16 Most Common Marriage Problems That Lead to Divorce

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People have this new found view on marriage, where they believe that if it’s not perfect you should just throw in the towel. The truth is, no marriage is perfect. A marriage requires two parties who love one another enough to do what it takes to make their marriage last. There will be a lot of common marriage problems that arise during your lifetime. Together, you can work through them, and continue to build a long-lasting relationship.

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1. Infidelity

Cheating is #1 on my list sadly, because it is one of the most common marriage problems. Recent infidelity statistics show that in 33% of marriages, either one or both partners admit to cheating. That’s one in three!


Infidelity doesn’t necessarily have to mean having sex with someone outside your marriage. It can also mean having sexual desires for someone or even just emotionally confiding in someone with the desire of having a relationship with them. Some people also consider watching pornography as cheating– make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about this!


No one goes into their marriage with the intent of cheating on their spouse. The most common reasons for people being unfaithful are revenge, and sexual and/or emotional dissatisfactions.


To Avoid Infidelity:

Prioritize communication with your partner. Let them know what you are in need of. If you desire more intimacy, try to find ways to get your partner on the same page. If you need emotional support, try approaching your spouse without any anger in your voice, that will start the conversation off badly, and you’ll never get your point across.


Don’t put yourself in the position to cheat. Avoid being friends with the opposite sex while your marriage is rocky. Don’t confide in the opposite sex about your relationship. If you find yourself developing an inappropriate relationship with someone, tell your spouse before it gets out of hand. The grass is NOT greener on the other side — It’s greener where you water it!


2. Addiction

Being addicted to something will never end well. Your marriage needs to be your number one priority in life, number one! When you’re addicted to something it tends to be the priority. You have got to kick any addiction to have to the curb!


There are so many things that people can be addicted to. There are more common things such as drugs, alcohol, pornography, and gambling. But there also other things you could be addicted too without totally realizing it, such as sex, spending money, video games, and so many more.

Fireproof is the BEST movie ever for couples who are feeling distant because of one’s addiction! It’s a marriage saver!


To Avoid Addiction:

Don’t allow yourself to be tempted. If you’re trying to quit drinking alcohol, don’t go out with people who drink, ask your partner not to drink in front of you, avoid alcohol at all costs. It’s really hard to get rid of an addiction when you’re surrounded by it.


Get help if you need it. Go to group therapy, read books, keep a journal. Do something to hold yourself accountable. Tell people you’re quitting, they can also hold you accountable!


3. Different Viewpoints on Important Things

There are some things that should be discussed before marriage. These include viewpoints on money, religion, values and morals, having children, housework, jobs, and the list goes on! You have to be on the same page with your spouse about certain things, or your marriage is going to be a fight from the start


To Avoid Having Different Viewpoints:

Ideally, important things should be discussed before marriage, but that doesn’t always happen, and sometimes things change. In that case, you MUST compromise. You both must agree to a happy medium before one of the issues causes your marriage to self-combust!

Be sure to check out our article on having a strong marriage after kids!


4. Toxic People

There will always be people in your life that are completely toxic to your marriage. These can include friends of the same sex, or the opposite sex, family members and in-laws, and ex-partners. Anyone who is quick to tell you to leave, or talks negatively about your partner, or encourages infidelity, or any other inappropriate behavior that will be bad for your marriage is not someone you want in your life.


To Avoid Toxic People:

Ditch them ASAP. One of the main problems marriages face is that each person is confiding in someone else about the problems in their marriage when they should be telling their spouse how they feel. Talk to your spouse! If you feel you need to get it out ahead of time just to calm down first, write it down! You will be surprised how much this can help.


5. Abuse

Physical, verbal, and emotional abuse are all common issues that a lot of people are facing in their marriage. Abuse should never be tolerated. It’s a sure-fire way to destroy any relationship. A lot of people, both men and women have no idea they are victims of abuse. Verbal and emotional abuse include name calling, yelling, threats and intimidation, isolating/ignoring, humiliating, and so much more.


