15 Reasons That Influence Divorce


Divorce is a complex, albeit common issue, influenced by multiple factors. Social scientists have identified several predictors that can increase the likelihood of marital dissolution. Even though individual scenarios may vary, by understanding these predictors and working proactively to address potential issues, couples can strengthen their relationships and improve their chances of long-term success. Ahead, we explore some key factors that can impact the stability of a marriage.

Age at Marriage


Research indicates that marrying too young or too late can heighten divorce risk. Youthful marriages may lack financial stability and personal growth alignment, while late marriages may struggle with entrenched habits and independence, hampering compromise. These factors strain relationships, impacting long-term commitment and compatibility.  

Financial Stability


In marriages with financial instability, particularly where one partner, especially the husband, is unemployed, there is a higher risk of divorce. Conflict over responsibilities, spending habits, and savings priorities often arise. These challenges can impact lifestyle choices, priorities, and goals, exacerbating conflicts. Such pressures erode trust and communication, ultimately increasing the likelihood of marital breakdown.

Education Levels


Studies suggest that lower education levels can be a risk factor for divorce. This link is attributed to a combination of factors: economic hardship, limited resources for communication and financial planning, and fewer opportunities for personal growth. These challenges can strain marriages, making it harder for couples to face difficulties and build long-term compatibility, potentially escalating the likelihood of divorce.

Communication Styles


When partners have differing communication styles—like one being confrontational while the other withdraws—it fosters misunderstandings and escalates conflicts. These patterns build resentment, decrease trust, and hinder constructive conflict resolution. Without effective communication and mutual respect, relationships may deteriorate.

Age Differences


Significant age differences between partners can present challenges in a relationship. Couples with a 10-year age gap face higher divorce rates compared to those who are closer in age. These disparities often lead to differences in life goals, interests, and energy levels, which can strain the relationship over time. 

Division of Household Labor


An unequal division of household chores can lead to marital dissatisfaction and divorce. For example, if one partner consistently handles all the cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing while the other contributes minimally, resentment and feelings of unfairness can build up. Couples who share household responsibilities more equally report higher relationship satisfaction and stability.

Conflict Resolution


Conflict isn’t the enemy; it’s how you handle it that matters. Avoiding conflict can result in unresolved issues that build tension and undermine trust and intimacy over time. These issues can simmer beneath the surface and cause resentment and distance between partners. Addressing conflicts constructively, on the other hand, promotes openness, strengthens trust, and fosters emotional closeness in the relationship.

Degree of Expectations 

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Unrealistic expectations about marriage and one’s partner can lead to disappointment and conflict. When expectations are too high, reality often falls short and brings frustration and dissatisfaction. For example, expecting a perfect, conflict-free relationship can result in disillusionment when normal disagreements occur. Couples with realistic and shared expectations about their relationship are less likely to experience marital breakdown.

Family History of Divorce


Growing up in a divorced family increases the likelihood of experiencing divorce in adulthood. Parental divorce can significantly impact attitudes towards marriage and shape coping mechanisms in relationships. Children of divorced parents may struggle with trust, commitment, and conflict resolution skills, affecting their own marital stability later in life.

Premarital Cohabitation


Couples who live together before marriage often face higher divorce rates, particularly if their cohabitation lacks a clear commitment to marriage. This “cohabitation effect” can weaken the foundation of marriage by reducing the perceived importance of commitment and making it easier to separate when faced with challenges.

Marital History

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Individuals who have been married before face a higher risk of divorce in subsequent marriages as individuals grapple with the complexities of blending past experiences with current relationship dynamics. Previous unresolved issues or behavioral patterns from past relationships can carry over and affect new partnerships. These experiences may include difficulties in trust-building, communication challenges, or unresolved emotional baggage.

Religious Beliefs and Practices


Divergent religious beliefs and practices can lead to higher divorce rates. When partners have different religious backgrounds or levels of religious commitment, it can create conflict and tension. These differences can affect core values, lifestyle choices, and parenting decisions. Additionally, a lack of shared spiritual practices may reduce a sense of unity and common purpose, further straining the marriage.



Extramarital affairs significantly increase the likelihood of divorce. Trust is crucial in a marriage, and infidelity can lead to irreparable damage. Betrayal results in profound emotional pain, causing a breakdown in communication and intimacy. The breach of trust often causes resentment, anger, and a sense of insecurity. Even if forgiveness is sought, the shadow of infidelity can linger, making reconciliation and long-term stability challenging.

Mental Health Issues

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The stress of managing mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, can lead to emotional distance and frequent conflict. Partners may feel overwhelmed, unsupported, or frustrated by their spouse’s condition. This can lead to bumps in communication and intimacy. Over time, the constant pressure can erode the foundation of the relationship.

Substance Abuse

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Alcoholism and drug addiction are major risk factors for divorce. Substance abuse can cause severe financial problems, as money is often diverted to support the addiction. Trust issues arise due to unpredictable behavior and broken promises. The addiction can also increase conflict within the marriage, as arguments about substance use and its consequences become frequent.  


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