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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Baker

The real reasons people get a divorce (hint: they’re not what you think)

Updated: May 12, 2021

If you’re reading this post, you’re considering a separation or divorce. Whatever your motivations are for joining us today, you can rest assured you are in good hands.

At DSC, we’ve been where you are right now. Making the decision to divorce is scary and life-altering. We have also come out the other side — along with our many clients. And with the proper support and coaching, you can, too.

The good news is, you’re not alone. Here are some of the reasons that others have expressed for seeking a divorce, which may also apply to you.


They married out of expectation.

While it is hard to admit, many people get married because it is something they feel they should do.

As a provider of divorce support services, we talk with many clients and coach them through divorce on a daily basis.

Through our experience, we’ve uncovered that many of the issues that lead couples to file for divorce were actually present in the relationship from the very start. However, because they had already invested so heavily into the relationship — with an elaborate wedding, a combining of family and friend groups, or perhaps having children before marriage, the couple chose to go ahead with the marriage.

Parental duties consumed the relationship.

When people get married, they find that the lives they led when they were single, along with the friends they kept, often begin be left on the back-burner to service their marriage. After becoming parents, couples often become so focused on dealing with their parental duties that they forget to nurture their relationship — and eventually even forget the reasons they fell in love in the first place.

Sometime, it takes until the children are grow adults no longer dependant on their parents for a couple to realise that they have lost their common interests and no longer want to continue through life as a couple. Divorce for couples over 50 has been on the rise for the past few decades, largely due to this very reason.

They’ve lost their passion and desire to be intimate.

Intimacy is a crucial part of human connection — both for males and females alike.

It is perfectly normal to experience sexual shifts and stages as you grow older together and become more established as a couple. However, when there is a significant change in the levels of intimacy, and it isn’t addressed, it can leave both parties feeling unloved, unwanted or sexually undesirable.

Most women need to feel some level of romance in their lives, and most men want to feel sexual receptivity. When both parties feel that their sexual needs are met, they’re more willingness to provide each other with what they want and need in other aspects of the marriage.

When couples become intimately estranged beyond repair, a disconnection and isolation occurs. This can have disastrous effects on the marriage.

They struggle with taking a united approach to their finances.

When you are your partner approach money matters in different ways, it will likely lead to marital tension.

While opposites can sometimes attract, they can have serious ramifications where money is concerned. If one party spends money like there’s no tomorrow and the other wants to plan expenditures far out into the future, it can be a huge point of contention in the relationship.

Money matters feature highly on the list of reasons for divorce. They are more common than any other major disagreement — including fidelity.

They no longer share the same interests.

While we all need to cultivate our own interests, couples do need to maintain some degree of overlapping interest compatibility within a relationship.

If you don’t enjoy doing any of the activities your partner likes, this can lead to tie spent apart and more marital tension. Simple decisions, such as deciding what to watch on TV or where to go on holiday, can result in a marital feud. These little arguments create a an adversarial atmosphere within the marriage if repeated on a daily basis and how the power to take the pleasure out of things we enjoy most.

They lack a fundamental level of respect for one another.

It goes without saying that for any partnership to be successful, a mutual level of respect and appreciation needs to exist between them.

When you lose respect within a relationship, the simplest of joint decisions become major issues.

Arguments can occur over what seems to be nothing, and couples end up fighting over things that are quite insignificant to the bigger picture. Developing ground rules, using understanding, truly listening and respecting the other party as an equal is essential for any relationship. When the respect is gone, many couples consider separation or divorce.

One party has lost their personal identity.

Being comfortable on your own and having the confidence maintain your own identity outside of your relationship is key to a happy, fulfilled lifestyle.

It’s natural to adjust your habits and routines to accommodate the needs of a partner. However, when this shifts occurs always in favour of the needs of one spouse, the other spouse will eventually realise that they have lost their personal identity.

As you navigate your divorce, consider consulting a divorce professional to help yourself in getting to know who you are again. If you have sacrificed parts or all of yourself to your marriage, you can get it back in the future.

Infidelity has occurred.

When a relationship breaks down — whether has has occurred due to a lack of communication, respect, intimacy, or any other reason; and this oftentimes results in cheating.

The impact of infidelity is naturally disastrous, and can feel like the ultimate betrayal.

While many people try to move on following infidelity in a relationship, some find they cannot get past it. While infidelity is not the top reason for divorce, it is almost certainly one of the hardest to accept and overcome.

The relationship has suffered one of more forms of abuse.

There are many forms of abuse; one doesn’t need to carry physical scares to be suffering.

Abuse can take many different forms, and in some cases, a person who has been subjected to abuse for short or long-term periods may not even realise what is happening to them.

Whatever type of abuse occurs in a marriage, once the victim of abuse finds the strength to seek help or take action, the marriage will have often reached a point of no return. While this is also not the most common reason for a separation or divorce, it is absolutely understandable why many divorces occur as a result.

Research creates long-term emotional damage which the victim often views as normal as long as they stay in the emotionally abusive relationship. Many suffers of abuse say they want to get out, but cannot see a possible path to leave.

While it may be hard to recognise the signs or indications of abuse in the beginning of a relationship or marriage, the damage is likely to compound over time, until one or more parties wants out.

The couple has stopped communicating.

In any relationship, communication is key, in fact, it is essential.

When communication stops, the marriage takes a nose-dive. When a partner begins shouting at the other, forgets to listen or directs mean and hurtful comments toward the other, it can have a far greater impact on their partner than they realise.

When repetitive arguments keep coming up, this is a sign that one party does not feel like they are being heard by the other. Without a doubt, a loss in healthy communication is one of the hardest things to overcome within a relationship, and may lead to the end of a marriage if not handled properly.


As we’ve mentioned before, there is no right or wrong reason for getting a divorce.

At the end of the day — once you decide to go through a separation or divorce — you need to seek support, feel like you are getting some control over your life back, and have answers to your questions.

At DSC, our team highly-skilled divorce coaches have created a number of online divorce courses, each of which is designed to offer the information and support you need in order to get through your divorce in the healthiest and most productive way possible.


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