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Causes of Divorce

Over the last 3 decades there has been a cultural shift in the attitude and behavior that has helped to redefine the meaning of marriage. In turn, these shifting beliefs have also normalised and largely eliminated the stigma that once shrouded divorce. Over time, the raise in millennials which include everyone born between 1981 and 1996, which, at 73 million, surpassed the ageing baby boomers generation as our largest living generation, have now dominated the workforce starting in the 2020s and wherein the idea of divorce was unheard of and building a successful marriage was considered a top priority, has now become a place with one of the highest divorce rates in the world. In spite of the increased prevalence of marital education, marriage counseling, and family therapists, divorce is an ever-constant reality in society.


The idea of marriage as a lifelong commitment has changed significantly, and gradually evolved to an emphasis on individual fulfillment and satisfaction.

The 12 most common reasons for divorce

We've asked 20 recently divorced couples the reason to their divorced have come to find the common causes of divorce, focusing closely on the various groups and segments of the population that were asked citing the following reasons:

  1. Conflict, arguing, irretrievable breakdown in the relationship

  2. Lack of commitment

  3. Infidelity and/or extramarital affairs

  4. Distance in the relationship and/or lack of physical/romantic intimacy and or love

  5. Communication problems between partners

  6. Domestic violence, verbal, physical, or emotional abuse by a partner

  7. Realisation that one’s spouse has different values and/or morals

  8. Substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction

  9. One partner not carrying their weight in the marriage

  10. Financial problems and/or debt

  11. Marrying too young

  12. Lack of shared interests and/or incompatibility between partners


A number of factors influences the decision to divorce, such as age, gender and socio-economic background. The causes of divorce for married couples in their 50, 60s and 70s are unique because of major life transitions that occur during this time. Across our research we have found that causes of divorce surveyed covered on this subject found the common reasons that appeared in at least two or more surveys of divorced couples are:

  • Infidelity

  • Lack of commitment

  • Alcohol addiction/substance abuse

  • Financial issues

  • Conflict/Irreconcilable differences

Luckily, in spite of the challenges that married couples face during the course of a relationship, the likelihood of divorce declines as the length of marriage increases. In addition, resources like marriage counseling, relationship education and family law therapists assist couples in resolving conflict and building healthy marriages before divorce becomes inevitable. If married partners are able to approach their relationship with open minds in order to avoid the disappointment of unrealistic, unmet expectations, they will remain flexible throughout their marriage to overcome challenges they encounter.


If you are having difficulty in your marriage seek help and speak to someone.Below we have links to know helpful agencies that can support you as a couple and help you navigate a hard and emotional situation.


Useful Links:



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