As a couples counselor with decades of experience I’ve compiled the top five causes of divorce. People have hundreds of reasons why they might choose to split up, they might experience infidelity, or neglect from their partner. They may say they’ve “grown apart” or “fallen out of love” with one another. No matter what they say, it always seems to boil down to one of these five reasons:
1. Lack of Unity in the relationship
Couples who work against one another, compete or try to outdo or one up each other have difficulty working together or being unified. This creates an environment where each partner sees the other as an adversary to be guarded against, and not someone to partner and work with toward a singular goal. Couples who are unified don’t feel like the other partner is someone who is against them, they are for each other in every aspect of life. You want to prevent your marriage to have this ingredient in the causes of divorce.
2. Leading Separate Lives
When couples stop doing things together it’s much easier to drift into a less than loving relationship. The experiences we share are the glue that bonds us together. Couples who develop outside interests and only see each other occasionally, run the risk of “roommate syndrome.” They may still be faithful to one another, like each other, even carry on a sexual relationship, but in this context they become less like lovers and more like friends. When you have nothing in common, nothing to share, you begin to lead a life outside of your relationship with your partner. To stay together, you actually have to BE together! In my practice I have begun to recognize that this is one of the causes of divorce that is easily preventable.
3. Lack of Communication.
This is a big one. You are not a mind reader and neither is your partner. If you don’t communicate what it is that you need and want in your relationship the odds are good that you’re not going to get it. Why is it that we’re surprised and often angry when our needs aren’t being met if we’ve never successfully communicated what they are? Love and passion are wonderful, but not always enough to keep two people together. Unless you are sharing how you feel and what you need neither of you can be completely certain of each other. When communication is lacking, assumptions are made and many of them are negative. We base our responses on these negative assumptions and end up in a downward spiral of miscommunication.
4. Lack of Cooperation.
When couples look outside the relationship for the solutions to their problems, they run the risk of losing each other. This is where hobbies, habits, addictions and infidelity can become issues. When you stop working on the relationship and prioritize other activities or people in your life, you’ve essentially given up on your relationship. Couples who consider their relationship as less important than ANYTHING else in their lives are pushing each other away. It takes energy and effort to maintain a healthy relationship. If the majority of your energy is being spent elsewhere, your relationship is failing.
5. Lack of Trying.
Couples who don’t ask for help have essentially given up. They’ve decided that they’ve tried enough and are too fearful or too proud to get help from a counselor or other objective third party. The solutions to your problems are available, but if you don’t seek them out and you give up on your love relationship, it’s certainly doomed to fail. It’s understandable that you might be tired, weary of fighting, sad about your lost love, and don’t see any way to revive your relationship. The saddest thing is, that there is a path to repairing your relationship but if you don’t bother to try, you’ll never know that. Couples divorce needlessly every day because they couldn’t bring themselves to ask for help. This is the biggest shame that I have seen as a top causes of divorce that can make an average relationship into an exceptional one done shy away from this.
Every one of these five reasons has a counterpoint. You can turn your relationship around and fix your problems. It’s possible and it’s available. So if you and your partner are struggling, I urge you to find a professional couples’ counselor that can help you and your partner come back from the brink, and remember why you fell in love in the first place, and help you to put your relationship back on the right path. You don’t have to be a statistic, or be one of the 5 couples I profiled here. Stay connected, stay together and stay married.