Why do marriages break up? What causes couples to decide to go their separate ways?
Although the reasons vary and explanations are seldom simple, recent research suggests there are some common themes in failed marriages.
A British survey recently reported in Huffington Post revealed a sobering statistic: the average couple spends more than two years considering divorce before proceeding with one, but on a positive note, 76 percent of those people surveyed made the effort to resolve their differences and fix the marriage before pursuing divorce.
Infidelity Tops the List for Divorce
Not surprisingly, the number one reason for divorce according to the survey was infidelity. As divorce attorneys, we are more than familiar with couples who have had infidelity in their marriage. It can be very destructive for a relationship, and the fact that it tops the list shouldn’t be a surprise.
Unhappiness, Arguments, Finances Next on the List
The number two reason was unhappiness; one or both of the individuals in the relationship no longer felt happy in it and behind that unhappiness was the fact that they were both tired of arguing so much.
Another commonly cited cause for marital discord was financial issues. Not having enough money, having too much debt, disagreement about how to manage money and the absence of mutual transparency about financial issues were identified as common issues.
Other reasons given – from “falling out of love” to “wanting different things” – all speak to the everyday, back-and-forth give-and-take that is so essential to the success of a marriage.
Infidelity, financial discord and unhappiness are symptoms of marital discord that, if addressed quickly, can provide an opportunity for some to improve their relationship; however, when left untreated as the survey suggests, often lead to the destruction of the marriage.
While this research was conducted in the United Kingdom, these themes are universal. Understanding what causes marriages to fail could actually help you save yours.