Divorce is a bit of a sobering topic. According to the CDC, there are around 827,000 divorces each year in the US. That amounts to 68,916 divorces each month, or 2,265 divorces a day. In order to prevent it from happening, though, it is important to know why divorces happen. What is the number one cause of divorce? Shockingly, it is not infidelity. No, it is one of the reasons why infidelity exists.
Today we are talking about divorce, including the causes and how to solve these issues so you don’t have to go through it. Let’s get started.
What is the Number One Cause of Divorce?
To preface this answer to this question, here is one of our own: Do you feel like you communicate with your partner well enough? Or is something lacking? If you believe that your communication could be better, then you are in line with most people. According to research, 67.5% of divorces occur because of communication problems.
At Couples Academy, we say it all the time: Communication is everything.
When your relationship or marriage has just begun, communicating may not be as necessary. Things are fresh and exciting. You get by because your love is just beginning to take root. It’s easier to view your partner as a friend during this time.
But then a rough patch in the road appears and neither of you can communicate. You constantly argue, emotionally flood one another, or shut down and avoid one another until the storm passes. Unfortunately, with each moment of tension where the issue goes unsaid, that rough patch in the road gets wider and wider.
Communication problems can also lead to many other issues in a relationship, including emotional distance, lack of intimacy, and even infidelity.
What Are The Other Common Causes of Divorce?
A lack of communication can bring down even the strongest of relationships, but that is not the only reason divorces happen. Here are several other causes of divorce:
Infidelity comes in many shapes and forms, including extramarital affairs, emotional cheating, financial infidelity, and one-night stands. Some infidelity is more forgivable than others, but each one is hurtful to the marriage. Once one partner has been betrayed and feels rejected, it can be hard to recover.
In fact, infidelity is the cause of 20-40% of divorces.
But the reasons for infidelity are not as easy to understand. Sometimes, an affair is brought on by a lack of intimacy, communication problems, addiction, emotional neglect, and other issues in a marriage. As such, while infidelity is often cited as a reason for divorce, there are usually other things going on.
2. Financial Problems
Interestingly, more than ever before, people are thinking about financial stability when dating and getting married. Building a life with someone who has the same financial goals and habits as you is important. When two people who are financially incompatible get together, it can cause a power struggle that damages the core of the relationship. Unfortunately, financial problems lead to around 41% of divorces.
3. Unrealistic Expectations
Did you believe in happily ever after when you got married? Entering into such a union with lofty expectations is normal. You expect that your spouse is going to continue being the person they were while you dated. You assume that the butterflies are going to last. Those expectations, though, often end in disappointment. You may become frustrated with how your partner takes care of themselves, with how they spend money, or that you are arguing far more often now than when you were dating.
Unrealistic expectations create so much tension that many married couples do not survive.
Substance abuse damages more than the person who is addicted. Couples end up growing apart from one another, especially when the person who has the addiction cannot get themselves under control. Addiction can lead to communication breakdown, a lack of trust, financial problems, and even mental or physical abuse.
5. Falling Out of Love
One thing that is common in older couples who divorce in their 40s, 50s, or 60s, is that they had no marital problems. Instead, they simply grew apart. Usually, after the children have grown up and moved away, these couples find that they no longer have enough in common. Thus, they make the decision to divorce, even when the marriage had no obvious issues.
6. Lack of Intimacy
Just like communication, intimacy is necessary within a strong marriage. If you and your spouse cannot be intimate, it is going to feel more like living with a roommate than a partner. Keep in mind that intimacy does not just mean sex. It means being vulnerable around one another. Supporting each other’s needs and wants in a healthy way.
Too often, couples get married without fully understanding each other’s likes, dislikes, and appetites. One person may become overwhelmed, which can cause the other to feel rejected.
Overlooking intimacy is nearly as dangerous to marriages as a lack of communication and will often lead to divorce.
What Can I Do To Prevent Divorce?
If any of the above-mentioned issues sounded familiar to you, perhaps it is time to start considering how you can ensure your marriage’s survival. There are some instances where divorce may be the best thing for you and your partner. In other cases, marital issues can be resolved, and you can get that happily ever after that you have always wanted.
The best way to figure any of this out is to find a couples therapist or marriage counselor. If you and your spouse are committed to righting the wrongs and building a stronger connection, couples therapy can help you navigate beyond those issues. Whether you are recovering from infidelity or have trouble setting boundaries or being intimate, therapists know methods that bring about results.
Build a Strong Marriage With Couples Academy
Marriage is by no means easy. It requires a lot of constant work, communication, and honesty to continue on for many years. If you are considering divorce for one of the reasons mentioned above, the next step is not to divorce but to speak with a couples counselor from Couples Academy. You and your partner can overcome almost any challenge when you have a little faith and one of our therapists at your side. Divorce is not the only answer. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services.