10 Common Reasons For Divorce

Cultural shifts in attitude and behaviour over the past 75 years has redefined the meaning of marriage and have shifted beliefs and normalized divorce, by eliminating the stigma that once was placed on divorce.  The idea of marriage as being a lifelong commitment has changed significantly and has evolved to an emphasis on individual fulfilment and satisfaction.

There are various perceived causes of divorce by both men and women.  These perceived reasons include a loss of love and incompatibility, poor communication, unhappiness, unfaithfulness, addiction, conflict over roles in the home, and different personality traits. In the study of the prevention of relationship breakdown and the causes of divorce, it was concluded that there is usually a combination of factors that are responsible for the breakdown of a marriage relationship.

Every family unit benefits from a secure, stable and nurturing marital partnership and family environment. Relationships are dynamic, however, and family circumstances change as family life stages alter, for example with marriage, the birth of a child, dealing with teenagers, a change in employment, financial changes or illness of a family member.  If these changes are not adapted appropriately it can lead to a breakdown of the family unity.

Communication Problems

What’s been found is that the number one reason that marriages end in divorce is a lack of or problems with communication.  Positive and constructive communication help couples get through the difficulties and changes that each family unit experiences.

Here are 9 other Common Causes for Divorce:

Getting Married for the Wrong Reasons

If you marry for any reason other than for the sake of wanting to be married to that person, it may be for the wrong reasons. A few wrong reasons may include for the sake of a child, to gain monetarily or because everyone around you is getting married.

A Lack of Individuality

Continuing to have your interests is important for a healthy marriage. People can become co-dependent on their partners, which causes many issues in the relationship.

Unhealthy Conflict Resolution

Unmet expectations lead to conflict, which is inevitable in relationships of any nature.   Constructive conflict resolution is key to marriages working out, which is not something that most couples take time to work through.

Becoming Consumed by your Role in the Family Unit

When couples move to become parents, their role shifts dramatically with new responsibilities.  This creates many distractions from the role of husband and wife.  Couples often forget their responsibilities to each other and end up breaking down their relationship.

Different Interests and/or Priorities

Spending time together sharing in the interests of your spouse is important for the relationship to thrive.  As we’ve already said, it’s important to remain independent. At the same time though sharing in the interests of your spouse can show them that you value them.  Having contradicting priorities can also cause havoc in a marriage, which can lead to divorce. There should be an alignment of priorities for a marriage to remain successful.

Financial Reasons

It is often not the lack of finances that is the issue, rather the lack of compatibility in how to use finances. This can cause enough pressure to lead to a divorce.

Having a Different Vision of Success

If one spouse likes to save money while the other prefers to spend there is potential for constant conflict in the home.  This will put pressure on the marriage, which could lead to a divorce.

A Lack of Physical Touch

To maintain a close bond in marriage there needs to be an intimate connection.  People maintain this with both sexual and non-sexual touch.  A lack of physical touch can break a bond that’s needed to keep a marriage relationship strong.

Intimacy Issues

Changes in one’s sex life can lead to a spouse feeling undesired and unloved, which could make a spouse want to leave the marriage to potentially feel loved by a different individual.


If you have a potential divorce matter which you would like to discuss, whether it is amicable or not, we would like to hear from you. Please contact us via telephone or email. Alternatively, please feel free to schedule an appointment on our website.

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Post-Divorce Inter-Provincial Relocation of Children

Getting a divorce can be one of the most stressful experiences a person can go through, which is why it is so important to have a good understanding of what the different types of divorce are in South African. What happens during the divorce proceedings will affect the rest of your life.

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