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Top 10 Marriage Failure Reasons

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Not all marriages have happy endings, and while we'd like to believe that our relationship doesn't fall in the percentile of marriages that fail, sometimes life doesn't pan out the way we expect it to.

About 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce or separation. There are several reasons for failed marriages, as opposed to just one, and surely experts such as lawyers, counselors and therapists have lists of reasons why some marriages don't last.

Here are 10 common reasons some marriages fail:

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1. Financial Burdens or Undiscussed Debts

Discussing finances with your partner can always cause friction in a marriage, especially if one party hasn't been candid about their financial situation.

Sometimes, married couples contemplate getting a divorce when there's been a lack of open communication about money problems in the first place, and this is often a huge reason some marriages fail.

It's no secret that everyone struggles with financial issues such as debt, student loans, spending and budgets and concerning bills, but how couples deal with these issues is the true test of their love. It's also not easy sharing financial struggles with a loved one.

Still, one mustn't wait too long to have a serious discussion with their spouse about money problems that could severely impact the marriage. Student loans or debts could cause feelings of resentment if not addressed early in the relationship, especially if a married couple is looking to buy a home together.

If you want to speak with your spouse about financial issues but don’t know how, maybe it’s time to seek advice from a counselor or financial advisor.

2. Trouble Opening Up to Your Spouse

Not everyone is good at communicating or sharing feelings, but a marriage without two-way communication is bound to fail. Both partners should discuss every aspect of married life together, even if these conversations might be difficult.

Often, if couples have communication issues before tying the knot, these problems can only worsen after marriage. No one said marriage was easy, and that's why open and constant communication to work out kinks in the relationship is essential.

If feelings are repressed, there is no shame in seeking professional help from a marriage counselor. They can provide great insight into conversations spouses find hard to discuss openly with each other. Some of these conversations can include how to raise children, or deal with certain financial situations; other conversations may entail smaller issues like routines or work schedules clashing.

What’s important is that couples handle these issues head-on by communicating because if these problems aren’t openly communicated, they could lead to a wrench in the marriage.

And of course, not everyone is good at communicating and expressing feelings, but refusing to communicate with one's spouse could lead to a failed marriage.

3. Running a Family

Marital problems can stem from children, in-laws, siblings, parents and step-children. Most couples come into trouble when discussing how to run a household and raise a family.

Not every couple has the same goals when it comes to raising children, and this can put stress on their marriage. Some of these family issues can be caused by problems like bills or different parenting styles. A spouse who believes in more traditional roles may clash with a spouse who strives for equality.

Some couples even find it hard to agree on daily chores their children should partake in or set bedtime schedules. Couples who can't agree on how to take care of their children might feel incompatible, ultimately leading to a divorce if they can't make a mutual decision. Addressing different parenting styles early or before raising children is one way to combat issues in the future. If couples can't agree on how to raise their kids, this could also be another huge reason for marriage failure.

Dealing with in-laws or step-children may also drive a wedge in someone's marriage. It's important to discuss how to deal with nosy extended family or raising step-children when thinking about marriage. Sometimes, if couples can't agree on how to deal with these factors, it could lead to a divorce.

4. Lack of Sex and Intimacy

A healthy sex life is a vital aspect of a marriage.

Most marriages expect couples to consummate the marriage by sexual intercourse. Failure to partake in consensual consummation could lead to problems with sexual quality and sexual frequency and could cause infidelity. These are common reasons for marriage failure if not addressed early.

Sex is different for everyone; therefore, getting a feel for your partner's love language early in the relationship is important and will determine the outcome of your sex life. Couples should communicate openly about how they foresee their sex life and try to find common ground on things they'd like to experiment with regarding sex.

However, if a partner is using sex as a weapon or withholding sex, this can lead to grounds for a failed marriage. Defining how each spouse would like their sex life early is crucial for a healthy sexual relationship inside the confines of marriage.

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5. Your Friends Don’t Like Your Spouse

Not all your friends will end up liking the person you marry. And although this issue seems trivial to some, introducing your partner in a positive light to your friends will help them get to know each other better.

Sometimes, a marriage fails because friends get too involved in the married couple's business. Some friends can also be toxic to the marriage if they don't respect the couple's boundaries and try to insert themselves between spouses. Maintaining a healthy friendship and building a common ground between your friend and spouse is a good way to avoid a divorce.

