Why Do People Divorce? Top Reasons for Divorce - Zukerman Law

Why Do People Divorce? Top Reasons for Divorce

Divorce. It’s a word that carries a weight of emotions: sadness, anger, and uncertainty. While the happily-ever-after ending remains ideal, statistics show that a significant portion of marriages end in divorce.
If you’re facing the possibility of divorce, you’re not alone. This blog explores the top reasons couples choose to go their separate ways and offers insights into the challenges that can lead to a marital breakdown.
But this isn’t just about the reasons. We understand the decision to divorce is often incredibly difficult. We’ll also explore signs that divorce might be the right path and offer resources to help you navigate this complex process.

Top Reasons for Divorce

Top Reasons for Divorce

1- Infidelity

Being betrayed by someone who promised eternal faithfulness is a bitter pill to swallow, and most people deem this an unforgivable offense. While infidelity doesn’t always result in divorce, it invariably alters your perception of the relationship.

Discovering your spouse’s extramarital affair raises three critical questions:

  • Can my marriage withstand this betrayal?
  • Can I ever trust my spouse/partner again?
  • Am I willing to work on my marriage, or is my partner’s infidelity the final straw?

The answers to these questions hinge on whether both partners are willing and able to mend the relationship.

2- Lack of Compatibility

Divorcing couples may have different values, such as parenting, religion, or political views. Alternatively, they might lack common interests, leading to a stagnant relationship where one or both partners feel bored.

3- Too Much Conflict

Constant conflict, bitter arguments, and going to bed angry every night are far from anyone’s idea of a healthy marriage. How long can you endure when your home, meant to be a haven from daily stress, becomes more stressful than your worst day at work?
In a good marriage, your spouse is your partner, your refuge, and your biggest supporter when you’re down.

In a high-conflict marriage, your spouse feels as emotionally harmful as a terrible boss. Without intervention through marriage counseling or therapy, this negative spiral will continue until divorce becomes the only option.

4- Lack of Intimacy

Couples might express dissatisfaction with the frequency of sex or issues related to sexual dysfunction. Long-term problems often include a lack of libido or diminished attraction. However, intimacy extends beyond physical interactions. Emotional closeness, trust, and respect are the glue that holds couples together, and when this intimacy fades, it often manifests in the bedroom.

5- Addiction (Alcohol, Drugs, Sex, Gambling, Shopping, Prescription Medications)

The bond between an addict and their addiction may overshadow their relationship with their spouse. When the addict rejects treatment or experiences frequent relapses, the relationship is threatened, which leads to instability in the marriage.

6- Abuse

When the abuse becomes unbearable, individuals often pursue divorce unless leaving the marriage poses a risk of violence.
Typically, the abuse is directed at one partner, but it may also extend to one or more of the children. In severe instances, the abused partner may require legal assistance to leave the marriage safely.

7- Money Problems

7- Money Problems

Divorce is not always the result of money problems. Poverty is a highly stressful lifestyle, and financial strains can cause arguments, which can lead to divorce. Differences in our spending and saving habits can also be quite challenging to deal with in a marriage.

8- Lack of Commitment

Marriage involves dedication from both partners in order to be happy and healthy. Sadly, all it takes for a marriage to fail is for one partner to be uncommitted to the relationship. The marriage will ultimately fail if one person isn’t entirely devoted to the other.
Sometimes, the partner who is still devoted to the relationship feels that if they put in more effort, they can save the marriage on their own. Ultimately, if they contribute 200% and their spouse contributes 0%, that should equal 100%, right?
When their marriage inevitably ends, after the shock and disbelief have worn off, their rage at being used and taken for granted during the relationship may lead to a very difficult divorce.

9- Mental or Physical Illness or Disability

A spouse must inevitably take on the role of caretaker when one partner experiences a severe illness or disability. Many find the caregiving position to be completely inappropriate.
The situation is so far from what he envisioned on their wedding day that he cannot imagine living in the relationship. He/she doesn’t have the capacity to accept such a devastating change in their marriage. Of course, many do stay married and transition into the difficult and often heroic role of caregiver.

10- Opposing Values or Morals

Wars have been fought over differences in race, religion, nationality, culture, gender, sexuality, and political party. When two spouses have opposing values and morals, and neither can or is willing to see things from their spouse’s point of view, the marriage is likely to end in divorce.


While we’ve explored the common reasons couples choose divorce, it’s important to remember every situation is unique. The decision to end a marriage is a deeply personal one, and there’s no single right answer.
If challenges seem insurmountable and divorce feels like the only path forward, there are resources available to help you navigate this difficult process with dignity and respect for both parties, especially if children are involved.
Zukerman Law Group is a dedicated team of experienced divorce attorneys who understand the complexities of navigating separation. We offer a range of services, including mediation and legal representation, designed to protect your rights and achieve a fair and positive outcome.
Don’t face this alone. Schedule a consultation with Zukerman Law Group today. They can answer your questions and guide you through the legal aspects of divorce, allowing you to focus on moving forward with your life.


  • 1- How common is an unhappy marriage?1

    In the United States, nearly 40 percent of marriages result in divorce. Additionally, about 10 to 15 percent of couples choose separation without finalizing a divorce, while another approximately 7 percent remain together despite experiencing chronic dissatisfaction.

  • 2- Who initiates divorce more?1

    In divorce cases, women tend to be the initiators more often than men. Various studies suggest that around 70% of divorces are instigated by women. This trend might appear surprising, particularly in cultures where traditionally, men held the role of primary decision-makers.

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Stuart Zukerman

Stuart Zukerman, a graduate of the University of British Columbia, has over 32 years of experience in litigation with a focus on Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Dismissal claims, and Collaborative Divorce & Mediation. He has extensive trial experience in divorce, child custody, spousal support, asset division, and ICBC injury claims. As an accredited Family Law Mediator, he helps resolve disputes without court intervention. Stuart has also authored papers on family law and lectured at CLE courses.