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6 Most Common Reasons For Divorce

May 19, 2021
a man and woman taking of their wedding rings

There are plenty of reasons why people get divorced. understanding these reasons can be helpful in working your way out of a relationship’s rough patch or recognizing that it is time to move forward. There are a lot of common reasons for divorce and it’s important to remember there isn’t a  “right” or “wrong” decision.  So here are the 6 most common reasons for divorce to provide perspective.

6  Most Common Reasons For Divorce

Knowing that other people have struggled with the same issues can assure you that you’re not alone. Divorce has become more common in the last 50 years, with researchers estimating that divorce or permanent separation is the result of 40%-50% and 60% – 65% of second marriages. If you are planning for a divorce, you are not alone, and there are plenty of perfectly legitimate reasons to question whether your relationship is right for you. Here are eight common reasons for getting a divorce to provide perspective.

1. Your partner isn’t growing with you.

As you move through a journey of becoming the person you want to be, there is a very real possibility that your partner will not come along with you in the way you’d hoped. Maybe they grow in a different direction  or maybe they just stand still. If you’ve been married for a long time, it can be especially frustrating to see your partner stay stagnant, either  not making  effort to better themselves or not being open to explore new possibilities. 

Your partner’s stagnation may feel like it’s hampering your own blossoming which can impose stress on any relationship. When we grow and change into fuller human beings, we usually aren’t growing in the same shape or pattern as our partner, and sometimes that can put stress on the connection that you once had with each other.  Relationships can work through this but both partners have to be committed to work on adapting, accepting each other through change and be open to what new possibilities of growth looks like individually and in the relationship.

2. Your partner isn’t committed anymore

If you asked most people why couples divorce, you’d probably hear  infidelity or lack of commitment. Lack of commitment can take many forms, One is infidelity. Both physical and emotional affairs can destroy a marriage. When a partner deviates from the compact of monogamy, it can (although it is  possible) be hard to bounce back. It’s not just about the actual infidelity, but also the betrayal of trust and the commitment you thought you had in the relationship.  Relationships do bounce back from infidelity; however, it takes professional help and commitment to work through the reasons  for your partner’s transgression and take the necessary steps to rebuild trust.  

3. Financial infidelity

It isn’t the money that is the problem but the behaviors around finances that create a negative impact on a relationship. Disagreements about what you should and shouldn’t be spending money on happens, but the real betrayal comes from broken trust around a relationship’s finances.  When a partner is dishonest about how much money they have, what they’re doing with it or continues on a destructive path with a family’s finances without seeking help, that is a bigger red flag.  Over time, the  dishonesty can take its toll on the relationship which may not be recoverable.

4. You can’t agree on big life decisions

There are some major life decisions that can make a marriage really difficult if the two of you disagree. Maybe your partner really wants a baby, and you have no interest in child rearing. Or maybe you want to live in a nice, comfortable home near your family, and your partner is starting to resent you because he wants a life of more adventure. Compromise is an essential function of any good marriage, but there may be times when a relationship’s life vision simply does not align and one or both partners feel they are losing their sense of self by staying in the marriage.

5. Communication Break Down

Most of the common reasons for divorce that we’ve listed require open and honest communication in order to dig your relationship out of its hole. But if your communication continues to be  a problem with no flexibility on one or either side, that’s even tougher. No relationship is perfect, but the successful ones are able to work through their differences by talking about what the need, what boundaries need to be set, and what battles to pick.  When partners are no longer able to actively listen, understand each other’s position with empathy and invest the time to utilize the tools necessary to bridge the communication gap, the marriage may not be able to survive.

6. Domestic Abuse

If your partner is abusing you, you must  evaluate the relationship and get help. When there is a pattern of abuse, ending the marriage is healthiest and in the best interest of  all. Whether you’re being physically or emotionally abused, you deserve better. Be honest with yourself about how your marriage and your partner really make you feel about yourself.  If you are in an abusive relationship, you may want to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, or visit their website at

What To Do If You’re Thinking About Divorce

There are a lot of common reasons why people get divorced, and it’s important to be transparent with yourself and look at whether you  honestly invested time to work through those problems before taking the plunge. Talk to your therapist, communicate with your partner, and you’ll be able to figure out what’s right for you. No matter what you choose, be honest with yourself and what you truly want, and what you deserve.

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Babita Spinelli

More About Babita Spinelli

She is a Psychotherapist, Certified Coach, Parent Coordinator, Collaborative Divorce Coach, Author and Speaker.  Babita works with individuals who are experiencing significant life transitions such as Divorce. Her specialties also included blended families, discernment counseling, high conflict divorce and narcissist abuse recovery. Babita is the recipient of the New York Psychotherapist Award and is frequently featured in the media as a relationship expert. Babita’s therapy, consulting and coaching services are global and provided virtually. Learn more about Babita on her website, Opening the Doors Psychotherapy and