You might think that when two people are headed for divorce, the chances are, one of them has probably cheated on the other one.
Surprisingly, this isn’t even the most common reason for divorce at all.
While infidelity does cause marriages to end, it’s often much more complicated than that. When two people are headed for divorce, there are many reasons and combinations of factors that have seen them arrive at this place.
Around one in three marriages in Australia will end in divorce, with the average length of marriage for those who get divorced about 12 years.
Here are some of the major reasons why:
1. Communication Difficulties
The breakdown in communication is a major reason for many marriages ending. When two partners no longer share information, share feelings, or talk about what’s going on, it is a recipe for disaster. If communications become caustic, tense or strained and you are always bickering, can’t be civil or are giving each other the silent treatment all the time, you’ve got a toxic communication environment and eventually, something will have to give.
A lack of communication means a lack of intimacy. And once that is lost, a relationship feels more like a chore than a partnership.
2. Money Problems
Many marriages are plagued with financial problems, and money is one of the major reasons for a lot of couples splitting up. Couples who can’t agree, and find themselves constantly arguing about spending, saving and financial decision making are most at risk of divorcing for this reason. If there is financial inequity – one partner resents they are bringing in more or the other one is spending too much – this is a major source of conflict – and sometimes, they decide they would be financially better-off going it alone.
If you have to hide a purchase or debt from your partner, than you have a problem. Be open and honest.
3. Married too soon
Even in this day and age where many couples live together before tying the knot, people can still rush into marriage. It happens because two people are so into each other when they meet, in the honeymoon phase of their relationship, they either don’t take the time to REALLY get to know the other person, or they overlook the sorts of incompatibilities that will fester and become a problem over time.
4. Loss of Independence
In the beginning of many relationships, couples share a vision for what their future is going to look like together. Often, though in reality, one partner can end up making most of the decisions and demands about the aspects of their day-to-day life, leaving the other partner feeling like their very identity has been compromised. If couples cannot work through this, the partner who makes all the compromises and sacrifices can feel smothered, and can even feel like they are disappearing, and are no longer independent and autonomous. People who start to feel like they are living under a dictatorship often see that the grass looks greener elsewhere.
When one partner has an addiction – for example drugs, alcohol, gambling or porn – it can have devastating consequences for the other partner. As their addiction consumes them, they often become a shell of the person they once were. And unless they are committed to fixing the problem, the other partner loses their ability to trust them. Often, there’s no choice but to walk away from this unacceptable behaviour.
Abuse can take many guises: physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or financial. Whatever the type of abuse is, it’s often a deal breaker and kills relationships, either slowly over time or suddenly whenever it breaks out. It isn’t healthy or safe to stay in any sort of abusive relationship, and if you are in one, you really should seek help.
7. No sex life
You might have been going at it like bunnies in the beginning, or maybe you weren’t. Whatever the original frequency, over time it’s safe to say that it will reduce. But what if it has reduced significantly to the point of it being non-existent, or close to being so? There are lots of reasons why you might find yourself in a dead bedroom: jobs, stress, mismatched libidos, illness, erectile dysfunction, and so on. But if it is important to one partner and the other one isn’t interested in addressing the issue, it can be a sure-fire way to journey to splitsville.
8. Lack of Romance
You might still have a sex life. Or maybe you don’t. But if you and your partner no longer have any romance left or you feel like you’re just going through the motions, it can be difficult to feel like you are still in a legitimate loving relationship. Maybe you still have a solid friendship, but if it feels like you’re just flatmates who might happen to be raising children together, you might find yourself wanting to move on.
9. Not really compatible
You might find, over time, that your shared interests, vision for the future and general expectations for the relationship just don’t match up at all. They say that opposites attract, but sometimes, that’s not enough to sustain a long-term relationship.
10. Fighting all the time
If even the smallest disagreement blows up into a great big fight, it can get very tiring, very quickly. Nobody wants to live in a constant state of conflict and drama. Perhaps you or your other half is just a high-conflict person, or perhaps there’s so much resentment from other factors built up over time that you are fighting more often than not. If you can’t work on this and change it, you might need to part ways.
Have you or anyone you know experienced separation for any other reasons?