Five Lesser Known Reasons Why People Divorce

By: Patricia Oelze

Updated February 08, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC

In 1857, the Matrimonial Causes Act made it possible for anyone to get divorced. Before that, it was typically only men who could get a divorce, and it had to be approved by an Act of Parliament. Until 1969, you had to have a good reason to get a divorce. However, Governor Ronald Reagan signed a bill that eliminated the grounds for divorce law. A no-fault divorce is now completely legal, and you can get divorced for any reason, from cheating to leaving the cap off the toothpaste.

  • Up until then, you had to have a valid reason that appeased the judge in your case, or you were stuck with your mate forever. Although many people are unhappy with this law because they believe that it breaks the sacred law of marriage, it has made it so much easier for troubled marriages to legally be ended so that you can move on with your life. Some also claim that it makes marriage less sacred because people are just jumping into it, knowing that they can change their minds at any time.


Divorce Rates Doubled

No matter how you feel about the law, there is no doubt that it caused divorce rates to skyrocket. In fact, from 1960 to 1980, the rate of divorce more than doubled. It went from nine divorces per 1,000 to 23 divorces per 1,000. The rate went from 20% in 1950 to 50% in 1970. Although the numbers have leveled off some, the divorce rate is still high at 40% to 50% on average. Whether you have been married for a week or a decade, you can get a divorce for any reason or no reason at all, whether your partner agrees or not. So, what are some of the most popular reasons that people get divorced?

  • Infidelity

Sadly, cheating on your partner is the most common reason for divorce in America. Whether it is you or your spouse who has strayed when that happens, it is difficult to stay in the relationship. The trust is gone. Insecurity is rampant. Sometimes, the extramarital affair turns into a relationship, and there is no choice but to divorce.

  • Finances

It is not just a lack of money that causes problems. Believe it or not, even having too much money can be a big issue. Those with high incomes may have a hard time agreeing on what to spend that money on, or your spouse may be spending money on things they should not, such as going out drinking.


  • Communication Troubles

The most important part of a good marriage is communication. Without it, you cannot expect to be able to be happy together. If you cannot talk to your spouse, who can you talk to? Your spouse is supposed to be your partner, and you should be able to speak to them about anything. However, some people cannot seem to communicate.

  • Constant Fighting

Arguing with your partner is common. If you do not argue once in a while, you are probably not communicating at all. Nobody can agree all the time, but it is how you handle these disagreements that make the difference. If you cannot talk to your spouse without getting into an argument and have tried couples counseling, it may be time to think about divorce.

  • Sexual Difficulty

Even though marriage is not all about sex, you and your spouse should be able to share intimacy without having to beg and plead. One of the main reasons for divorce is the lack of sexual intimacy but believe it or not, wanting too much sex is also the main cause of divorce. Before getting married, be sure you know how your partner feels about the frequency of sex and the amount of intimacy they want or need.

  • Physical Abuse

Approximately one in three women and one in four men are victims of abuse by their partner. This can include slapping, punching, pushing, choking, etc. No matter what, this is immediate grounds for leaving. Do not ever stay with someone who has physically abused you no matter what they say. Get professional help.

  • Trust Issues Besides Infidelity

There are other reasons not to trust your spouse besides cheating. For example, you may have caught your spouse lying about money, or they may be talking bad about you to your friends. Maybe they are just not trustworthy at all in any aspect. This can sometimes be fixed with marriage counseling, but if not, divorce may be in order.

  • Emotional or Mental Cruelty

Similar to physical abuse, being emotionally abused is serious. From name-calling to belittling, mental and emotional abuse can be just as debilitating as physical abuse. Constantly being yelled at or being accused of doing things wrong can cause you to start believing that you are a bad person or deserve the way you are being treated. Do not stay in that relationship. If couples counseling does not work, divorce is the only choice.

  • Parenting Disagreements

Just like with anything else in a marriage, you cannot always agree on parenting decisions. Maybe you think your spouse is too tough on your children or that they do not stand by your decisions regarding parenting. It can also be that they are just not parenting at all. These issues can be helped with marriage or family counseling. However, if you cannot work things out, divorce may be in order.

  • Criminal Activity

If your spouse suddenly goes to jail for something serious such as murder or drugs, you may need a divorce. Of course, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, if you have doubts and think maybe they are guilty and you did not see it before, divorce could be the only answer.

Lesser-Known Reasons For Divorce

There are many reasons for divorce nowadays because you can get divorced for any reason. Whether it is because you do not love the person as much as you thought you did or because you cannot get along, the reasons vary greatly. Here are some of the most uncommon reasons for divorce:

Mental Illness

Believe it or not, some marriages break up over mental illness. Whether it is because your spouse has a mental illness that you cannot deal with or has a mental illness that they refuse to get treatment for, it can be hard to deal with. Some people still believe that mental disorders are "not real" or that they are "all in your head." If counseling does not help with this, or if your spouse refuses to go to counseling, divorce may be the only choice.

Physical Illness

It sounds cruel not to trust your spouse besides cheating, but it is true. Many marriages end because of a serious or chronic illness. Maybe your partner cannot handle your illness's stress and anxiety, or maybe they are scared to lose you, so they run away. Whatever the reason, it happens more than you think. This type of issue can be helped with marital counseling, but if you and your spouse cannot work it out, both of you should call it quits.

Weight Gain Or Loss

Another cruel but true reason for divorce. It has been known to happen time and time again. You gained a bunch of weight after you had kids, and your partner tells you that they are not attracted to you. They may even give you an ultimatum: lose weight or get a divorce. Just the fact that your spouse thinks so little of you that they would give you that ultimatum proves that divorce is the answer here. This is the same as any other physical attribute. For example, if you are thinking of divorcing your husband because he went bald and not attracted to him, this can be a problem. Counseling can help, but if you consider divorce because of hair loss, you may not be in love with them anyway.


Everyone gets bored once in a while. After a few decades of being with the same person, you may think that maybe there is someone out there that may be more interesting to you. Or, in some cases, you may think that someone out there may be more interested in you if you feel that your partner is bored. This is one of those communication issues that can turn into an infidelity issue, which are the top reasons for divorce. Do not let it get that far. Talk to a professional. There is counseling for every issue of divorce and relationship problems. It may help to spice things up in your relationship, or maybe you two need a little bit of time apart to appreciate each other.



If your spouse suddenly finds religion and you are not a religious person (or vice versa), this can create a big rift between you. Your partner may start telling you that you need to go to church with them or that your marriage is over. Talk to a counselor or therapist. It may help. If not, talk to the pastor or priest for help, whether you are religious or not. There are no pastors who want to see anyone get divorces, so they will do what they can to help.

There are many reasons that people get divorced. However, it is not something to jump into without a lot of thought. Getting a divorce is just as big of a decision as getting married was, so you should be sure that you and your ex are done before taking that step. Try marriage counseling first, if you can. With online counseling, you do not even have to make an appointment or leave your house.

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