The Top 10 Most Common Reasons Why Couples Divorce

If you, yourself aren’t divorced, you probably know someone who is. Divorce is very common in our society, with nearly half of all marriages in the US finding this fate. But have you ever wondered why couples divorce? What could be so bad that there is no other option but to go your separate ways? We’re here to answer that question with the top 10 most common reasons why couples divorce.

1. Conflict/Arguing:

You might not be surprised to learn that constant fighting is the number one reason married couples file for divorce. This falls under the phrase “irreconcilable differences”, and if you’ve ever lived in a home where people were always at each other’s throats, you know why this is the most common reason. When a home (or relationship) no longer feels like a safe haven, many couples choose to move on in order to build a more peaceful life for themselves.

2. Lack of Commitment:

The definition of commitment is the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, or person. Marriage is all about commitment to each other, and when one- or both- parties are lacking that commitment, the marriage can easily break down. Lack of commitment is a very wide umbrella statement, and many things can fall under this category, including poor communication, not spending time together, and infidelity.

3. Infidelity/Extramarital Affairs:

Cheating- whether it be physical or emotional- is a very difficult thing to move past. While it’s not impossible to heal from infidelity, many couples choose to separate after this occurs. Getting past infidelity requires a strong commitment from both parties, as well as a lot of forgiveness (and most likely counseling). Once trust is broken, it’s incredibly difficult to rebuild it without the proper tools.

4. Distance/Lack of Physical Intimacy:

Tying into a few of the above-mentioned reasons, when a couple becomes distant with one another- either physically, emotionally, or both- they begin to grow apart. The commitment they had for each other at the beginning of the marriage slowly fades. They may begin arguing frequently or even resorting to infidelity in order to fill the gap left by their partner. Once a couple reaches the point where they are no longer communicating, or even having a desire for communication with their partner, divorce or separation is often the next step.

5. Domestic Violence:

Domestic violence can come in many forms, including physical, emotional, verbal, financial, or sexual abuse. It may take the abused partner many years to leave out of fear of retaliation from their spouse. Once they do decide to leave, they rarely go back if they have the proper support system around them. Those who do not have the proper support system, unfortunately, may continue on with the cycle of abuse even after leaving their partner. Professional help in the form of a therapist is highly recommended when domestic violence is involved.

6. Different Morals/Values:

Sometimes, couples don’t discover that they have different morals and values until after they’ve said, “I do”. Discussions around religion, parenting, finances, even where you want to live, should take place before marriage to avoid this unfortunate circumstance. Since morals and values are often something instilled in us from childhood, it can be very difficult to come to a resolution on this topic, which is why many couples choose to divorce.

7. Addiciton/Substance Abuse:

When one partner has an addiction, it can weigh very heavily on the other partner. They may become resentful of their partner, especially if they have to take on the brunt of the parenting, household, and financial responsibilities. In this case, sometimes separation is enough to make the partner with the addiction go get help, but unfortunately, many couples end up divorcing if the addiction continues.

8. Financial Problems:

It’s no surprise that money can become a big problem for couples after they get married, especially if their finances weren’t combined prior to the marriage. Disagreements over money and increasing debt are enough to make any couple buckle without the right support. Marriage counseling, along with financial counseling, can often help in this case. This is especially beneficial if the financial issues were unexpected, such as the loss of a job or unforeseen medical bills.

9. Marrying Too Young:

It’s hard to know what you really want when you’re young and inexperienced. Couples who marry young (i.e. high school sweethearts) may find that what they want changes drastically as they enter their 20s and 30s. While some young married couples make it the long haul, it’s definitely not the norm anymore.

10. Incompatibility:

Sometimes, divorce happens simply because you don’t share anything in common with your partner. That old saying “opposites attract” may hold true at the beginning, but those differences can cause a lot of conflicts as time goes on. Marriage counseling, and making an effort to find things you both enjoy doing together, can sometimes save the marriage. Individual counseling can also help each partner work through their own issues. If one- or both- partners refuse counseling, or don’t invest enough effort into it, compatibility issues are difficult to overcome.

While these aren’t the only reasons couples decide to divorce, they are the most prevalent. The more of these issues a couple has, the more difficult it is for them to overcome and find a way to stay together. Knowing when to walk away and when to keep trying is a difficult decision to navigate. Help from a divorce coach or another trusted divorce professional can help make that decision a little easier.

More Resources:

Are you are ready to join our online Communitywe would love to have you! We have several experts in there waiting to help. Plus other divorcees you can connect and share stories with. Remember that you are not alone, even though it might feel like it at times. There are always people ready to support you- simply reach out your hand (or finger if you’re scrolling online!)

We get your struggles… We welcome you to visit our Support hub where we have created an informative and nurturing space using various modalities for you to get educated, emotionally supported and find your way. Our complimentary support groups like Coffee Talk and SOS: Support on Saturdays can be found here, along with many other helpful tools and resources.

Get more of! Straight to your inbox weekly. You’ll be the first to know the best divorce resources, professional advice, upcoming digital and live events, supportive insights, and current divorce pitfalls to avoid. Better ways to live apart are right here. Sign up for the Newsletter.

Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Resources Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview


323 San Vicente Blvd., Unit 1
Santa Monica, 90402

Have a question for us?
Please visit our contact form

Coffee talk:
join our weekly divorce support group hosted every Friday morning at 9 am PST.


Follow Us

Splitfyi, Inc. DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. All information provided should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice. Individuals seeking legal or tax advice should solicit the counsel of competent legal or tax professionals knowledgeable about the divorce laws in their own geographical areas.

Copyright © 2022 | All rights reserved


Install our App!

Click the share icon in your browser toolbar, then click “add to home screen” to install our app.