Author: Elly Prior | First published: 06-12-2010 | Modified: 24-10-2017
There are many - perceived - reasons for divorce. Here I've listed the most common reasons that contribute to marital breakdown - why people get divorced. The list is based on my 24 years of experience as a couple counsellor. You can find further information on common causes of marital strife on my page: Common Relationship Problems.
I've found that usually there's a combination of factors that lead to a divorce. Your situation, however, will be different from everybody else's.
As a couple, you don't live in a vacuum. You're part of - and contribute to - everything and everyone around you. Changes in society, gender roles, community integration, values, beliefs and the law all have an impact.
If you've landed here because you're considering divorcing your spouse, but are still doubtful that you're doing the right thing, you may find this Relationship Compatibility Test helpful.
In the UK, the court will want to know that your marriage has 'irretrievably broken down'. This you need to prove with one or more of the following 'facts':
Stay here with me to find out what I think might have contributed to any of these facts, or could be the cause of your divorce.
I know that you may be desperate to find out what caused the breakdown of your relationship or marriage. What are the factors that led you or your spouse to no longer wanting to be married? You or your spouse may have been questioning your compatibility for some time, perhaps even years.
However, right now I'd rather you don't fret about the cause too much. You really need all your energy to deal with the changes ahead...
All these factors contribute to, or detract from, your mental and emotional well-being - and that of your spouse and your children.
'Knowing' what caused your divorce doesn't necessarily lead to a better recovery - I know this from my professional experience as a couple counsellor. I believe you first need to get through the emotional roller-coaster of the early stages. Only after that should you reflect more deeply about what caused your marriage or relationship to break down (if you want to, of course).
If you're still trying to save your marriage, I'd of course suggest couple or relationship counselling. However, I do understand that comes with a cost, and of course your partner might not want to go. So if counselling isn't for you, do check out my page How to Save Your Relationship or Marriage.
If you've only just found out that your spouse wants a divorce, then hop over to my page on How to Get a Reconciliation - there may still be a chance that you can rescue the situation with the right advice.
Nevertheless, I do appreciate that you may really want to know what went wrong now. Especially if you're struggling to make sense of it all.
Therefore I've listed what - in my view - are some of the factors that contribute to a marriage failing and ultimately ending up in divorce.
The following are only contributing factors to the breakdown of a relationship or marriage.
They may simply be symptoms of underlying problems. The symptoms of these 'reasons for divorce' are likely to be linked too.
I've listed these causes of divorce in no particular order...
My guess is that several of these will be familiar to you. But your reasons to divorce are likely to include factors that are very personal to you too.
Distress is multiplied many times by certain unhelpful actions and behaviours.
I'm so glad that you're taking the time to find out about the emotional ramifications of divorce. It hopefully means that you're unlikely to engage in any of these negative actions and behaviours.
The following behaviours are contributing factors to the above causes of divorce. Not only do they create more distress for people around you, but they also make things more difficult for both you and your partner too:
It's tempting to blame your partner, yourself, someone else or the situation. However, blaming just increases your sense of helplessness. It also creates more conflict, and can potentially damage your children. Ultimately it'll just fatten your solicitor's wallet! (See: How to Choose a Lawyer.)
To help divert your thoughts from blame, I really recommend hypnosis. One particular hypnosis download - Soothing the Bitterness of Divorce - will help you get through without thinking that you're 'going mad'.
You can also connect with a professional, licensed therapist. It's now very easy to set up an online session, regardless of the device you're using. For further information, see my page on online mental health counselling.
I know this is unlikely to happen early on, but over time try to take responsibility for the role you played in your marriage - without judgment. Even if only for the fact that you chose and married your partner!
Dare to own up, graciously if you can, to your contribution - at least to yourself if not to your partner. That'll help you to feel a little more in control and move on a little quicker.
Common reasons for and causes of divorce probably don't matter to you personally. It's your personal situation that really does matter.
It's important that you and your family get through this difficult time relatively unscathed, if only to speed up your recovery. That will help you all to move onwards and upwards, to happier times.
Answer the following questions:
These are the most important questions when you are going through the process of separation and divorce.
Fretting about the reasons for your divorce aren't going to help you right now - that is for later, when the dust has settled.
You will get through this! :-)
I really hope this article is of help to you. :-)
I frequently update my articles based on feedback, therefore I really value your vote. If you think I've missed something, please do let me know in the comment section below.
Thank you so much in anticipation. :-)
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Image courtesy of: Michal Zacharzewski