10 Most Common Reasons for Divorce

Uncontested Divorce Mediation

Posted January 8, 2019

Marriage is a lifetime, sincere promise we make to our spouses. It takes and it gives; it heals and hurts; it teaches and nourishes.

But marriage is not all romance and intimacy. It’s not just a commitment to another person, it is a commitment to yourself. It is a commitment that can sometimes become too much for some and ultimately can lead to uncontested divorce.

Reasons For Divorce

According to studies, there are a number of reasons for divorce as well as indicators that might help identify future problems in a marriage. While the prominence of these things varied from different studies, the causes for divorce were largely the same. Namely:

  • Lack of commitment
  • Too much arguing
  • Infidelity
  • Marrying too young
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of equality in the relationship
  • Abuse
  • Communication problems
  • Incompatibility
  • Changed lifestyle desires

Lack of Commitment

Marriage is a commitment in and of itself but within the marriage, is more commitment. An article published by UCLA shows that commitment to a relationship means staying committed through the bad times just as much as the good. Experts suggest “lack of commitment” can best be defined by one or both spouses taking the other for granted and/or not feeling special in the relationship.

Too Much Arguing/Conflict

common reasons for divorce | Uncontested divorce denverAlthough conflict is pretty much universally unavoidable in just about any relationship, constant arguing and conflict can make a marriage unbearable. Ultimately, couples who argue constantly will feel a sense of dread when it’s time to go home and will choose to avoid a combative situation. One  study showed that newlywed couples who argued a lot were more likely to continue arguing throughout their marriage which suggests most relationships that start with frequent conflict, will likely continue to have that conflict.


Generally speaking, men are more likely to commit adultery than women with one exception being women from age 18 to 29 being slightly more likely to cheat. A study published by the American Psychology Association reports that extramarital affairs in the United States have ranged from 20 to 40 percent and “42 percent of all divorcees reported more than one extramarital sexual contact during the course of their marriages.”

Marrying Too Young

Experts suggest the best age to marry is between 28 and 32 because those who marry younger than this – particularly teenagers – have not fully developed. They are still uncertain about important life factors such as professional futures, finances, and dedication. When people are not emotionally, mentally, and/or financially mature and prepared for the commitment of a long-term relationship, this can often lead to uncontested divorce.

Unrealistic Expectations

Whether it’s a spouse’s expectation of themselves or expectations of the other, unrealistic expectations can wear down a couple’s collective energy and create feelings of resentment, confusion, failure, and disappointment. Expecting themselves or partners to be a certain way or do certain things the same way all of the time, is an example of unrealistic expectations.

Lack of equality in the relationship

When one or both partners feel as if they are not valued for their contributions in the marriage, this leads to resentment and unfullfillment. As a simple example, if the husband is the breadwinner and the wife is a homemaker but she feels that her contributions as a stay-at-home-mom are diminished beneath the weight of her husband’s income, this is a clear lack of equality.


The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports (among other things) that:

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (e.g. slapping, shoving, pushing) and in some cases might not be considered “domestic violence.”
  • 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.
  • 1 in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner. Data is unavailable on male victims.

However, domestic violence is just one aspect of marital abuse. There is psychological, mental, financial, emotional, and sexual abuse as well. Recent research indicates that 29 percent of divorces were due to abuse.


Lack of communication is often cited as the greatest cause of divorce. When a couple is unable or unwilling to effectively communicate their needs, concerns, fears, worries, and desires, it becomes quite difficult to keep each other content and fulfilled. Dr. John Gottman – a professor Ameritus at the University of Washington – has done decades of research relating to marriage.

He determined there are four major types of communication issues (which he terms the “Four Horsemen”) that can lead to uncontested divorce:

  1. Criticism – Attacking one’s character, abilities, and value.
  2. Contempt – Mocking, sarcasm, condescension, hostility, disrespect.
  3. Defensiveness – “self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or innocent victimhood in an attempt to ward off a perceived attack.”
  4. Stonewalling – Refusing to communicate or participate in discussion.


Sometimes incompatibility can create an insurmountable chasm between two people who love one another. Sometimes incompatibility is the result of one or both partners simply changing the direction of their personal life which can create incompatibility where previously there was none. Religion, career choices, drug or alcohol use, or geographic location are examples of things that can bring about an irreparable incompatibility.

Changed Lifestyle Desires

Just as with incompatibility, individual’s ideals and dreams can change over time. Sometimes when couples first wed, they both longed for a cottage in the woods or a stylish condo in the city but now – since time has passed and experiences have changed the way they each see things – these lifestyle choices have changed accordingly and now, the couple does not share the same desired lifestyle.

While there are generally more than one reason why couples decide it’s time to divorce, regardless of what the reasons are, a divorce can be one of the most stressful events in someone’s life. Even uncontested divorces in Denver have mental, emotional, and financial challenges which is why having a Denver divorce mediator who can help you navigate the process will make it more bearable.

While a divorce mediator is not a lawyer, they can help you and your spouse come to an agreement on important issues like:

  • Children
  • Finances
  • Alimony/Child Support
  • Equitable Distribution
  • And more

And ensure the proper paperwork is filled out and filed with the courts, removing many burdens from you as you go through this difficult process.

Contact a Divorce Mediator Today

If you are in the Chicago or Denver area and are looking for a more economically friendly and less complicated way to obtain a divorce, contact Split Simple today to find out how Denver divorce mediation can work for you or request a free consultation today.

Split Simple
1624 Market Street #202
Denver, CO 80202