The 2 most Common Reasons why People get Divorced.

studio tdes/Flickr

Divorce is still a norm when it comes to marriage—hear the word marriage and you’ll usually hear the word divorce along with it.

There are many interesting articles out there on the top 10 or 15 reasons for divorce, pointing to such examples as affairs, financial struggles, and getting in it for the wrong reasons.

However, I’m here to assert there are really only two main reasons people get divorced, which lead to all other reasons and justifications.

First, let me say that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with divorce. Divorce is simply what it is and because no one really learned how to do long-term relationships in school (or anywhere for that matter), people tend to suffer through the long-term relationship game.

So, what are the two reasons most people get divorced?

Reason #1: Because one person gets empowered and outgrows their often stuck partner.

Reason #2: Because one person was unable or unwilling to work through the baggage that their partner is triggering in them.

Notice how both reasons are framed from a “personal responsibility” standpoint.

So, my suggestion is to stop making it about the ex. “They couldn’t. They aren’t. They didn’t. They won’t.”

When you make your divorce about yourself (not self-blame by the way, see below), you are on your way to getting empowered.

With reason #1, you outgrew them. You decided and chose to leave because you wanted to keep growing and expanding and they didn’t want to join you in the growth experience of an ever-evolving partnership.

Reason #1 is like a boundary where you walk away with self-respect and dignity. You gave it your all and didn’t feel met.

If the reason you’re divorcing is #2, you were unable to work with yourself. You couldn’t quite break through your issues that arose as a result of being triggered by your partner’s behavior.

Simple, right?

Divorce is just not that complicated. It all boils down to these two reasons. Here are three examples:

Example 1: “My partner triggered me so intensely that I just didn’t know how to work with my upset. I was never able to get traction with our conflicts. I kept getting stuck. My activation was almost too much for me, so I stopped trying and left so I could function again.” (Spoken with personal responsibility.)

Example 2: “I was in a marriage with an abusive partner. That’s why our marriage ended. He/she kept hurting me.” (Spoken from a blame standpoint.)

Or the same one said in a responsible way…

Example 3: “For some reason I stayed in an abusive marriage X amount of time and I finally realized I was putting myself in harm’s way and chose to leave in order to take better care of myself.”

In example 2, if you were in an abusive marriage where your partner was hitting you, it’s a good call to leave, right? Yes, but notice the difference between the person who leaves with the finger pointed at their abusive partner or the partner who leaves owning their part. One leaves empowered and one leaves disempowered.

Are there other reasons people get divorced?

Sure, but as long as we point the finger outward, we’ll stay stuck in our victim web. We are talking about the difference between “fault” and “responsibility.” The empowered person owns their part and moves on by taking responsibility. In doing so, they understand where they can improve and then have the power to transform it.

Whatever your reason for divorce, own it as yours to deal with. That way, you don’t have to stay in the victim seat and you can get empowered in a spot where you could use a little awareness and help. Feel free to listen to the podcast on this exact topic here for more suggestions.


Author: Jayson Gaddis

Image: studio tdes/Flickr

Editor: Katarina Tavčar

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Cielo Lyn Jan 1, 2018 5:12pm

Jayson! Omg I love your stuff

Vince Hollis Nov 30, 2017 3:13pm

This is actually the best and most accurate list I've found as far as reasons for getting divorced goes. https://www.marriage.com/advice/divorce/10-most-common-reasons-for-divorce/

Vince Hollis Nov 30, 2017 3:11pm

Wrong. Sex is the number one reason for divorce. It's the reason why people get together and it's the reason why they get divorced.

Heather Cacciabaudo Jan 12, 2017 9:01am

Stephen Fraser We all have a part in a relationship yes, but that doesn't mean I am to blame for my partner's abusive behavior. That's their decision, and yes, they bear 100% of the responsibility for it. Keep in mind that most abuse isn't even about the other person, but rather a product of the abuser's mindset and emotional composition.

Stephen Fraser Dec 27, 2016 6:37pm

"Whatever your reason for divorce, own it as yours to deal with. That way, you don’t have to stay in the victim seat and you can get empowered in a spot where you could use a little awareness and help." Great line. Divorces are hard in both parties. Sometimes one party has a higher contribution to the breakdown but most of the time both sides played a role. As long as you stay focused on the other person's part, even if it was bigger than yours, you suffer more than necessary and miss the lessons you need to learn.

Stephen Fraser Dec 27, 2016 6:31pm

Still sounds like blame. We ALL have a part.

Read The Best Articles of the Week
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.

Jayson Gaddis

Jayson Gaddis, founder of The Relationship School®
, and host of The Smart Couple Podcast , is on a mission to teach people the one class they didn’t get in school–”How to do intimate relationships.” He was emotionally constipated for years before relationship failure forced him to master relationships. In 2007 he stopped running away from intimacy, asked his wife to marry him and now they have two beautiful kids. When he doesn’t live and breathe this stuff with his family, he pretty much gets his ass handed to him. You can find him here: Jayson Gaddis or sign up for a free training here if you are dealing with an emotionally unavailable man like Jayson used to be. You can also become a fan on Facebook here: Jayson Gaddis Fan Page.