causes of divorce

3 Common Causes of Divorce

When couples get married, they pledge to stick together.  Everyone knows the common vows: “for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, ‘til death do us part.”  But a lot of people also know how often those vows fizzle out and just how common divorce really is. In fact, the divorce statistics in America are staggering.  According to the journal Enrichment, the divorce rate is 41% for first marriages, 60% for second marriages, and a shocking 71% for third marriages. But what are the main causes of divorce? 

Now, no one goes into a marriage planning for it to end in divorce.  So, just why do so many marriages go wrong? While every marriage is different, the truth is that most divorces share a few common causes.  Here are three of the most common causes of divorce.


The sad truth is, cheating spouses are not that hard to find.  According to the General Social Survey from the Institute for Family Studies, as many as 20% of married men and 13% of married women have engaged in an extramarital affair at some point in their married lives.  There are many reasons why a person may cheat on his or her spouse. Some people are dissatisfied with their marriage but do not want to get a divorce for financial or family reasons. They may seek out an extramarital affair to fill a void that is missing in their marriage, whether that is physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, or just companionship.  Others may love the thrill of sneaking around. Some spouses may choose to turn a blind eye to infidelity. Others may feel blindsided when they learn that their spouse is cheating. Some couples may be able to recover from the fallout of an affair, For this to work, both parties must be willing to work together to repair the damage and forgive each other.  For others, the pain of infidelity is too much, which is why infidelity is a common cause of divorce.

Money Matters

Disagreements about money are a source of stress for many couples.  It’s no surprise that money problems can cause stress when money is tight.  But it is also true that money problems can cause stress even in couples who have plenty of money.  Couples need to have shared financial goals and agreed upon spending habits in order to reduce financial stress.  When one spouse spends more than the other or spends money in ways that the other thinks is a waste, struggles can arise.  The reverse is also true: if one partner feels that the other is too cheap or miserly, resentment can build. Over time, these money matters can lead to divorce.

Problems with Communication is The Root Problem to Most Causes of Divorce

Honest communication in all areas, not just financial matters, is critical to a healthy marriage.  But many couples lack healthy communication skills. Some couples bicker and argue constantly. Others stop talking to each other when they disagree.  Some respond with sarcastic remarks or contempt. Spouses will always disagree about something: in-laws, child-rearing, money, or division of labor. The cause of the disagreement is not as important as how couples resolve the conflict.  Any of these unhealthy methods of communication chip away at a healthy marriage.

If these causes of divorce ring a bell with you, it may be time to consult a divorce lawyer.  Paul H. Bowen has nearly 30 years of experience in family law matters, including dissolution of marriage.  If you are searching for a divorce attorney, reach out to the Law Offices of Paul H. Bowen today.