They never promised that marriage is easy, and the rates of divorce globally and the common reasons for divorce today reflect how many marriages break down. Many married couples now choose to part ways instead of staying in unhappy marriages. Divorce is no longer a taboo with mainstream generation.
Marriage is no longer a lifelong commitment- building a successful marriage is great but not at the cost of one’s self-respect and individuality. If you are considering divorce and are wondering if your reason is a valid one, we give you 15 most common reasons of divorce.
And now, with the pandemic, the most common reasons for divorce get one more addition- cabin fever!
These figures do not reveal the many stories hidden in the figures. It does not necessarily mean that where women are more empowered, divorce rates are higher. Nor does it mean a higher Happiness Index in a country with a low divorce rate. It does not reveal the modern trend of the couple now being older when they first get married. There are still countries where there is an explicit law that states the married woman is to obey the husband. The data does not reveal the many hidden stories inside these statistics.
Common Reasons For A Divorce Statistics
Marriage is not a cakewalk, and neither do all marriages end in ‘happily ever afters’. Gone are the days when promises to live together and support each other were upheld by married people despite problems. Now if any couple finds themselves struggling in their relationship, they prefer getting divorced instead of carrying on with unhappy lives. Yet, not every unhappy couple ends up divorced either.
Yes, it was true that 48% of American couples that married in the 1970s were divorced within 25 years, statistics in 2005 in England and Wales suggest 45% of marriages will end in divorce before couples reach their 10th anniversary. While the USA and Russia lead the charts of divorce rates, India has a 1% divorce rate.
But what would be the most valid reasons for divorces? As we bring to you the top legal reasons for divorce, we hope it empowers you to avoid those mistakes, or to help take the decision to part.
15 Most Common Reasons For Divorce
Britain reported duration of marriages at a 14 year average, of which “growing apart” was 36% among women, arguments at 30% and “lack of respect” as 25%.
Some of the acceptable reasons for divorce in 2020 are
- Increasing independence (emotionally and financially) of women
- Incompatibility issues among the partners
- Higher age at the time of the first marriages, and a failure to compromise or change their lifestyle
But if you are looking for the pitfalls and how to avoid triggers that lead to the most common reasons for divorce today or ending long-term marriages, then here are 15 common reasons why divorce rates are increasing. Get to know them in order to avoid these causes of divorce and keep your married life happy and prosperous.
1. Financial issues in married life
In this day and age, it is really difficult to continue with married life if the couple has different financial goals. While one may believe in saving for retirement, the other could be working towards splurging with an annual holiday. One partner believes in the value of top-quality education for their children, but the other could prefer instant gratification in a luxury lifestyle.
There is a cost involved in your choice of alternatives, no income is ever limitless. One of the most common reason for divorce can be related to finance and money management. When couples do not talk about and discuss differences and common priorities that there is a resentment that often builds up beyond repair.
Whether it is differences in financial goals, spending habits, or one partner making more money, some couples head for divorce when they cannot come to a consensus regarding money matters.
Not all couples are able to handle financial stress in a mature, sensible fashion, the strain is a common reason for divorce.
2. Extramarital relationships one of the most common reasons for a divorce
This is one of the legal reasons for divorce, as the law recognizes that a partner can divorce another if adultery in the marriage can be proven. A married partner caught in an extramarital relationship is a betrayal of trust in a relationship, and grounds for a divorce when the affair makes it intolerable for the other to continue in the marriage.
Infidelity usually starts with an emotional affair, sometimes, it is possible to negotiate your path beyond the affair. Emotional affairs often cloud one’s line of judgment and these affects marriages in more ways than one. Many couples have survived infidelity and made their marriages better. This is only if both partners are willing to put in the time and effort to heal together.
Most spouses do not get into an affair intentionally – it may be the cause for the marriage to break up, or it may be as a result of distances between the couple. Whatever the cause, there is no excuse to cheat on your partner and it is a common and valid reason for divorce.
Related Reading: What Are The Consequences Of Affairs Between Married Couples?
3. Abusive relationship- a valid reason for divorce
Married life is not rosy and happy for everyone. If you followed the Johnny Depp- Amber Heard stories in the tabloids, you will also know how ugly it can get.
Many often find themselves entangled in an abusive marriage, either physically or emotionally. In most cases, it is women, who suffer mental, emotional or physical abuse at the hands of their husband or in-laws. Domestic abuse is common than you actually think.
