The Rushmore Report: Top Ten Reasons for Divorce


Marriage isn’t always easy and the sad reality is that not all “I dos” end with a “happily ever after,” no matter how much two people may love each other. It’s estimated that 40 to 50 percent of first marriages fail, as well as 60 percent of second marriages. This can be hard to grasp for someone who is about to get married or is happily married. So how does this happen? Why do so many marriages end in divorce?

What are the real reasons for divorce? Let’s look at the ten most common reasons for divorce in hope that you can learn from the mistakes of others.

1. Infidelity

Extra-marital affairs are responsible for the breakdown of most marriages that end in divorce. The reasons people cheat aren’t as clear as we may think, though anger and resentment are common underlying reasons people cheat.

2. Money

Money makes people funny. Everything from different spending habits and financial goals to one spouse making considerably more money that the other, power struggles often emerge. Money issues bring stress, and stress leads to divorce.

3. Lack of communication

This is crucial in marriage and a failure in this area leads to frustration, impacting all aspects of a marriage. On the other hand, good communication is the foundation of a strong marriage.

4. Constant arguing

From bickering about chores to arguing about the kids, incessant arguing kills many relationships. Couples who seem to keep having the same argument over and over often do so because they feel they’re not being heard or appreciated.

5. Weight gain

It may seem awfully superficial or unfair, but weight gain is a common reason for divorce. In some cases a significant amount of weight gain causes the other spouse to become less physically attracted while for others, weight gain takes a toll on the person’s self-esteem. Either leads to a break-down in intimacy.

6. Unrealistic expectations

It’s easy to go into a marriage with lofty expectations – expecting your spouse and the marriage to live up to your image of what they should be. These expectations can put a lot of strain on the other person, leaving you feeling let down and setting your spouse up for failure.

7. Lack of intimacy

Not feeling connected to your partner can quickly ruin a marriage because it leaves the couple feeling as though they’re living with a stranger or more like roommates than spouses. This can be from a lack of physical or emotional intimacy and isn’t always about sex.

8. Lack of equality

When one partner feels that they take on more responsibility in the marriage, it can alter their view of the other person and lead to resentment. Every couple must negotiate through their own and unique set of challenges, and find their own way of living together as two equals who enjoy a respectful, harmonious, and joyful relationship.

9. Not being prepared for marriage

A surprising number of couples of all ages have blamed not being prepared for married life for the demise of their relationship. Divorce rates are highest among couples in their 20s. Almost half of all divorces occur in the first ten years of marriage, most commonly in years four through eight.

10. Abuse

Physical or emotional abuse is a sad reality for some couples. It doesn’t always stem from the abuser being a “bad” person; deep emotional issues are usually to blame. Regardless of the reason, no one should tolerate abuse, and removing yourself from that kind of a relationship safely is critically important.

About the Author

Shellie Warren writes for marriage.com.


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