The Specific Issue That's The Strongest Indicator Of Divorce, According To Research

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wall between relationship

By Sylvia Smith

Are you aware of the fact that a lack of communication in a relationship can sometimes lead to divorce?

Nobody goes into a new marriage hoping that it will fail.

Yet, even in 2023, many marriages are still ending in divorce. Why?

When you are feeling upset, angry, or have something on your mind, do you find it easy to come to your partner with your problems?

The answer should undoubtedly be yes, yet one of the biggest culprits of a failed marriage is the lack of relationship communication.

Communication is how couples express their feelings, deepen their marital friendship, build rapport, and solve problems together.

Without these essential skills, couples will be snowballing toward separation.

Here are some top studies that prove poor relationship communication can lead to divorce and what you can do about it.

RELATED: The 4 Behaviors That Cause 90% Of All Divorces

Here's how to know if you have communication issues in your relationship, which are one of the strongest indicators of divorce:

1. Not feeling understood in your relationship

Is communication really everything in marriage? In short, the answer is yes.

One 2016 study tried to disprove this theory by checking in with newlywed couples four times over 36 months, where their overall happiness and communication skills were tested.

The results proved that “more satisfied couples communicate more positively” — so, the happiest couples are the ones who know how to communicate.

When you can communicate with your spouse, you feel understood in your relationship.

Your emotions are validated, respected, and cared for by your partner.

A lack of communication breeds distrust, self-doubt, and insecurity, which can be damaging to your bond.

A relationship cannot last if this essential element of relationship communication is missing in the marriage.

A lack of communication in a relationship can lead to divorce.

2. Inability to fight fair

When relationship communication falters, couples resort to unhealthy tactics to get their way during an argument.

Examples of unhealthy communication skills are as follows:

  • Using the ‘silent treatment to get your way or hurt your spouse
  • Interrupting your spouse when they are trying to speak to you
  • Playing on your phone during important discussions
  • Emotionally shutting off or being overly defensive when conversation topics become serious
  • Purposely belittling or disrespecting your spouse
  • Frequently going to bed angry
  • Having screaming matches with one another
  • Using violence (partner assault or throwing things across the room) as an outlet for frustration

Instead of letting these unhealthy behaviors crowd your ability to communicate, take a deep breath and refocus your intentions.

Here are some helpful tips to have better communication:

  • Be willing to open up and talk about your feelings
  • Give your partner your undivided attention
  • Stay calm and collected and try hard to listen to your partner’s point of view
  • Have empathy
  • Look for ways to compromise
  • Say 'I’m sorry'

Look at disagreements as an opportunity, rather than a hindrance.

See this as a chance to come together as a team and solve a problem together, instead of using it as an excuse to yell.

RELATED: I Didn't Properly Grieve My Divorce — Until I Lost My House

3. Zero communication at all

Intimacy isn’t everything in a marriage, but it is a pretty significant part of your relationship.

It determines how close, trusting, and happy you will be together.

Communication also plays a key role in how happy you are and how satisfying your life is going to be.

Research proves that intimate communication is positively associated with satisfaction and increased happiness in women.

The study also observes that both men and women were happier in general when they were able to speak to one another openly.

This is an important fact, as marital satisfaction is significantly associated with satisfaction.

When we are intimate with a partner, our bodies release a hormone called oxytocin.

This “love drug” is responsible for emotional bonding with a partner, as well as a significant reduction in stress.

Being regularly intimate with a spouse also boosts a couple’s love and liking for one another.

4. Being unable to talk about money

Research regarding common reasons for marital conflict found that out of 748 instances of conflict between 100 couples, money was the most intense and recurring topic couples fought about.

Money may not be the most pleasant topic to bring up, but couples need to learn to discuss their finances.

Be open and honest about money.

How much money are you making?

Do you intend to pool your money together or keep separate bank accounts?

What kind of debt have you brought into your marriage?

Knowing the answers to these questions will reveal how you will go about paying household bills and getting out of debt.

Discuss goals together.

Do you want to buy a house, car, go back to school, travel, or start a family together?

If so, you need to talk about how you plan to save and budget for these things.

RELATED: 12 Men Describe Exactly How It Felt When They Officially Divorced Their Wives

5. Couples drift apart

In a study of 886 divorcing couples, 55 percent cited growing apart as a significant factor in their decision to separate.

A whopping 53 percent cite the inability to communicate as another common reason for divorce.

This study highlights the importance of being able to speak openly with your spouse, just as you would with a friend.

If you are not growing apart in your relationship, odds are, you are drifting apart.

The healthiest relationships are the ones where couples strike a delicate balance between being married partners and best friends.

Think about it — when you are friends with your spouse, you share the same interests.

Think about the best qualities of your best friend.

Odds are, they are honest, accepting, non-judgmental, respectful, loyal, and fun to be around.

They grow together.

Couples should be able to hang out together as friends, just as easily as they could share a romantic evening.

How to boost relationship communication.

Couples who want to save their marriage from divorce would do well to make an effort toward healthier communication.

Taking an online marriage course can help couples learn about the importance of relationship communication.

And since we all think and express ourselves differently, the course also teaches different communication techniques you can practice with your spouse.

Weekly or monthly date nights have also proven to boost a couple’s communication skills, boost activity, and prevent marital boredom.

These studies prove that relationship communication is essential to a happy marriage.

Without the ability to understand one another, fight fair, grow together, and feel secure in the relationship, many couples will be heading down the road to divorce.

Taking an online marriage course can strengthen a couple’s communication skills and teach them how to empathize with one another.

Boost up your communication, because a lack of communication in a relationship can lead to divorce.

RELATED: 5 Urgent Ways To Save Your Marriage From A Looming Divorce

Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert, a former contributor to The Good Men Project, and a writer for Marriage.com.

This article was originally published at The Mind's Journal. Reprinted with permission from the author.