The Top 5 Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Written by on October 3, 2013 in Relationships - No comments | Print this page


man snoring in bedUnfortunately, a high number of marriages end in divorce in this country. It’s hard to know the exact figures, but estimates range from 40-60% nationally (with some regions experiencing higher or lower rates).

But what drives couples to divorce? Based on a recent national survey, couples give these five reasons for their divorce:

Lack of Commitment

This was, by far, the number one reason couples gave for a divorce. It was listed as a major factor in the divorce by nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents. In the survey, people could  respond with multiple reasons for their divorce, so this was most likely not the only reason, but it can be seen to underlie many of the other causes of divorce.

Too Much Arguing

Too many arguments was listed by 56% of respondents as being a major factor in their divorce. Although money, kids, and sex are often listed as the top causes for argument in couples, it is sometimes convincingly put forward that the number one thing couples fight over is “nothing.” Basically, the argument is for its own sake.

According to Dr. Donna Blair, a sleep dentist in Fresno, California, sleep problems may be an underlying cause of seemingly causeless arguments. “Studies have shown that people who get  less sleep tend to fight more often because they experience a decreased empathy for their partners,” says Dr. Blair. “Sleep disorders like snoring or sleep apnea may be causing a lack of sleep, resulting in more fights.”


Infidelity is a factor in 55% of divorces. Infidelity may be caused by a lack of commitment to a marriage, or by boredom, lack of emotional maturity, or inequality in a marriage. This may also correspond to the fact that a lack of religious affiliation makes a couple more likely to get a divorce.

Marrying Too Young

Marrying young is reported by nearly half (46%) of respondents as a cause for their divorce. This also correlates with marriage statistics showing that people who get married before age 26 are significantly more likely to divorce than those that marry after age 26.

Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic expectations is also reported by nearly half (45%) of respondents as being a cause of their divorce. This probably goes along with marrying too young. People who enter marriages not understanding the realistic outcome of their marriage are more likely to believe that their marriages are substantially worse than those of others, and may seek divorce in the hope of improving their situation.

Other times people may blame their spouse for failing to fulfill their expectations. This can result in nagging, criticism, blame, and threats, or, sometimes, even, physical violence or abuse.

Because commitment is such a powerful determinant of whether a marriage will succeed or not, couples are urged to renew their commitment to marriage.

Most of all, it’s important to communicate commitment to the other partner, because it is often a perceived lack of commitment by the other person that leads to divorce. If couples are committed to the relationship, they can work together to overcome most any problem.

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Thanks to Dr. Donna Blair, sleep dentist in Fresno, California, for her contribution to this article.


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