What Are the Common Reasons for Divorce in the United States?


Divorce is always a bit of a touchy subject. No one ever wants to talk about why it happens until it’s over and the reasons that you hear on television are always so explosive and dramatic. What are the realistic common reasons for filing an online divorce?

Having poorly defined ideas of what qualifies as a “good reason” to leave a marriage can either trap people in bad marriages for too long or have them leave too early without working things out.

While a common reason doesn’t necessarily mean a good reason, it is a good metric to use to gauge if you’re being unreasonable when you’re considering your own separation.

Read on for 5 common reasons for divorce in the United States.

1. Growing Apart

Sometimes, over time, couples just lose interest. This can be physical interest or emotional interest. People change throughout their lives, and while couples can certainly grow together, they can also grow apart.

There’s not necessarily malice involved here or even any bad feelings. Many of these couples attempt marriage counseling or try doing activities together to “reignite the spark” and sometimes it works! If it doesn’t, though, each party might be happier seeking a different life elsewhere.

This can end in an amicable divorce.

2. Infidelity

Cheating, emotional or physical, is a common reason for divorce. This can be a symptom of a bigger problem (like the other problems on this list) or it can be a standalone problem.

Up to 25% of marriages see at least one event of infidelity, though not all are created equally. Different couples have different terms on what they consider cheating.

For many, even one event is a dealbreaker and a good reason for divorce. Others feel differently and will seek out counseling.

3. Abuse

Abuse is another reason for divorce that isn’t spoken about often enough.

While much of the abuse is physical, emotional abuse often gets hidden and swept under the rug when discussing marriage. Many don’t realize when emotional abuse is happening and they don’t know that it is a good reason to terminate a relationship.

With the current COVID-19 situation, there’s an increased risk of domestic abuse leaving many people wondering about their resources when it comes to seeking divorce during the pandemic.

Any kind of abuse is an acceptable reason to seek separation from a partner.

4. Getting Married for the Wrong Reasons

While some marriages made in error or very young end perfectly well, others age into situations that are entirely mismatched.

Marrying for religious reasons, for example, may lead to couples growing older and perhaps realizing that they don’t actually have much in common, especially if one or both of them leave the church.

Marrying for money rarely ends well and can lead to resentment on both sides. This is similar to the problem of growing apart except that there was never really a “together”; it was a facade.

5. Lack of Equality

This is similar to abuse and could be grouped together, but not everyone sees it as a problem until it’s presented to them clearly.

Marriage requires two equal partners unless otherwise agreed upon by the couple. If one partner is giving all of the efforts emotionally, physically, and financially while the other is taking, the relationship won’t feel equal.

If one partner is receiving certain benefits that the other isn’t, or is holding double standards, it will breed resentment.

This can be managed in therapy, but if the partners aren’t willing to change, this will likely end in divorce or a very unhappy life.

There are Many Common Reasons For Divorce

Divorce is a taboo subject but it’s important to talk about and normalize. Sometimes marriages don’t work out, even if it’s of no fault of either partner. Sometimes someone is in the wrong and it’s hard to get out because no one is talking about it.

If you see yourself in any of these common reasons for divorce, consider reaching out to a divorce lawyer or marriage professional today. For more content like this, keep reading our blog!

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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3 years ago

That’s a really great article.
I will probably never get it – why people don’t appreciate each other, let alone appreciating themselves first.
Relationships, especially those that have become the basis for creating a family – that’s something so beautiful and still, many people find it so easy to break the family apart.

2 years ago

Very well written. Divorce is not an easy decision but to leave in an unwanted relationship is also not an ideal situation. The reasons you have mentioned for divorce in US are just as same in any other country. Although I have observed that infidelity is one of the most reported reasons of divorce.