Paul has done a variety of jobs since graduating university, he now earns his money writing freelance. He has been married and divorced.
20 Reasons Marriages Fail
Marriages, as most people know, are meant to last for life, but that doesn't mean that they all stand the test of time in practice.
Many partnerships founder only a relatively brief period of time, including a significant number of short celebrity marriages. Some last longer but still end in dissolution. Others continue blissfully for a lifetime.
So what makes some marriages fail? Are there certain sorts of behavior and circumstances that consistently rip a pairing apart? I've put together a list of common reasons for divorce.
Common Reasons For Divorce
- Both Know It's Over
- The Love Just Dies
- Lack of Commitment
- Not Suited to Monogamy
- People Change
- Sex Life Disappears
- Burn Out
- Loss of Faith in the Future
- A Tough Period is Not Survived
- Breakdown of Trust
- They aren't Who You Thought They Were
- Unrealistic Expectations
- Never Any Love
- Neither is Listening to the Other
- Intolerable External Pressures
- Mental Health Issues
I will explain each reason in more detail below.
When people divorce, it's always such a tragedy. At the same time, if people stay together it can be even worse.
— Monica Bellucci
1. Both Know It's Over
Sometimes two people genuinely give the relationship their all and finally conclude that parting ways is the best and healthiest decision for all involved. These splits tend to be the most amicable, as both parties agree that the marriage is over.
One or both of the partners are selfish. They prioritize their own needs and wants and disregard, neglect, or minimize the requirements of others. There always has to be some caring and compromises by both parties for a relationship to work.
3. The Love Just Dies
Love is a verb. It is something that you actively do. If one or both partners neglect to show or make loving actions, then sooner or later, the partnership will likely fizzle out. Routines may continue, but there is no affection or true joy.
4. Lack of Commitment
Marriage requires commitment and compromises to be made. Unfortunately, some people just aren't cut out for matrimony, but they do it because they feel that's what's expected of them. If you are someone who is happiest when single, then it is unlikely that marriage will work for you, especially if you are just doing it because that's what people do.
Some couples are simply not suited. They may have incompatible personalities, interests, expectations, lifestyles, or tastes. Differences can sometimes be papered over during the dating phase, and the initial passions of love sometimes distorts a person's viewpoint. Still, once the couple are living together under one roof on a day-to-day roof, any differences will eventually surface, and sometimes they are irreconcilable.
6. Not Suited to Monogamy
Some people aren't cut out for monogamy. Sticking with one person just isn't part of their nature. They will never be faithful to their partner, no matter how hard they may think they want to, so marriage probably isn't for them.
7. People Change
People change over time. Sometimes couples grow apart because they each develop in different ways or progress at different rates of time. Over the years, a partnership that was initially compatible becomes incompatible.
8. Sex Life Disappears
Sometimes the marriage dies because the sex life disappears, and the couple loses their bond without physical intimacy. It depends on the dynamics of the particular partnership, of course. For instance, other factors, such as age, can also play a part.
Read More From Pairedlife
I don't see divorce as a failure. I see it as the end to a story. In a story, everything has an end and a beginning.
— Olga Kurylenko
9. Burn Out
Some relationships are always destined to burn themselves out. A hot and passionate romance in the early days may be too intense to continue indefinitely. Passion can turn to arguments, and excitement can become instability.
10. Loss of Faith in the Future
A relationship needs hope and optimism to keep going. If one or both partners lose their faith in the future of the relationship, then there is a good chance that they will fall out of love too. A sense that things will only get worse spells doom for the marriage.
11. A Tough Period is Not Survived
Life is a roller coaster. Some people find it easy when everything is on the up and running smoothly but don't cope so well when things are going badly. The pressures can be internal or come from outside the relationship. Most relationships are only truly tested during the tough periods, and not all of them survive.
12. Breakdown of Trust
There is a breakdown of trust between the couple. It doesn't have to be caused by sexual infidelity; it might be lying about finances or something else. Once trust has gone, it can be difficult to recover, and it becomes easy for couples to stop respecting each other.
If you made a list of reasons why any couple got married, and another list of the reasons for their divorce, you'd have a hell of a lot of overlapping.
— Mignon McLaughlin
13. They aren't Who You Thought They Were
Some people are misled and/or fool themselves, and it is not until they are actually married that they realize that they have made a mistake, and the person they have married is not the person they thought they were.
14. Unrealistic Expectations
One or both members of the partnership have expectations that are too high for the other person to meet. This might relate to having children, career and earnings, tidiness and chores around the home, or some other matter. Sometimes it becomes obvious that the expectations are simply unrealistic.
15. Never Any Love
Sometimes it becomes clear over time that there was never really any love between the partners. Maybe there was friendship, affection, lust, or other desires, but no love. Without love, the relationship never fully gets going and fades before it starts
16. Neither is Listening to the Other
Arguments become the norm, and both parties stop listening to the other. Both feel hurt and defensive, and communication completely breaks down. Sometimes the issues can be resolved through relationship counseling, but sometimes there is no solution other than divorce.
17. Intolerable External Pressures
Sometimes the relationship suffers intolerable pressures from outside forces, such as illnesses, bereavement, financial troubles, as well as many other stresses. Dealing with your partner's family can also be tricky, stressful, or downright damaging.
One or both partners suffering from addiction to alcohol, drugs, or something else, is a common cause of breakups. Living with an addict and supporting them can be very difficult, and eventually, a tipping point is reached.
Unfaithfulness by one or both members of the relationship leads to a breakdown of trust, jealousy, bitterness, or a weakening of self-worth. Unfaithfulness is a common cause of divorce and can create irreconcilable differences.
20. Mental Health Issues
A mental health problem suffered by one or both of the couple causes intolerable stress on the relationship. Relatively common conditions such as depression, for example, can place a lot of strain on relationships.
Divorce: a resumption of diplomatic relations and rectification of boundaries.
— Ambrose Bierce
I do not consider divorce an evil by any means. It is just as much a refuge for women married to brutal men as Canada was to the slaves of brutal masters.
— Susan B. Anthony
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2015 Paul Goodman