Top Reasons for Divorce

broken wedding cake

Marriage is not easy. Unfortunately, even couples with the best intentions can end up in divorce court. There are a number of reasons people get divorced; the following are ten of the most common.

Top 10 Reasons Couples Divorce

Extramarital Affairs

According to a report published by AARP, infidelity still plays a significant role in why people file for divorce. However, usually there is an underlying reason that causes a spouse to cheat including anger, resentment, having varied interests, growing apart, or unequal sexual appetites.

Weight Gain

Surprisingly enough, "forever after" often comes with the caveat "as long as you maintain your figure." According to a survey reported by Men's Health, one spouse gaining substantial amounts of weight can be a damper on marital bliss. Once your spouse is no longer turned on or attracted to your body, issues dealing with rejection and resentment can quickly become marriage-threatening issues.


The American Journal of Sociology recently published a study that found a husband's unemployment can be a key factor behind divorce. In fact, lack of money can often cause marital problems to flare into a divorce filing. A married couple facing financial difficulties is often under a lot of stress, which in turn can lead to constant arguing and lack of communications. Couples who don't see eye to eye on spending habits or that are in relationships where one spouse has and controls the finances, often face marital strain that culminates in divorce.

Lack of Communication

A commonly heard phrase to successful marriages is that "communication is key." Relationship Coach Deb Dutilh has found that lack of communication or negative communication can quickly mar feelings of love and romance. Once parties stop communicating effectively, marital troubles that lead to divorce are not too far behind.


According to Simple Divorce Advice, physical, mental, and emotional abuse all are common reasons why couples get divorced. Consistent fighting whether it's physical or just verbal is not healthy for either party. Eventually most people involved in volatile marriages reach a breaking point and seek divorce. Staying in an abusive relationship is neither healthy nor safe. Counseling can often help abused spouses make the decision to seek help and to make a change.


Nothing stays the same. Over time people grow, develop, and change. Sometimes, individual growth can mean that growing apart from their spouse. When parties lives, interests, or dreams become incompatible, the marriage can begin to suffer as a result. Divorce Magazine, reports that incompatibility is often the reason people end up filing for divorce. Incompatibility can also lead to a spouse seeking interaction with a person of the opposite sex, which can lead to infidelity.


Unhappiness lies at the root of a high number of divorces. Sometimes individuals don't realize that love in and of itself is not enough to keep you happy. Also, some people get married, and then realize that they are not cut out for marriage. Either way, according to a study published by Pennsylvania State University, severe unhappiness can mean the death toll for a marriage.


People can become addicted to substances, behaviors or even other people. Whether it's drugs, gambling, or alcohol, addiction can wreck a person's life. As a person's addiction gains more control, they often find themselves in peril of losing employment, friends, and their marriage. Addicts often exhibit behavior that is unacceptable in a marriage, i.e. lying, stealing, and betrayal of marital trust, and consequently addiction makes the list of top reasons why couples divorce, according to Henry Gornbein, a family law specialist.


According to a study published by the Wharton school at Pennsylvania University, cites the age at which a couple gets married playing a role in the likelihood of their divorce. Couples that get married at a young age often deal with money issues, lack of maturity, lack of communication, and issues that develop from growing apart. Age apparently adds on maturity that can help a marriage work, evidenced by the same study finding that couples who marry later in life, often have the lowest divorce rates.

Parenting Style Differences

Parenting is an even larger undertaking than getting married. Once children come into the picture, priorities change, lifestyles change, and for sure sleeping habits. According to Attorney Jeff Biddle, differences in parenting styles is a major reason couples seek divorce. For example, imagine one parent believes in letting a child cry and the other believes in a more hands on approach unless the parties can communicate and work out a common solution issues like this could lead to a split.

Avoiding Divorce Court

No one gets married with the intention of getting divorced. When you see problems on the horizon, don't wait until they are beyond fixing to address them. Seek marriage counseling, go on a vacation with just the two of you, or try to get an addicted spouse into rehabilitation program. Before you give up, give the marriage your all, that way you can have the peace of knowing you tried all of the alternatives before divorce.

Top Reasons for Divorce