To Avoid Abuse:

Make it clear that the abuse will not be tolerated, and if your spouse wants to remain married to you they need to seek help to control themselves. Help them to find outlets to relieve their stress, get them into counseling, avoid triggers. Show them that you support them in their journey to self-improvement.


6. Social Media

Social media ruins relationships in so many ways. First, it causes people to have unrealistic expectations. People only post about the good in their life, so you see all these other people with their “perfect” relationship, house, financial situation, etc. No one is perfect, whether or not your friends on Facebook seem to be.


It also gives men and women the idea that if they post online about their love for their spouse, that it’s just as good as telling them that to their face. It’s not. Tell your spouse how you feel to their face. Do things to show them how much they mean to you. Actions speak louder than words.


Social media is a breeding ground for predators. People love drama, and they are stalking your page just looking for the littlest hint of something your family could be struggling with so they can use it against you.


To Avoid Social Media Interfering with Your Marriage:

Don’t obsess over what you see online. It’s not reality. Don’t post about issues you’re having in your relationship. Don’t confide in someone over the internet. Social media can be good, you can connect with distant family, or use it for your business, but if nothing good is coming out of your social media, and it causes too many problems within your marriage, just get rid of it.


7. Lack of Communication

Communication is key. Did you know that poor communication is the #1 reason for divorce? Over infidelity, and lack of love… poor communication is on the top of the list of most common marriage problems! A lot of people believe that their spouse should just know what they want, and what they’re thinking. It doesn’t work that way. If you want something done a certain way, or you are upset about something, you must communicate your needs to your partner. Expecting them to guess is stressful on them because they don’t understand what you want, and stressful on you because you aren’t getting whatever it is you need.


To Avoid Lack of Communication:

Go to your spouse first, about everything! Often times, all someone needs is to vent, and let it all out. Once you’ve done that you can start with a fresh attitude. Don’t go let all that out on a friend, or a coworker, let it out on your spouse. It is their job to be there for you. Make sure you are on the same page about everything. Clarify that you are in agreeance on whatever it may be.


8. Children

This one is tough. Children have the ability to bring a married couple closer than ever. You worked together to create a life. You now have a deeper connection than you ever have before. But, children can also put a serious strain on your marriage.


Your marriage used to be your main priority, and now your responsibilities have shifted, and children are the main focus. You have a constant feeling of overwhelm, you’re emotional, and a lot of your stress tends to get taken out on your spouse.


To Avoid Children Putting a Strain on Your Marriage:

Keep dating your spouse. Never stop trying to impress them. Do something nice for them everyday. Always make date night a priority. Try to even out the workload, between diaper changes, and chores, and other responsibility. Even if your spouse isn’t putting in the same amount of work, keep giving it your all.  You never know just how much stress a person is under. Keep treating your partner the way you want to be treated, and eventually it will click for them and they will be able to reciprocate all of the love you have given to them.


9. Dishonesty

Nothing ruins a marriage faster than dishonesty. Trust is so hard to regain once it has been broken. Even with the smallest lie, it will cause problems within your relationship. Once you’ve lied, you just keep going. You have to lie to cover up your lies, and so on and so forth.


Whether you’re lying about your past, or your infidelities, or money, or your beliefs, whatever it may be… the truth will set you free.


To Avoid Dishonesty:

Come clean as soon as possible. Don’t continue on with a lie. Admitting the truth can be very difficult, but it is much easier to respect someone who owns up to their mistakes, than someone who continues to lie. Make it a point to tell the whole truth, from this point forward.


10. Intimacy Issues

Sex is a huge part of marriage. Being intimate with someone has a way of bringing you two closer, and establishing a deeper connection to one another. Naturally, people have different desires in the bedroom. Whatever those desires may be, you and your spouse have to be on the same page.


To Avoid Having Intimacy Issues:

Make sex a priority. Even if you don’t feel you need it often, your partner might. Sex can bring the two of you closer together both physically and emotionally. Communicate what it is that you want. Be open-minded to your spouse’s desires. If there is something the two of you just can’t agree on, try to find a happy medium. Without compromise, a marriage will not last.


11. Selfishness

It is natural to know what you want and to make it a priority for things to be the way you want them. But when you’re putting your needs above your spouses, and your not willing to compromise… you’re being selfish.


