Top 3 Reasons for Divorce

reasons for divorce

Divorce is the second-highest life stressor, following the death of a spouse, on the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS). No one wants this stress, so it is not as though couples enter marriage hoping or even expecting to go through the trauma of divorce. So why do they? Research by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) revealed that the 3 most common reasons spouses divorce were:

  1. Lack of commitment.
  2. Infidelity.
  3. Too much conflict.

1. Lack of Commitment

For a marriage to work, both spouses have to be committed to its success. What commitment means to one might differ from the other’s interpretation. For example, one spouse may see commitment as meaning spending as much time together as possible, while the other may value quality time together and quality time alone.

Spouses may have different views regarding what each needs to contribute in terms of time, energy, money, and / or other resources to the marriage overall. When struggles arise, one partner may feel the other is less invested in coming to a resolution. This imbalance in commitment, whether perceived or actual, can be exhausting.

reason for divorce2. Infidelity

It is easy to understand how infidelity destroys marriages. Cheating involves layers of deceit and betrayal that can just be too hard to overcome, even if both spouses want to save the marriage.

The problem of infidelity does not end when the partner’s extra-marital affairs end. It takes tremendous effort to forgive, rebuild trust, and find a way to love each other fully again. In some cases, the challenges are insurmountable, and the marriage ends.

3. Too Much Conflict

Though there is probably an exception to prove this rule, it seems safe to say that all couples argue. Living together, making important (or not-so-important) decisions together, and navigating jobs, kids, and all other responsibilities together produce many opportunities for conflict.

When arguing takes over, and “everything” becomes a reason to argue, couples may look for a way out and see divorce as a way to get some peace.

Other Common Reasons for Divorce

Marrying Too Young

The U.S. Census reports average marrying ages for both men and women over the past several decades. Data shows that since the 1970s, the average age for both men and women has increased by one to two years per decade. In 1970, women (on average) married at 21 and men at 23. In 2022, the increase dipped slightly, showing an average marrying age of 28 for women and 30 for men.

As reported by the National Institute of Health (NIH), the brain does not reach full maturity until the mid to late 20s. Those who marry young continue to grow and mature, and sometimes, that growth takes them in different directions, leading them to divorce.

financial problemsFinancial Problems

Financial disagreements can occur whether couples have a lot of money or are barely making ends meet. Conflicts can arise if one party feels the other is not fulfilling their financial obligation to the household. Even if spouses agree that one partner will work outside the home and the other will work at managing the household (which does not come with a paycheck), the imbalance in earnings can lead to power struggles.

When there is money to spare, couples can still disagree on how to spend it. When there is nothing to spare, couples can tire of the struggle to meet basic needs.

Substance Abuse

Drug or alcohol addiction can easily put a marriage and home into a state of chaos. Partners of addicted spouses and any children in the home are subjected to untenable emotional, physical, and financial circumstances brought on by the affected spouse’s addiction.

Even when a person experiencing addiction seeks treatment, the road to recovery is long and difficult. Relapses are almost guaranteed. These struggles can stress a marriage until it breaks.

Domestic Violence

In Texas, 40.1 percent of women and 34.9 percent of men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner rape, and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).

It takes great courage for abused partners to seek a divorce. Abusers are good at apologizing and promising things will get better and at intimidating the abused partner into staying. Despite promises or threats, victims need to get out of abusive relationships to protect themselves. There is help available through the NCADV hotline at 800-799-7233.

In addition, the divorce attorneys at Terry & Roberts are experienced in dealing with clients going through difficult times and dealing with challenging circumstances. We will provide support as well as legal advocacy throughout divorce proceedings.

Health Issues

Serious health issues create a web of struggles for a marriage. First, there is the health condition itself. The health problem may prevent a spouse from moving through life and engaging with their partner as they did before the condition’s onset. This change can lead both parties to feel isolated and unable to connect with each other.

Health issues also bring financial distress. The affected spouse may not be able to work and earn, leading the household to become financially unstable. The healthy spouse may feel burdened by the need to earn more and put more energy into household responsibilities the unhealthy partner can no longer manage.

Both parties may develop resentment toward each other, even unintentionally. The combination of these factors and many others that follow an illness can lead to the death of a marriage.

Strained Family Relationships

When a couple marries, their families become connected – sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. If the spouses’ families do not approve of the marriage, disparage their child’s spouse or new in-laws, and otherwise undermine the union, that union can break under the conflict.

Differing Religious Points of View

Even partners whose religious beliefs are not particularly strong struggle putting their beliefs aside or giving their partner’s practices “equal time.” It is not necessarily difficult to arrange a wedding ceremony to honor both religions, but once the couple enters married life, their differences can become more apparent and divisive, especially if they decide to have children.

Sometimes, spouses do not realize how much their views and beliefs mean to them because they have never had to compromise or share time before. Though some couples discuss these issues before marrying, the reality is different than the discussion, and pre-marriage resolutions may not hold.

Divorce Statistics

According to Psychology Today, “a marriage dies every 36 seconds.” In addition, the study reveals that the failure rate for first marriages is approximately 48 percent. For second marriages, the failure rate can hit 60 percent, and for the third, 70 percent.

A recent year of marriage and divorce data collected from 45 participating states by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows:

  • 1,985,072 marriages
  • 689,308 divorces
  • A marriage rate of 6 per 1,000 in the total population
  • A divorce rate of 2.5 per 1,000 in the total population

Getting Divorced in Texas

Every state has its own legal procedures governing divorce, Texas included. These laws establish the legal grounds for divorce, how to file, how to serve divorce papers, and other related requirements. If you are seeking a divorce, it is important to have a divorce lawyer who understands our Texas family law.

You also need to protect yourself. Even the most amicable divorces can hit points of disagreement or become contentious. The experienced legal team at Terry & Roberts will stand by you and fight for you throughout the divorce process.

The timeline for a Texas divorce varies. Uncontested divorces – those in which both spouses agree to the divorce and on all conditions – can move along swiftly, and, in the best-case scenario, be finalized a minimum of 60 days after filing. Contested divorces, or divorces that involve more complex marital assets or child custody issues, will take longer as there is more to negotiate.

Divorce Is Hard. We Will Help Make it a Little Easier.

When you go through a divorce, you have to sort through marital property division, custody arrangements, and a host of other critical issues, all while emotions are running high on both sides. To ensure you are treated fairly and your rights are upheld throughout your divorce proceedings, partner with an experienced and compassionate divorce attorney from Terry & Roberts.

Whatever the reason for your divorce, going through the process will be a challenging time in your life. You may feel grief, anger, despair, and relief—possibly all at once. Making important decisions when you are in such a vulnerable state is not in your best interests. The Texas divorce lawyers at Terry & Roberts can help. We will manage your case with compassion and work to negotiate the most favorable outcome possible. Contact us today. We are here for you.

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