Factors Contributing to a Divorce

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Many marriages end in divorce. Marital stress and divorce affect everyone involved directly and indirectly in a marriage. This can include the couple, children and other family members. If you or your spouse is experiencing stress caused by marital complications, it is important to determine the factors that are influencing these feelings. Understanding the causes of marital stress and divorce can help couples avoid and/or overcome these issues.


Addictions take an emotional and a financial toll on families. Often, the partner who is an addict refuses to acknowledge the effects on the family and chooses not to stop the unhealthy behavior. This can lead to marital stress and, eventually, divorce. Types of addiction include alcohol and/or drug abuse and gambling and sexual addictions. Some additions may take the person's attention away from the spouse or put financial strain on the family; others, such as substance abuse, can lead to violence or extreme psychological stress.

Spousal Abuse and Conflict

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Spousal abuse, which can be physical, sexual or emotional, is a source of stress in a marriage and can contribute to divorce. Although resorting to violence is an extreme form of conflict, arguments and seemingly minor disagreements can be influential in the decision to separate. Verbal fighting in a marriage is normal, but if the argument turns physical or becomes something that one or both partners can no longer handle, divorce is an option.

Financial Stress

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Conflict over money is common in marriages and can strain the relationship. According to Seth Meyers, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist and relationship expert, the tendency to be reckless with money or to lack the ability to plan financially negatively affects the spouse and the relationship itself. Other issues may arise due to job loss, one partner making more than the other or a general lack of financial security in the relationship.

Infidelity and Trust Issues

Infidelity and trust issues often occur together and can have a significant impact on the decision to separate or divorce. Cheating can lead to distrust and feelings of discontent in a marriage. It can also cause the faithful partner to feel insecure. When trust is lost due to infidelity, one or both partners may have difficulty moving past the betrayal. Loss of trust can also stem from lying, stealing, jealousy or flirting.

Loss of Interest and Communication Issues

During the course of a marriage, one or both partners may lose interest in the relationship. This can be made worse by a lack of healthy communication with each other. As noted by D. Wayne Matthews, a human development specialist, communication includes facial expressions, listening skills, tone of voice and words used in a discussion. The absence or hostile nature of these factors leads to negative communication patterns and can contribute to a loss of interest in the relationship and subsequent divorce.