It's also wise to listen to any genuine concerns friends may have about your current partner; sometimes, friends can help you see red flags that you overlooked before because you're so in love.

Ensure your friends are looking out for your best interest when commenting about your relationship. A friend who doesn’t have good intentions could cause tension in your marriage, which may ultimately lead to divorce.

6. Gambling, Drugs and Alcohol Addictions

Gambling, drugs and alcohol abuse can lead to numerous issues and be common reasons a marriage fails. The behavior of an addicted spouse can make one seeking a normal married life nearly impossible.

Addictions such as these can cause serious money problems and bad spending habits that impede a couple's married life.

They can also cause married couples to fight constantly if one person is trying to help their partner with their addiction, but their spouse does not want help. While no physical or verbal abuse may be taking place, a spouse who is addicted to different substances or gambling can put intense strain on the marriage.

If you are contemplating divorce because of these issues, it doesn't hurt to ask your spouse if they would consider giving addiction treatment a chance.

7. A Toxic Spouse

Abuse is never acceptable in a marriage. Physical, verbal and sexual abuse are all reasons marriages fail.

A person's partner should never degrade their spouse or abuse them. For a spouse currently being abused by their partner, it's vital to seek out sources of help like organizations that deal with domestic abuse or attorneys who handle domestic abuse cases.

A spouse should never stay with their abusive partner just because they're married. Verbal, physical and sexual abuse can take a toll on the marriage and the person being abused. Often, abusers try to isolate their partner from friends and family; everyone's situation is different, but in these situations, the abused person should try to rekindle support systems like friends or family who can potentially help them.

When children are involved, leaving these types of situations are tougher. A partner being abused should also try to seek local community support organizations for domestic violence to find ways they can leave their abusive spouse.

8. It’s Not Me, It’s You

Several personality traits can make a married couple incompatible and unable to agree on different matters. For example, couples may struggle to agree on sex, emotion or intellect issues. They may also find that they don't have anything in common because of their different personalities.

While some couples don't mind being total opposites, others have difficulty finding common ground. Sometimes being too opposite can affect one's relationship, especially if fighting is frequent due to having opposite personalities. Partners who often take a pessimistic approach to life can make a long-term relationship unbearable and could be the reason for a failed marriage.

Before getting married, couples should take their time to get to know each other and see if their personalities blend. An opposite nature could either make or break the marriage. It’s up to each person to decide whether their partner’s personality compliments them or just brings out negativity in the relationship.

9. High or Unattainable Expectations

Learning how to adapt to married life depends on the couple's expectations for each other and the marriage itself. Disillusionment is common when romantic or unrealistic expectations are not met. But having realistic expectations for marriage is essential.

If couples can't agree on their expectations for each other, this could lead to dissatisfaction in the marriage. It's important couples communicate openly about how they'd like their married life together to play out. Over time, unmet expectations can lead to discontentment and make meaningful compromises nearly impossible.

Setting clear expectations from the beginning could combat a partner not meeting their spouse's needs and vice versa. Couples should speak with a counselor or therapist if they are clashing about the expectations they have in their marriage. Expectations not being worked out or met could be one reason a marriage fails.

10. Time Commitment Issues

Distance makes the heart grow fonder, but not too much space and time apart. Time spent away from each other and time spent together are essential for maintaining a healthy marriage.

When couples know how to balance their time with each other, it could result in beautiful opportunities for growth and harmony. What causes a marriage to fail is when couples have trouble balancing their time together.

Sometimes, couples' work and home schedules are not always compatible, leading to ongoing tension in their marriage if not resolved early. Little to no quality time spent together puts severe stress on a marriage and has some spouses contemplating divorce, especially if they're always alone.

Communicating with one's spouse about the quality time they'd like to spend with each other could be an excellent way to address daily routines or work schedules that might impact how much time a couple spends with each other.

Married couples can also partake in different activities that they have in common as a way to reconnect and spend time together.

Final Thoughts

Not every marriage is doomed to fail, and no one hopes theirs will. But issues often arise when couples don't address problems like debt, poor communication or addiction early in the relationship.

Before considering marriage, couples should evaluate how they foresee their married life in the future, and whether their current partner has the qualities they're looking for.

Failure to communicate openly about what one would like out of their marriage could result in divorce. The 10 reasons for failed marriages should not be taken lightly by anyone considering married life.

Family lawyers, therapists and counselors have seen these reasons play out several times and advocate that couples should resolve them early in the marriage or as they arise.

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