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Why do couples divorce?

With roughly one-half of all U.S. marriages ending in divorce, there's no doubt that divorce is a common experience that many Americans share. While every marriage and break-up is unique, relationship experts have identified some of the behaviors and issues that are frequently cited by divorcing or divorced couples as contributing to their split.

Not surprisingly, lack of communication in general was listed as the number one reason why couples divorce. In cases where spouses aren't able to openly and effectively communicate, there are bound to be problems in nearly every other aspect of a marriage. From handling household finances to raising children, couples need to be able to talk about and through both the significant and insignificant issues in their lives.

Among divorced parents, responsibilities related to child-rearing duties can take a toll on even the strongest of marriages. Raising a child is a lot of work and it can be physically, mentally, emotionally and financially taxing. Parents who fail to, at times, take time for and put both themselves and their spouse first; are likely to experience marital problems. Parents who don't take time to reconnect and spend time together are likely to grow apart and may, once the kids are older and less dependent, find that they no longer have much in common.

Lastly, matters related to money and finances are another common source of marital strife. Arguments over money may stem from fundamental differences in how each spouse views money. For example, say one spouse spends freely and has no issue relying on credit cards to afford what he or she wants while the other spouse believes that money should be saved and only used to purchase essential items.

At times, couples may be able to work out some of the major problems in a marriage. However, this isn’t always the case. For individuals who are unhappy and feel trapped and hopeless in a marriage, it's important to know that divorce is always an option. While no one gets married believing that they will someday divorce, people and situations change and, in some cases, divorce may truly be the best option for all involved parties.

Source: Huffington Post, "The 10 Most Common Reasons People Get Divorced," Lisa L. Payne, Kim Olver  & Deborah Roth, Sept. 16, 2015

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