Relationship Breakdown: 5 Reasons Why Relationships Fail

Working On the Marriage | | , Communications Expert & Blogger
Updated On: November 7, 2023
Reasons for relationship breakdown

If you look at the reasons for relationship breakdown, the uniqueness of every individual often appears as a recurrent theme. Each one of us is different and unique, our personalities shaped by our cultures, identities and the times we live in. Likewise, religion, social status, and education can influence people’s definitions of values and traditions.

What may be a total no-no for you may seem like a trivial concern to others because in their culture or religion it’s okay. But these trivial differences can create rifts in long-term relationships. It is important to realize your differences before forming bonds with people.

Not respecting the other person and where they are coming from is one of the biggest reasons for relationship breakdown.

5 Common Reasons For Relationship Breakdown

There are hundreds of reasons why relationships fail. Robust communication and trust are the two of the most essential factors in maintaining a healthy relationship. Similarly, if you don’t respect the person for who they are, then there is no point in being with them.

When these fundamentals are not in place, the partnership crumbles sooner or later. This is one of the most common reasons why relationships fail. But there are others too. We decode 5 key causes of relationship breakdown, and how you should protect your romantic partnership from them:

1. Gender bias

Gender biases are very subtly ingrained in our society and you never know when it could raise its ugly head. I was the only child so there wasn’t a brother to take away any attention from my parents and I always got 100 percent from my mother.

But I realized her bias when my son and daughter were growing up and I came to know my mother gives the best pieces of chicken or fruits to her grandson and ignores her granddaughter. She believed that “a man needs to grow up strong.”

Gender bias creeps into the most liberal homes when daughters are taught to cook and sons are allowed to play. Daughters-in-law are expected to do household chores after coming home from work while sons can put up their feet and watch football. This gender bias leads to resentment and hence an inevitable relationship breakdown.

2. Infidelity could be acceptable behaviour

Reasons for relationship breakdown
Many cultures believe that a man has to right be unfaithful and indulge in infidelity

Many cultures believe that a man is allowed to be unfaithful, or take another woman, as long as it is discrete and not “serious”. They claim that a wife cannot keep him sexually satisfied especially during pregnancy, so he has the right to look for gratification elsewhere.

Some societies believe that the onus is on the woman to keep the husband interested and that’s why the focus is on physical grooming and lingerie. If he starts cheating, then too the woman is blamed for being uninteresting.

Women today are strong and independent and don’t need a man to provide them with anything. Today, one of the reasons why relationships fail is because men have big egos, and refuse to accept that a woman can be equal to a man.

3. Acquiring illegal wealth

Raju was from a lower class slum-dwelling family, who didn’t go beyond the 8th standard in school. He was hard-working and got good breaks in life: Government tenders in electrical contracts and road-building.

Soon his wealth grew in quantum leaps. His wife and only son and parents were very happy with this change in their standard of life. But they did not need any more than the luxury they were enjoying. So Raju took to finding pretty girls that he could shower his black money on.

To the best of my knowledge, he did not indulge in any sexual transactions. They were eye-candy, good for a drink and dinner. I wished he had adopted some orphans for life, instead. But this did not go down well with his wife and his marriage began to break down.

His wealth ruined his family life. What he thought was a good source of entertainment was looked down upon by his own family. In this case, it was divergent value systems that became a fundamental factor in a relationship breakdown.

Related Reading: 15 Tips For Financial Planning For Newly Married Couples

4. How you treat others

Sam was a good match in every way and Sally was very happy until she caught up with the way he would treat people less fortunate than him. Waiters, servants, even homeless people on the road were people to be treated with disdain.

He would treat the waiters like slaves and refused to tip them. This one time, he even refused to pay the bill because the food was ‘not up to the standards of the restaurant’.

He would claim that they must have been bad people in their past lives and that karma was paying them back. Sally never trusted people who did not love animals and this attitude caused the marriage to start failing.

5. Domestic violence

Causes of relationship breakdown

Sara was amazed to hear from her house help that she was beaten up for some minor infraction. When she advised her to report him to the police, she said, “What is the use of a man who doesn’t beat his wife once in a while?” Sara couldn’t believe that domestic violence could be considered acceptable in certain socio-economic groups.

Sara came from a mild and compassionate family where even a raised voice was rare and a click of the tongue from her father would mortify her to tears. Incapable of understanding this strange reaction to violence, she now works at an NGO that changes the mindset in women on what is acceptable behavior.

It is of utmost importance that one agrees upon standards of values and norms when forging relationships. This is particularly important in intimate connections like a romantic partnership. If you’re planning on spending the rest of your life together, you need to be on the same page in terms of your value systems, else it will become one of the causes of relationship breakdown for you and your partner.

It can be said with no doubt that the only indubitable standards are those of love, trust, honesty, integrity and communication. Otherwise, toxic relationship problems would persist.

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