Not only this, emotional manipulation and narcissism also affects a person. The victims are battered for life, so it is best for them to separate from their abusive partner and find a safe and better life.
Abuse of any kind should not be tolerated and one should get rid of such a toxic relationship as soon as possible. Abuse of any kind can make it unbearable for a person to stay in the marriage, and it takes a strong woman to walk out.
4. Loss of individual identity
Even as one of a couple, it is important that you maintain your self identity. A marriage will change you as you grow older and grow into your relationship, but it should not force you to be something you are not! You still need the comfort and confidence to be who you are, with no strings attached. It is very difficult to be always pretending, it is difficult to maintain the facade if you are the square peg in a round hole.
A common reason for a divorce is when people feel that their individual identity and space are compromised due to their married partner’s expectations. When such feelings are left to fester, it becomes one of the major causes for a divorce.
5. Communication problems in your married life
To build a strong and healthy foundation as a couple, it is essential that you talk and understand each other. Fights and arguments are inevitable, differences of opinions are healthy, but you do need to find that common ground. Both spouses need to feel heard and respected.
Mindful, honest communication may seem hard to put into practice, but constant criticism or snarky remarks and dissatisfaction in the time spent together indicate a lack of good communication between you and your partner. And an end to your relationship. Most problems can be handled if a couple knows how to communicate.
Most divorce proceedings also involve couple therapy, even skillful mediation during the divorce proceedings to ensure both parties move forward without harmful acrimony. Communication is important to keep a marriage alive, it is also as important if the marriage breaks down and leads to a divorce.
Related Reading: Should You Get A Divorce? – Take This Divorce Checklist
6. Low intimacy level is also a common reason for divorce
Intimacy plays a vital role in a happy and healthy marriage. Not everyone is lucky to keep the honeymoon going for an extended period of time, you are bound to slow down over time with familiarity, increased responsibilities, the raising of children.
It is crucial to feeling intimate and close with your partner, even cuddling, or a swift kiss can change the mood. It does not have to be heated, passionate sex all the time, but small things that mean an appreciation of each other, simply making time to enjoy each others’ company.
Sexless marriages are a huge reason for dissatisfaction among couples and a common cause for divorce. Whether a cause or an effect, problems in sex life arises if there are misunderstandings, a feeling of being unappreciated and unloved. It could also have an effect on your self-image.
Though remember, not all such marriages end in divorce. But if you are living as roommates who share the expenses or the child-rearing, the estrangement result in other problems.
7. Incessant fighting without any concrete solutions
Many couples believe that this is one of the good reasons for divorce. Why? Simply because if you are continuously fighting and have marked differences of opinions, then evidently you will not be able to live a happy life.
The constant bickering also may be a result of a lack of respect for the partner. Or a lack of communication. Maybe a difference in outlooks and expectations from each other. It could be a result of financial stress, work-related stress, maybe even the associated stress of surviving in a big city.
And now, with so much of our time spent in work-from-home situations, it might be cabin fever, a lack of space, and too much time spent together without a break from each other.
Constant bickering could also make someone look out of the marriage for comfort – this slowly eats the marriage away.
It is important to understand why you and your partner snipe at each other. Not every couple at war with each other end up divorced.
Everybody needs a little time away
I heard her say
From each other
Even lovers need a holiday
Far away from each other
~ Chicago. From the song Hard to Say I’m Sorry
Despite efforts to overcome such arguments and differences, sometimes things to not work out. While this is a common cause for divorce, there is also the option of first seeking the help of a relationship counselor.
8. Getting married when not ready
All marriages come with their share of responsibilities and challenges. Sometimes, a marriage is forced and that leads to issues even before the beginning of married life.
Sometimes, people who marry young tend to feel that they took the step before they have achieved some of their other goals, the discontentment is a common reason for a divorce. Or one of the partners may mentally still be too immature, too naive for the serious effort of building a relationship in a marriage.
There are times when the only expectations from marriage is what the person has read of in romance books, or our movies. They dream of the happily ever after, as rarely do books and stories, even songs, talk about the work that goes into keeping a marriage alive, by both partners.
Marriage is two lives joining together, not giving up on one. Often, a marriage “at the right age” can also happen before the person has learnt to love themselves for who they are, under the pretext of both growing together. This can be a recipe for disaster, at other times, it truly does work.
