What Types of Problems Break Up a Marriage?

Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Marriages end in separation or divorce usually due to some sort of incompatibility between the two partners. Mismatched expectations of each other and the relationship might lead to dissolution if communication is poor. Abuse whether it be self-inflicted or inflicted on the other partner, is a leading cause of divorce. There is a debate as to whether money is a cause of divorce or if it used as an excuse that actually reflects some other source of incompatibility. Infidelity and sexual incompatibility is another main cause of marriage break-ups.


Poor or absent communication between married couples might lead to divorce. If both partners in the relationship are not clear about their expectations prior to marriage, this might cause high degrees of tension and disagreement. Open communication during the marriage is just as important. If changes in a partner's career, financial, sexual and affection needs are not voiced, these miscommunications might make it difficult for the other partner to meet any new or changed needs. Minor disagreements can get worse if both partners do not take the time to state how they feel and what their objectives are. The inability to listen and compromise could also lead to a break-up.


Physical, sexual or emotional abuse could lead to divorce particularly if one of the parties fears her personal safety is at risk. When children are involved, the priority might also be to ensure their safety and well being. Besides abuse that is inflicted on one partner, the misuse of drugs, alcohol or financial resources creates enough tension to result in the end of a committed relationship. This is especially true if the person who is abusing drugs or alcohol begins to escalate his destructive behavior and refuses to seek counseling.


One of the leading causes of divorce is adultery. When most partners enter a marriage they expect to have their partners remain monogamous. Despite a few exceptions, the premise behind most marriages is that the commitment symbolizes a desire to remain faithful to each other. When one or more partners in the relationship go against the commitment of marriage, it indicates a desire to no longer remain faithful. In most cases, this dissolves the idea and trust behind the relationship. Each partner may wish to move on and begin romantic relationships with other people outside the marriage.


Finances leads to a number of disagreements between marriage partners. While money itself might not be the root cause of break-ups, incompatibility regarding lifestyles, spending habits and financial ambition typically lead to increased amounts of tension. If one partner does not see value in saving and prefers to live beyond the couple's incomes, the other partner might not be able to justify remaining in a lifetime partnership. Major differences in life ambitions could also result in the dissolution of a marriage. For example, if one partner desires a high-powered career that brings in six figures and the other is content with a lower middle class lifestyle, it could result in an incompatibility issue.