What Does 'Irreconcilable Differences' Mean Anyway?


Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom
What are irreconcilable differences — and why do so many famous couples have them?

There are examples, and they're pretty legit. "There are some things that can't truly be resolved," Doares says. "Wanting children is one, and that is one of the reasons Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston broke up and he is more successful with Angelina Jolie."

Another irreconcilable difference? Demons. No, not the Paranormal Activity kind — though, I mean, if your spouse was possessed by an evil spirit, that's fair game, too. But Doares means a different kind. "Addiction is another area that is difficult on a relationship if that person won't get help." That explains Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom's split: He was rumored to be doing serious drugs (like crack cocaine) and refusing rehab.


"Serial infidelity is another — one person may not be interested in monogamy and the other is," Doares added. Hello, Ramona and Mario Singer! (And Kardashian and Odom — he was rumored to cheat on the reality starlet during his binges.)

There are a few other differences that can't be reconciled. "Unresolved health issues and personality disorders also are impediments to a good marriage," Doares said. "Again, one can always choose to stay; whether that is healthy is another issue, especially if there is abuse present. Any other reasons, including one-time infidelity, can be addressed and resolved if both really want it to work out."

So what do you do upon realizing you and your partner have irreconcilable differences? "It is not a good idea to think you can sacrifice yourself for your partner or the relationship," Doares advises. "A good faith effort to find that healthy solution is always good, but it may not be possible. Only after resolving all of your emotions around that issue, and when you can truly wish the other well, are you ready to move on. Sometimes, however, you have to go through that process without your partner doing the same and that's okay."

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