I think we’ve established already that break-ups are very hard, but what about divorce? Well, divorce can be devastating, especially if you’re not the one that wanted it in the first place. Things can get even uglier if there are kids involved.
There are many things that could lead to a divorce, from the most commonly cited “irreconcilable differences” invoked by most celebrities, to infidelity or simply the loss of love and passion. Sometimes, it doesn’t have to be an affair or another unfortunate event to lead to a divorce, not feeling the spark that was once there can be enough to cause a split.
According to relationships experts, the reason you no longer wish to be married traces back to your single days.
According to Elizabeth Cohen, PhD, a clinical psychologist in New York, “Sometimes people want a divorce for the same reason they might have had doubts of going into the relationship,”
“It’s usually the things that bothered you before, they just compounded over so long that you know it’s not going to change.”
Of course, it’s obvious that you really wanted to be together at some point, otherwise, you wouldn’t have gotten married. But things can change, and some people find it really hard to change in the ways you want them to. For a marriage to work, you both need to make the effort. However, if being married feels more like a burden than a blessing, getting a divorce might be the best solution for you.
According to Erin Levine, family law attorney and founder of Hello Divorce, a legal assistance platform, “It’s likely the decision comes after years and years of contemplating and trying to make the marriage work.”
While the reasons behind a divorce can vary from one relationship to another, these are the 12 most common issues that make people switch from ‘forever’ to ‘never again’, according to relationship experts and psychologists.
For more articles on this topic, make sure to also check 12 Important Questions to Ask Yourself Before Considering a Divorce.
Falling out of love
As data from a study published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy shows, more than half of recently divorced people have taken the decision to get a divorce because of a lack of love and intimacy.
As I said before, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a dramatic event or a betrayal to cause a divorce, losing your romantic feeling for the other person can be enough. According to Cohan, “There’s this overarching feeling of distance that happens over time.”
You lack intimacy
Alongside not having romantic feelings for your partner anymore, lacking intimacy can also be the main factor for divorce. A marriage needs intimacy to function properly, if it doesn’t exist, chances are you two are going to lose the bond.
According to Levine, most couples lie to themselves saying that the lack of intimacy won’t affect their relationship, but eventually, it will.
Whether physical or emotional, abuse can make people feel vulnerable and powerless. Emotional abuse is when your partner uses the love you have for them to their advantage, like when they refuse to show you affection as a punishment for something you did.
The best option you have if your partner is abusive is separating yourself from them and prioritizing your safety. The difference between abuse and the other causes of divorce is that abuse is not a relationship issue, it’s something that is within your partner.
Once the trust is broken, it will be very, very hard to get it back. Infidelity can feel like the ultimate betrayal, and while it’s true that there are a lot of couples who have managed to move past it, it is almost impossible to trust the other person again.
Think your partner is cheating on you? Check out this article: 10 Subtle Signs That Your Spouse Is Cheating On You.
Things like how much you earn, how much to spend, and how much to save can cause a lot of disagreements in a marriage. Couples usually have problems in compromising on what to spend their money on, while you can be worried about your spouse’s debt, they can argue that you don’t earn as much as them, so money problems can indeed put an end to your marriage very quickly.
Addiction for different substances
According to a study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, more than a third of the participants cited addiction and drug abuse as a reason for getting a divorce.
According to Levine, substance abuse is a very common reason for divorce cited by many of her clients. It can be drugs, alcohol or other substances, what addiction does is breaking the trust in a relationship, causing conflicts and even threats to their partner’s safety, which will eventually end up in a divorce.
Not communicating as much as you should’ve
According to Cohen, one of the most common reasons people why get a divorce is communication. While you might hear a lot of reasons like money disagreement, infidelity, and commitment issues, according to Levine, all these problems are caused by communication problems.
If you avoid communicating your problems or can’t reach to an agreement, frustration and resentment will eventually put an end to your marriage. As Cohen likes to say, your behavior might not be exactly what your partner needs, which will eventually lead to a divorce.
You want to have a healthy and loving marriage? Click here to find out 9 Ways to Be a Better Husband Right Now.
You’re not partners anymore
Levine says that people go to her office and share that they feel alone and misunderstood in their relationship. “They tell me, ‘Here I am in a relationship and it feels like I’m all alone,’” she added.
You can feel alone and unheard even though you have a very interesting personal life, it’s just that you and your spouse are no longer partners. That can happen when you two have different priorities and want different things, or when you realize you just don’t have as many things in common as you initially thought.
Divorce isn’t easy and sometimes you’re left with a lot of unresolved issues. Make sure to also check 20 Effects of Divorce That People Don’t Talk About.
You’ve married too fast even though you weren’t ready
According to Terri Orbuch, PhD, author of Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship and professor at Oakland University, “Similarity between two partners helps predict who stays together and who doesn’t.”
He also added that getting married too early when you don’t really know the other person, or at an age where you didn’t even figure out who you are as a person means you’re not able to choose the best partner for yourself. Love can conquer everything but there is such thing as marrying too early. Maybe you said ‘I do’ even though you weren’t ready, or you wanted to be in it for the long haul, but things can change.
Things like emotional baggage, different values, and trust issues can appear between you two and can cause a divorce.
You don’t feel emotionally supported
According to Levine, not feeling emotionally supported might make you feel desperate, angry all the time, and very critic towards others. That’s the type of energy that no one would like to be around.
Cohen added that she speaks with a lot of female clients that are not loved, appreciated, and respected in their marriage, adding that the lack of empathy and compassion for each other will eventually lead to a divorce, and it’s almost impossible for the marriage to work under these circumstances.
You’re having relationship/marriage problems? Check out this article: 15 Signs You Should Go to Couples Therapy.
You lost your sense of self
The worst thing that could happen in a marriage, is losing your sense of self. According to Cohen, it happens very often in relationships and marriages that people sacrifice what they want and need for the sake of their partner. Whether it’s giving up your dream job just because your husband wants you to be a housewife or simply letting go of the activities you once loved because your wife doesn’t agree with them anymore, these things can make you forget who you are as a person.
While marriage implies compromise in order to work, losing your sense of self is totally different, and you might end up resenting your partner for not letting you be who you were meant to be.
You’re just done
You know it’s over for good when you’re just done with everything. You’re tired of fights, money problems, abuse, infidelity, and all the other factors mentioned above. According to Levine, when people eventually decide to get a divorce, is because they did everything in their power to make things right for years, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
No matter how much work and effort you put into your marriage, if your partner doesn’t do the same, it not going to work. No one leaves a long-term marriage after a single fight, people leave when it becomes clear that things will never change for the better.
If you liked this topic, you can also read: 5 Divorcées Share What Made Them Realize That Their Marriage Was Over.