20 Sure Things Leading American Couples to Divorce

Marriage, like love, requires constant effort. A married couple must constantly choose to care for and respect each other to successfully build a healthy and happy family life. Sadly, life happens, and many factors could affect a couple’s bond and interaction. We’ve listed the top 20 things that lead to divorce, so if you need more information on the topic, read on.


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Extramarital affairs are often a deal breaker when it comes to marriage. In fact, According to a study done by Practice in Clinical Psychology, one of the consequences of marital infidelity is emotional divorce. Some couples don’t get divorced on paper, but they do get divorced regarding their emotions. One study respondent said, “Now, we have no emotional connection.”

Lack of Family Support

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A study by Forbes Advisor showed that 43% of divorcees’ reason for divorce was the lack of family support. Perhaps this is because of the pressure one feels should they be married to someone their family disagrees with. In a way, they feel grief because of their lost family connection and isolation from their loved ones.

Lack of Intimacy

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The lack of intimacy as a factor of divorce goes hand in hand with infidelity. Per research published on ResearchGate, several factors may lead to adultery. One such factor is a couple’s lack of intimacy.

Lack of Compatibility

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The lack of compatibility is a big hindrance to sustaining a happy marriage. According to a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, using one’s irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce effectively ushers in unilateral divorce—wherein the separation is at the request of either spouse, regardless of their partner’s wishes. Forbes Advisor showed that 31% of divorcees used this reason for their separation.

Incessant Arguing

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Another factor that contributes significantly to divorce is conflict and arguing between a marital couple. According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, 53.8% of couples noted that “too much conflict and arguing was a contributor to divorce.” To them, the constant arguing was getting frustrating and would only worsen.

Domestic Violence

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A big chunk of the National Library of Medicine’s participants voted for domestic violence as a leading cause of divorce. The 23.5% who voted so noted that abuse usually developed gradually. However, slowly but surely, it worsened until the abuse was something they couldn’t take.

Financial Stress

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Financial problems are a massive roadblock to living a comfortable life, and it is much more difficult to experience financial stress when you’re married and building your own family. After all, moving from a one-person household to a dual-person household is a significant change. Financial stress causes people in the marriage to have trouble sleeping, effectively having less healthy and more unhealthy communication with one another. Eventually, it all catches up to them, and they crumble due to the stress.

Lack of Commitment

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As people say, love is a constant commitment to choose to care for the other; the same goes for marriage. Sadly, not a lot of people can remain committed to their marriage, especially if combined with other factors like lack of family support, financial stress, and more. A study by the National Library of Medicine shows that 75% of individuals and 70% of couples think that the lack of commitment is the top factor that leads to divorce.

Communication Problems

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Communication is needed for any relationship to work. This is why the lack of communication and understanding is so detrimental to a marriage. A husband and a wife must communicate and comprehend effectively to work toward a common goal. Without this, their relationship would slowly crumble.

Drifting Apart Due to Diverging Interests

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Couples usually start dating because they find similarities in each other. However, people aren’t stagnant; we always change and adapt. So, when people get married and start to change, some view it as having different interests. The similarities that once bonded them together are slowly changing, thus leading them to grow apart.

Opposing Values and Morals

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Having similar outlooks and priorities in life is a must-have when it comes to sustaining a loving and healthy relationship. When two people simply can’t get along because their core values are different, it may lead to indifference and even divorce. In fact, a study by Forbes Advisor noted that 56% of divorcees believe that “a better understanding of the values and morals of their partner prior to marrying” could have saved their marriage.

Addiction and Vices

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The University of Buffalo’s Clinical and Research Institute on Addictions conducted a study about the correlation between alcohol and substance use and marriage. As a result, it found that these things are among the most common reasons given for divorce or marriage counseling. In fact, it’s the third most common reason for women and the eighth most common reason for men.

Parenting Differences

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Like values and morals are essential in sustaining a marriage, one’s parenting style matters, too. After all, this is a big factor that affects one’s conflicts at home. So, parenting differences go hand in hand with too much conflict as a reason for divorce.

Lack of Sympathy, Trust, and Respect

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A 2019 survey conducted in Denmark listed people’s motives for divorce. It found that the lack of sympathy, trust, and respect is one of the most common reasons for divorce. This may be because the lack of these things eventually leads to conflict in a household, thus leading to more constant arguments.

One Spouse Not Carrying Their Weight

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At times, a person in a relationship may not carry their weight through household chores and responsibilities. Someone can also be considered not carrying their weight financially. Whatever the case, the pressure would fall on the other spouse to compensate and exert more effort. In the long run, this would be detrimental to their family dynamics, thus leading to divorce.

Marrying Too Young

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Think about it; you’re not the person you were in your early 20s. You’ve changed tremendously, and apart from getting a broader view of reality and life’s hardships, your interests may have changed, too. Getting married too young often leads to growing apart due to different interests, which is another common cause of separation among couples.

Unrealistic Expectations About Partner or Marriage

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Expectations are normal. But marriage is an important decision in one’s life, and it shouldn’t wholly depend on one’s expectations of one’s spouse—especially if they’re unrealistic. Sadly, the National Survey on Marriage in America revealed that almost 50% of divorced people believe that having unrealistic expectations is one of the reasons for divorce.

Inadequate Preparation for Marriage

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People say marriage is one of the most life-changing things you will ever go through. For the most part, this statement is true. This is also why being unprepared when it comes to marriage is a significant factor when it comes to divorce. After all, when you get married, you uproot your whole life and start another with your spouse; this big change can overwhelm you and make you feel unprepared for such a big adjustment.

Religious Differences

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Differences in religious beliefs are almost the same as having different morals and values. When two people in a relationship believe in two different things, it can be hard to reconcile their differences. Aside from this, one’s religious beliefs also influence a person’s lifestyle. Though religious differences might not directly cause a rift in one’s marriage, they can affect other factors in one’s life that may eventually lead to divorce if they become too much.

Inequality Between Partners

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Respect is needed for a marriage to work. If you don’t respect your spouse, how do you expect to build a loving and healthy family life? Many think that equality between partners should exist when it comes to workload. But Jill Suttie, a writer for the Greater Good Magazine: Science-Based Insights for a Meaningful Life, says, “It’s not just the actual division of labor that seems to matter, but also partners’ beliefs about what it is and should be.”

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20 Signs You Have Little to No Emotional Support in Your Relationship

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.