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Analyzing the Most Common Causes of Divorce

No two people or two relationships are the same. However, there are still common issues that most people face and which create challenges and conflicts within a marriage or other long-term interpersonal relationship. Therefore, taking a look at the most common causes of divorce provides important perspective on what’s going on in the world at large, and perhaps in turn, in your own life, too.

One study performed by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts found six common causes of divorce in a survey. At the top of the list was incompatibility, with 43% of the total. Now, this is a catch all which could represent a wide range of more specific reasons. In some cases incompatibility could come down to communication issues or inability to get along or peacefully coexist, in others, it may represent different life priorities, a change in those priorities, and numerous other reasons.

The second most commonly cited cause of divorce was infidelity. This category garnered 28% of the total, and also included what was defined as other sexual issues. So this could also refer to a general sexual incompatibility, a lack of physical attraction or sexual interest, declining or ceased sexual activity, and so forth. Beyond one partner cheating on another then, there are other issues at stake here as well, although sometimes those end up happening in the same scenarios, one causing another.

Money issues and arguments were the third listed common cause, with 22%. This is an area which comes up time and time again in marriages. It’s a cause of stress both personally and interpersonally, and has a wide string of other co-related issues such as job status, career path, spending habits, and money priorities, too. That means that even for a couple with some level of financial security, the way you choose to spend that money matters, too. Whether that’s investing it, paying down debt, prioritizing vacations or other forms of disposable spending, saving for retirement, buying a house, and so forth.

Emotional or physical abuse was the fourth most common cause of divorce, accumulating 5.8% of the survey’s total. While physical abuse is what most of us think of, it’s important to consider the serious negative consequences of long-term or ongoing emotional abuse, too.

Two other causes were mentioned, with parenting issues and addiction issues, including alcoholism. Each of these garnered less than 1% of the total.

If any of these sound familiar to you, it’s certainly representative of most of the issues that we face in relationships. Numbers will assuredly vary in other surveys or with different sample sizes, and other causes may also be included as well. It’s also worthwhile noting that so many of these issues are interlinked, with one coming with or causing another.

For anyone who may be facing divorce themselves, it’s important that you do your best to prepare. Speak with a qualified legal representative in your local area who will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed. As these common causes of divorce show, you’re certainly not alone, whatever it is that is specifically bringing you to this point in time.


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