Common causes for divorce and preventive remedies for couples

Divorce is a complex and emotionally charged process, with reasons for ending a marriage as varied as the couples themselves. In Colorado, there is only one “official” reason for divorce – that the marriage be “irretrievably broken”. 1  But there are common themes that often lead to divorce. Here, we delve into the common causes of divorce and provide guidance on navigating these challenges, whether you’re considering a divorce or striving to salvage your marriage.

Common Reasons for Divorce

1. Infidelity:

  Extramarital affairs can deeply wound a relationship, leading to a breach of trust that is often irreparable. While some couples manage to rebuild after infidelity, for many, the betrayal is too great to overcome. Research shows that a significant percentage of both men and women admit to being unfaithful, highlighting the widespread nature of this issue.

Remedy: Addressing infidelity requires honesty and introspection. If you’ve been unfaithful, understand why it happened and communicate openly with your partner. For those who have been cheated on, assessing whether you can rebuild trust is crucial. Marriage counseling or individual therapy can be beneficial in navigating these complex emotions and decisions.

2. Communication Breakdowns

  Effective communication is the cornerstone of any healthy marriage. When couples fail to communicate properly, misunderstandings and resentment can fester, leading to a breakdown in the relationship.

 Remedy:  Prioritize open and honest communication. Regularly check in with each other, actively listen, and express empathy. Discuss difficult topics constructively and work together to resolve misunderstandings.

3. Financial Problems

 Disagreements over money, financial stress, and irresponsible financial behavior are significant sources of marital conflict. These issues can create a persistent strain on the relationship.
 Remedy: Establish a transparent and joint approach to managing finances. Set shared goals, create a budget, and review your financial situation together regularly. Working as a team can help alleviate financial stress.

4. Incompatibility

 Over time, couples may discover fundamental differences in values, goals, or lifestyles that make the relationship unsustainable. Growing apart is a common issue that many couples face.

 Remedy: Invest time in understanding each other’s values and goals. Engage in activities you both enjoy and support each other’s individual pursuits. Regularly reassess and nurture your relationship to ensure compatibility.

5. Substance Abuse

 Substance abuse can place an immense burden on a marriage, causing instability and conflict. The effects of alcohol or drug abuse often lead to significant marital strife and eventual divorce. In one study, a partner’s substance abuse was the third-most common reason for women divorcing their spouses.2 

 Remedy: Seek professional help for substance abuse issues as early as possible. Encourage open communication about the challenges and work together towards recovery. Therapy or support groups can be essential in addressing underlying issues and strengthening the relationship. Be empathetic toward your partner without forsaking your own needs. Addiction is almost never a conscious choice, and help is available. But at the same time, your needs and desires do not need to take a backburner, and you should not tolerate abusive behavior — regardless of the cause.

Tips for Preventing Divorce

If we were to distill all of the remedies above into a list of advice, it would look a lot like this:

  • Nurture Trust and Commitment: Build a foundation of trust through honesty, transparency, and fidelity.
  • Prioritize Communication: Make open and empathetic communication a regular practice.
  • Be a True Partner:  Develop a joint approach to finances and work together towards financial stability.
  • Cultivate Compatibility: Engage in shared activities and support each other’s individual goals.
  • Seek Help for Substance Abuse: Address substance abuse issues with professional help and mutual support.
  • Prioritize Quality Time Together: Regularly spend quality time together to nurture your connection.
  • Practice Conflict Resolution Skills: Learn healthy ways to manage conflicts and consider therapy if needed.
  • Continuously Invest in the Relationship: Show appreciation and affection regularly, and proactively address any issues that arise.

The Role of a Divorce Attorney

A divorce attorney is invaluable in guiding you through the complexities of the divorce process. They provide legal advice, represent you in court, assist with negotiation and settlement, and handle documentation. Additionally, they can help with child custody and support, asset and debt division, mediation, and post-divorce modifications and enforcement.

By understanding the common reasons for divorce and implementing proactive measures, couples can work towards resolving conflicts and strengthening their relationships. However, when divorce is inevitable, having the right legal support is crucial to protect your rights and interests.

For more information or to seek legal advice, contact Lewis & Matthews. We are here to help you navigate this challenging time with expertise and compassion.


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