reasons for divorce

15 Real Reasons For Divorce, According to a Relationship Expert

Ever wonder why the divorce rate is so high? Although every couple is unique and every situation is different… experts have noticed some recurring patterns.

Here are fifteen common reasons for divorce, according to a relationship expert:

1. Infidelity

Infidelity, or cheating on a partner, is a huge reason for divorce. Whether it happened one time with one person, several times with the same person, or several times with different people, infidelity has the potential to end a marriage because it breaks down the trust between partners.

When infidelity occurs there is normally a web of lies surrounding the infidelity that contribute to the breakdown in trust between partners. Trust is the key to any successful relationship, so if you and your partner are unable to establish trust after infidelity, the marriage might end.

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2. Financial problems

Financial problems including debt, mismatched spending patterns and different tolerances for financial risk can also lead to divorce. As unromantic as this may sound, financial problems are highly correlated in divorce rates among married couples. Financial problems can lead to a significant amount of stress in a relationship that can cause other areas of your relationship to feel strained. This stress and general strain can slowly break down a marriage and lead to you and your partner separating.

3. Lack of intimacy

Romantic, physical and sexual intimacy are super important parts of any long-term romantic relationship. Though it is common for sexual intimacy to decline over time (especially after the sexually charged honeymoon phase of the relationship), it’s important that intimacy doesn’t completely disappear from your relationship. A lack of intimacy can lead couples to feel disconnected from one another, which can lead to divorce.

While we normally think of sex when we hear the word intimacy, it’s importnat not to overlook the importance of romantic and physical intimacy. If you and your partner don’t feel romantically or physically in-tune, you will probably be much less into the idea of sexual intimacy. A complete lack of intimacy in your relationship is often indicative of other problems that are getting in the way of romance. This is one of the many reasons that a lack of intimacy can lead to divorce.

4. Substance abuse issues

Though we normally think of substance abuse issues as an individual struggle, they have serious effects on both partners in a relationship and can often lead to divorce. Substance abuse issues are often coupled with lying, deception and erratic behavior which can slowly break down trust in the relationship.

In addition to breaking down the trust in a relationship, substance abuse issues can create codependency in relationships and change the overall relationship dynamic for the worse. It can be hard to break out of codependent relationship dynamics in a healthy way, which can also lead couples to divorce.

5. Inability to resolve conflict

Conflicts occur in every relationship, but if partners are not able to resolve conflict (or at least move past the conflict in a constructive way) then the conflict can lead to resentment in the relationship, which can lead to divorce.

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6. Marrying too young

Though there is no such thing as the perfect age to get married, there is such a thing as getting married too young. People that get married before they have solidified their identities as individuals, and people that get married before they have experienced all the things they want to as a single person may feel trapped in a marriage, which can lead the marriage to fail.

It’s important to live your life to the fullest or at least accomplish what you want to as a single person before partnering up with someone to avoid issues of resentment and general frustration about being married. If both partners are not excited about being married, this attitude can bleed into all aspects of the relationship and cause a marriage to end in divorce.

7. Marrying for the wrong reasons

People that get married for the wrong reasons often end up divorcing their partner, when they realize that they are not truly compatible in the long-term. Marriage is about love, commitment, shared values and a vision for the future. Marriage is extremely difficult and is something that you and your partner will have to work on for the duration of your relationship. If you get married for the wrong reasons (i.e. because it’s what your friends are doing, because your family wants you to, etc. etc.) the effort involved in maintaining the marriage just won’t seem worth it, which can lead to divorce.

8. Abuse

Emotional and physical abuse are other things that can lead to divorce. When emotional and/or physical abuse are happening in a relationship, it is difficult to end the cycle of abuse and turn your toxic relationship into a healthy one. Though it is not impossible to move past abuse in a relationship, it is uncommon given the relationship dynamic that facilitates abuse in the relationship. For this reason, marriages with abuse often end in divorce.

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9. Differing values, interests and priorities

Marriage is about sharing your life with someone and to share a life together it is important that you and your partner are on the same page about your values, interests, priorities and goals. If you and your partner are not on the same page about how you want to live your lives, you will not have a successful or lasting relationship and your marriage will likely end in divorce.

10. Lack of communication

In addition to trust, communication is the foundation of any successful relationship. If you and your partner are not able to communicate effectively, the relationship is not going to work out! Communication means everything from expressing your wants and needs in the relationship, setting healthy boundaries and learning to resolve conflict. If you and your partner are unable to communicate effectively or if there is a general lack of communication, your relationship can help in divorce.

11. Unrealistic expectations

Marriage is hard. People often say it’s the hardest thing you will ever do. It is important for people to realize the amount of work that marriages take. If you and your partner go into a marriage with unrealistic expectations and expect that everything will be fun and easy, then you will not be prepared for the realities of lifelong partnership. When partners have unrealistic expectations of themselves, their partner and the marriage, the relationship can end in divorce.

12. Lack of equality

Above all else, marriage should be a partnership between equals. Sure, you and your partner will bring different things to the table, but it’s important that your contributions are equally respected and that you both have a voice and a say in the relationship. It is also important that both partners are equally invested in the relationship and are both putting in work and making sacrifices to ensure the success of the relationship. If there is a lack of equality in the relationship, partners can feel overlooked and underappreciated which can lead to feelings of resentment and divoce.

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13. Differing thoughts about starting a family

When partners are not on the same page about having children (whether it’s through natural birth, adoption, fostering, etc. etc.), it can lead to huge problems in a relationship. Thoughts about starting a family are fundamental to spending the rest of your lives together, and not something that should be compromised. If you and your partner have differing thoughts about starting a family, this can be a real reason for divorce.

14. Parenting style differences

If you and your partner do start a family, or do have parenting responsibilities from past relationships, it’s important that you have compatible parenting styles. Disagreements about the approach to parenting can lead to divorce if couples are not able to communicate and compromise so that they are on the same page. Parenting relates to religious beliefs, morals, expectations of responsibility, views on punishment and conflict resolution. Some of these beliefs are only made apparent when parenting, and differing views have the potential to undermine the foundations of your relationship.

15. Problem solving in your relationship

If things are not going well in the relationship, or if you want to make improvements to your relationship, it’s important that you and your partner are on the same page about how to approach relationship problems. Therapy is an excellent option for couples that are looking to improve their relationship, but therapy requires both partners to be open and bought into the process. If you and your partner are not on the same page about how to approach problems in your relationship (let’s say they are not open to the idea of couples therapy), then your relationship may end in divorce.


While all of these things could lead you and your partner to divorce, not all of these reasons HAVE to end in divorce. It is possible to work through almost all marital problems and salvage your relationship. Especially when you have the help of relationship experts on your side. Relish is a relationship coaching app that helps couples evaluate their relationship and set and achieve relationship goals.

Relish is a great resource for married couples that are looking to overcome problems (like the ones we listed above), build their connection and create a lasting relationship. Download now and try us free for one week!

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