The Top Seven Reasons for a Divorce: Why Married Couples Break up

Written by megan kelly
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The Top Seven Reasons for a Divorce: Why Married Couples Break up
Poor communication can lead to arguments and dissatisfaction. (Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

Maintaining a healthy marriage requires time, effort and compromise from both spouses. When one or both spouses find a marriage to be unsatisfactory, it is likely because of problems that arise due to issues with communication, expectations or sexual dissatisfaction. Addressing these issues before they increase improves the chance or marital success.


According to the Divorce Guide website, infidelity is the cause for about one-third of all divorces in the United States. Although some believe that the infidelity occurs after the true breakdown of a marriage, it is most commonly explained as an act of resentment against the other partner or sexual boredom. A spouse may have a long-term affair or he may only participate in a one-night stand. In any case, infidelity is the most common reason for marital failure and occurs in more than half of all failed marriages in the United States.


Many married couples find that financial problems and a lack of communication about spending habits, debts or issues with money damages the relationship and often results in divorce. Although it is not uncommon to encounter financial problems during married life, many couples lack the ability to effectively communicate about the problems.

Communication Failure

Open and honest communication is an important aspect of a healthy marriage, and many couples who do not engage in an open, two-way communication about expectations, worries and emotions are likely to end up getting a divorce. The better the communication, the better chance a marriage has to succeed. A marriage that does not include honest communication will not last as long.


Physical, emotional or psychological abuse is inevitably cause for divorce. Whether the spouse is abusive to her husband or children, abuse is a large reason for divorce. Abuse includes fighting, bullying, verbally insulting, taunting or intimidating another person in the home. It is important for the abused to remove themselves from the home and petition for a divorce from the abusive spouse.


Addiction to harmful substances or damaging activities that causes the spouse to compulsively engage in these activities can be damaging to a marriage and result in a divorce. Addiction is harmful because the compulsive behaviour causes the spouse to place his addiction in higher priority than other things in his life. Whether the spouse is addicted to drugs, gambling, food or the Internet, an addiction is grounds for an at-fault divorce.

Unmet Expectations

A spouse can find that she expected one thing from her marriage and got something different. This includes romantic expectations, expectations about her spouse and expectations about the marriage itself. When these expectations are left unmet, dissatisfaction turns into resentment or extreme disappointment that make compromises in lifestyle unrealistic, resulting in a divorce.

Time and Distance

Spending large amounts of time away from your spouse can lead to additional stress on the marriage. If one or both spouses spend long hours at work or travel frequently, the marriage does not have a chance to grow or balance itself in comparison to a couple that spends quality time together in the home or in the community.

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