It’s hard to realize that you are being selfish sometimes. For some, it’s just the way they’ve always been. It’s a habit, a hard one to break! Whether you’re being selfish with your time, or your money, or anything else, it has to stop.


To Avoid Selfishness

Do the exact opposite. You need to be selfless when it comes to your partner. You need to put their needs above your own. Make them a priority in your life. Does this mean you spoil them so they don’t have to do anything for themselves? No, because they will adopt the same selfless attitude. They will make you a priority, and they will put your needs above their own. You take care of them, and they will take care of you.


12. Personal Issues

You can’t love someone until you learn to love yourself. Well, you can have love for someone… but you can’t love them the right way! Whether you have issues with jealousy, self-harm, or even mental illness such as depression or anxiety, etc, having these sorts of issues puts a strain on your marriage.


It’s hard to have a positive attitude when your head is filled with negative thoughts about yourself. It’s detrimental to your marriage if you yourself are a ticking time bomb.


Don’t forget to check out these 16 intense marriage lessons we learned the hard way.

To Avoid Personal Issues Affecting Your Marriage:

Find a way to work through it. Try journaling, exercise, counseling, and let your partner know what you need from them. If you have, or think you might have a mental illness, make sure to consult with your doctor to seek proper treatment.


13. Not Spending Enough Time Together

It’s difficult to keep a relationship in good standing when you don’t spend enough time together. Without being together, you cut out intimacy, date nights, and good communication. Whether you’re spending most of your time on work, or hobbies, or something else… your marriage has got to be a priority.


To Avoid Not Spending Enough Time Together:

Put date night on the calendar, and make it happen. Make it a point to spend x amount of nights at home with your spouse. If it’s work that consumes you, try to involve your spouse, see if they can help you. Try to find hobbies you can do together.

Don’t forget to check out this MEGA list of date ideas!


14. Holding Grudges

Holding a grudge is like starting a wildfire. It’s never-ending. If you are holding something against your spouse, it will make everything you do turn into a fight. If your spouse is still doing something they shouldn’t that’s one thing, but if they have acknowledged that they’ve made a mistake, and they are doing what they can to move past it, you can not hold a grudge.


To Avoid Holding Grudges:

You have to find a way to move past it. Whether it be through counseling, or journaling, or talking it through in a healthy way with your spouse, you’ve got to find a way! Don’t let those negative thoughts consume your life. Focus on the positive.


15. Trying for 50/50

Everyone says that two people need to put in the same amount of effort into their relationship– 50/50. Wrong!  You must give it your all, 100%. A relationship isn’t about keeping score, you don’t try to match how much effort your spouse is giving. You give your absolute best at all times! Sometimes, your absolute best won’t be much. Everyone has their bad days. But if your partner is giving their all, they will be there to bring you up.


To Avoid Trying for 50/50:

Don’t keep score. Don’t make the amount of effort you’re putting in dependant on how much your spouse is giving. You put in the maximum effort, and your spouse will do the same. It’s hard to fight with someone who just never stops trying to do their best.

Check out these 13 mistakes women often make in their relationship.


16. Disrespect

I saved this one for last because this entire list could fit under this category. If you don’t have respect your spouse, you won’t have a lasting marriage. Showing disrespect to someone is the fastest way to lose them from your life.


Disrespect can be described in so many ways. Not giving them the time of day, verbally abusing them, cheating, being dishonest, ignoring them, undervaluing their opinions… etc. It causes intense anger when someone has such a lack of respect, that you’re opinions seem irrelevant, and your presence feels unwanted.


To Avoid Showing Disrespect:

Communicate with your spouse if there is anything you do not respect about them. Work through it, and move on from it. People can’t fix what they don’t know is. Get to know your spouse, so you can see all that there is to respect. Notice how hardworking, patient, responsible, smart, dedicated, honest, or even how loving your spouse is. Whatever it may be, focus on their respective features.


Marriage is all about teamwork, a good husband makes a good wife. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage, so don’t let these common marriage problems keep your relationship from thriving. As long as you vow to never give up on your spouse, and do whatever it takes to make things work, you are doing it right. And that love is contagious. Let it spread.


