of financial misconduct and developing emotional attachments without acting on them physically.
Too much conflict
Over half of the people filing for divorce referenced high levels of conflict or arguing as one of the reasons they wanted to end their marriage. Some people referenced getting married too young or not receiving premarital education as an issue.
Many spouses cite financial issues, substance abuse and domestic violence as reasons for divorce. Some people blame the end of their marriage on a lack of support from their direct family members or religious differences. There are also some marriages that end because one spouse develops health concerns, and one spouse or the other doesn’t handle that news very well.
No matter the cause, you are in control
Not every divorce has to become a messy, contentious battle in family court. Plenty of people are able to pursue an amicable divorce. Using systems like collaborative divorce and mediation, sometimes even arbitration, can help those who may not yet agree about how to handle the divorce process but who can likely keep their case out of court with a little help.
Choosing to cooperate with one another instead of fighting each other can also reduce how stressful and expensive your divorce becomes and may also lead to both of you feeling more satisfied with the outcome of the formal dissolution of your marital relationship.