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The nine most common reasons couples get divorced

Relationship counsellor Peter Saddington explains some of the reasons more than four in 10 marriages fail

Elsa Vulliamy
Tuesday 16 February 2016 13:00 GMT
(Wavebreak - iStock)

Statistics show 42 per cent of marriages end in divorce, and 34 per cent of married couples divorce before their 20th wedding anniversary.

However, a study from Relate found 87 per cent of couples said they were in a good relationship, and that half rarely or never argued.

The statistics show that many couples who were previously in good relationships end up getting divorced within 20 years of their nuptials.

Relate counsellor and sex therapist Peter Saddington has given the nine most common reasons for divorce he sees in couples.

1. Money problems

Problems can arise when it comes to money if husband and wife have different value bases, for instance, if one person likes spending money freely and the other is more frugal and prefers saving.

2. Affairs

If one person is having an affair, this is likely to break down trust and lead to difficulties in establishing honesty in a relationship.

3. Interfering ex-partners

When establishing a new relationship, an ex getting your partner’s attention can create tension.

It can feel like they’re still married to the ex, or that the ex is more important.

4. Differences in sexual libido

It's a stereotype but not far off the mark. Many men want more sex than women and if couples have different levels of sexual libido this will lead to problems in the relationship.

5. Children from previous relationships

There is a big difference between how people react to their own children and how they react to children they have become parent to. Parents make different allowances for children who are their own. When they are somebody else’s children, it may be more difficult to establish the same relationship.

6. Intrusive parents

If parents are interfering, or if a partner perceives them to be, this can be a problem.

If one partner spends too much time talking with their mother, for example, this can create a breakdown of intimacy in the relationship.

7. Difference in how you resolve conflict

If someone has grown up in a family where arguing is very common and they’re in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like arguing or isn’t used to it, this can cause difficulty.

Since you have different ways of solving problems, it’s likely that these problems will never get resolved.

8. Differences in communication

If one partner is the type of person who shares all their intimate thoughts, but their partner is not, this can cause problems.

If one partner isn’t sharing with the other, this will often be interpreted by the other as meaning ‘they don’t love me, they’re not interested in me’.

9. Privacy problems

Another problem can be when one person has a different view of what should be kept within the relationship

If one person shares all the intimate details of the relationship with their friends or over Facebook, this can be an increasingly difficult thing to manage.

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