Read More:

6 Things Every Wife Needs Her Husband to do for Her

5 Ways to Improve Your Marriage

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38 Replies to “16 Most Common Marriage Problems That Lead to Divorce”

  1. Discuss important viewpoints and don’t keep score are my favorite tips! I’ve seen firsthand how common these mistakes are in our society. There are so many misconceptions around marriage, which I’m sure contributes to the high divorce rate. Stick with it, people! It is SO worth it! It’s the hard times that make it so!

    1. Toxic people are the worst! They suck the life out of you. If I could give any advice to my past self, it would be to get rid of them before they become a nuisance.

  2. Communication is so key as well as the ability to be honest with each other. It took my husband and I several years before we learned this!

    1. It can be hard so hard to communicate if both parties aren’t willing to give it their all! I’m so glad you and your husband got it figured out!

  3. I love the part about social media. The grass always looks greener on the other side especially if you keep comparing your relationship to others. No relationship is the same and most don’t show the lows on social media.

    1. No one likes to air their dirty laundry, they only show off what they want the world to think. Social media has become so toxic in peoples lives, and yet also so important for success in so many industries. It’s all about balance.

  4. I love that you pointed out how we all try to put in “our contribution” of effort being at 50%. And instead we should be focusing on putting in 100% of ourselves into our relationship. Powerful revelation!

    1. Thanks so much! It only makes sense, because the more you try to keep score and match one another’s efforts, the more anger will arise. Everyones got to give it 100%!

  5. My husband and I started giving ourselves “no screen time”, like we do the kids. We noticed we were becoming too absorbed in our electronics and weren’t really giving eachother undivided attention. Since we’ve instilled this our intimacy has increased and we’ve been communicating much more!

    1. Isn’t it crazy that something so simple like that can have a drastic effect on your marriage? Great idea! My husband and I need to be better at getting off our technology.

  6. Love this! You touch on so many topics and gave great advice on how to deal with or avoid them.

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad you found it useful! I just hope that people can read this and learn to avoid them before they have to recover from them.

  7. I have been with my husband for 8 years (5 years married, 3 years dating) and we have definitely been through each of these marriage problems except infidelity. Your tips on how to avoid these problems are perfect! I am particularly bad about holding a grudge and not communicating, but am trying to do better. It has definitely been a bumpy 8 years, but we are committed to getting through the obstacles together.

    1. That makes me so happy! My husband and I have struggled too, with many of these problems! It can be so hard to work through, but if you’re both committed to making your marriage last then there is nothing that you guys can’t handle!

  8. These are all such great tips! Many are ones we’re used to hearing about, and it was interesting to see social media on the list. It’s great that you added it, I would’ve never even considered it until you brought it up.

    1. Thanks for reading! Social media has become such a bearing on the world, whether it’s destroying friendships, relationships, and even cyber-bullying has become such a problem. Sadly, we also need social media to survive these days. Neither my husbands, nor my business would be thriving if it wasn’t for social media. It’s a tool, but it can be used wrong and cause so much damage!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve noticed the longer, more detailed posts always perform better, both on social media and on google!

  9. That’s a huge list . I believe there are problems in every marriage . The focus should be on loving each other with the flaws .as you said it’s all about teamwork .

    1. I couldn’t agree more! With the way the world is today, it’s hard to keep a marriage strong. It’s so important to work together, and never give up on one another!

  10. Ohhhh toxic people! I do think this one is tricky for many people/couples because it’s typically easy for the toxicity to be spotted by the partner who isn’t connected to the outside person. The other person usually struggles or doesn’t want to see it which unfortunately leads to more problems.

    1. YES! This is exactly how it is! I can’t tell you how many times I wished I listened to my husband about someone, and vice versa!

  11. I like how simple this article makes everything. It is true. Keep communication open to prevent infidelity, just remember both sides need to be willing to do it.

    1. Don’t be nervous! Marriage is one of the best blessings that we are given. Just make sure to always put your husband first, and prioritize your marriage. I wish you the best!

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