9. Lack of equality in the relationship
One of the worst things you can do if something in the kitchen catches fire is to run away to another room. Similarly, in a romance, you do not threaten, issue an ultimatum or avoid a discussion when things get heated.
One of the litmus tests of a healthy marriage is the ability to apologize without feeling demeaned. Or feel threatened of losing the other. You can, of course, “agree to disagree.”
Usually, resentment and bitterness haunt the married couple when they are unable to live as two equal human beings. One partner might feel that he/she is given too much responsibility or he/she is not being allowed to take major life decisions. It may be a perceived inequality in the splitting of roles, of tasks, of chores, of finances, of parenting, of expectations…. the list is endless.
And no one is really proof from such challenges. Not even when you are Charles and Diana, the Prince and Princess of Wales, for instance!
Every couple faces individual challenges and needs to find a way out of them as two equals before the resentment combusts the relationship. Not every unequal marriage becomes a common cause for a divorce statistic, though such relationships do need more work than usual.
10. Mismatching aspirations
When two people get married, it is expected that both of them will have a shared vision of their future, dreams and interests.
However, this is not the case for all couples. Some couples come in to the marriage with unrealistic expectations or dreams that the other cannot, will not, or do not want to fulfill. Some couples need to find common interests, others thrive in the time apart pursuing their own interests.
It is when the dreams and the wishes are not in sync, that at times, it is better to split than continue together. “No-fault” is also now a common reason for a divorce.
Related reading: 12 realistic expectations in a relationship
11. Continuous interference from the parents
There was a time that joint families were the norm, but it no longer is as feasible, especially in industrialized cities, with a higher pressure of population, or even where space is a constraint.
Young couples today look forward to setting up their own homes, their spaces and their lives separate from the older generations.
But whether in the same physical home, or apart, couples have always needed their own time together. If the families of either spouse give out those helpful hints or create boundaries to behaviour and expectations, it is the couple who need to learn how to navigate to their own port. Sometimes, discussing too much with mom could be the problem. Other times, letting mom dictate your behaviour can be a common cause for unhappiness.
Interferences do lead to misunderstandings, between the generations, or between the couple and has been a reason cited during a divorce several times. It is being aware, a mutual respect as well as a conscious setting of boundaries that help at such times.
12. Privacy issues in married life
For some, it may be difficult just finding the private space together, for the physical expression of one’s love, or to enjoy one’s own space.
For others, it could be the family encroaching into matters that are between the couple. Or friends who have an opinion. Or even more time spent with others when it is time that is meant to be spent together that causes the problem. Even social media presence adds to the plot!
Problems may arise in a relationship if the partners have different opinions on what should or should not be kept private about their relationship. It is a lack of awareness of what the other partner feels that can trigger frustration in the marriage and slowly deteriorate the relationship.
13. Expecting too much
Some people get married with lofty expectations – directly from their favorite TV shows! They expect everything to be as perfect and rosy as on TV or books. When you have unrealistic expectations and dreams of the ultimate romance, your set up your partner for failure. This also makes the other person feel constantly pressurized and he or she may ultimately succumb.
In case you are unable to overcome such a disappointment, it will lead to a divorce. Understanding your partner and keeping your expectations real is crucial for a marriage to survive.
14. Desertion grounds for divorce
Leaving your home, walking out, leaving by mutual consent is not a divorce. When a husband and wife agree to live separately as a trial, sometimes to reevaluate what the marriage brings, is not grounds for divorce itself.
Desertion must meet certain criteria, and, like adultery, is a difficult path to a divorce. There are different laws on this, but in most cases, you have to prove the defendant has left home for a certain period of time, like 7 years, without the agreement of the spouse.
Related Reading: 10 Things To Do When You Are Thinking About Divorce
15. Substance abuse
If one of the person is addicted to either drugs or alcohol, it gives rise to other issues, like psychological problems, heated arguments, financial problems and physical abuse, etc. in a marriage. Ultimately, the marriage ends because of this drug or alcohol use.
This list covered some of the major causes of divorce. However, it is not an exhaustive list by any means. Individuals differ, no two relationships are alike, just as no two solutions are alike. There may be many more reasons for divorce which you might not even fathom.
It is normal to go through rough patches in your married life, but you must try to work your way through them. Do not take a hasty decision when it comes to ending your married life. Little everyday things can go a long way saving a marriage. Try to solve married life issues and learn to live a satisfied and blissful life. Nurture your married life with all the love and care. Good luck!