The latest on divorce rates: What splits people apart these days?

You’ve probably heard people say that half of all marriages end in divorce. And if you look at the tabloids and read about celebrity marriages, it seems like it’s even more than that. It’s actually far less, but divorce is prevalent. After walking to the altar and making a life-long commitment to each other, what’s splitting so many people apart? Every marriage and every divorce is different, of course, but I’m guessing that most of the splits have to do with some of these factors.


I’ve written about cheating a lot before, and if you’ve read those posts, you know that I don’t think cheating necessarily has to mean breaking up. To quote my spirit animal Tami Taylor in Friday Night Lights, “There’s no weakness in forgiveness.” Of course, I don’t necessarily think that cheating has to be forgiven either. And I completely understand how infidelity can end a marriage.


Even though your wedding vows specifically state for richer or poorer, money is a huge source of stress and strife in a marriage. And considering our current economic climate, sudden lifestyle shifts are becoming more the norm. Finances, while not romantic at all, are a huge factor in successful relationships. Financial mindsets and habits need to be discussed before joining your lives and your bank accounts.


Life is stressful. There are no ways around it. Stress changes people and makes intimate relationships far more challenging. The stress could be coming from finances, an illness in the family or even just plain old work stress. Regardless, stress makes maintaining a successful relationship a challenge, and it’s tough to tell how two people react to stressful situations until they’re actually in the thick of one.


Substance abuse can drive a massive wedge between two people. When it comes to serious addiction, it’s no longer a relationship between two people. It’s a three-way with the addict’s substance of choice. That’s a menage a trois no one’s interested in.


Love can certainly overcome religious and cultural differences, and diversity really is the spice of life. I completely agree with that. But when kids get involved or when one partner becomes more spiritual than the other, religious differences can become more stark and more problematic.


A lot of divorcees cite growing apart as their reason for a divorce. I think that really boils down to a lack of communication. Not communicating regularly with your partner can lead to a real feeling of insurmountable emotional distance between you and your love. Keep the lines of communication open, and even if you two grow to have different interests or different friends, your relationship can last. Without solid communication, even the most compatible people can’t make it happen.


A lack of sex isn’t the real reason for many divorces. But having sex regularly can solve a lot of problems in a relationship. The intimacy of sex forces you to communicate with your partner and resolve issues that would have continued to simmer had you gone to bed without any nookie. Sex in a relationship can be like putting Neosporin on a boo boo. It will help you heal faster, fix problems and feel more like a team. A relationship with a standing weekly sex date is a whole lot less likely to be heading for divorce than one without sex.