6 Issues That Cause Even Good Marriages To End In Divorce, According To Couples Therapists

Beware of these commonplace marriage-killers.

Last updated on Nov 16, 2023

couple Syda Productions / Shutterstock

We'd love to think that marriage always means happily ever after; sadly, that's often not the case. We can try our best not to end up another (divorce) statistic and overcome our marriage problems.

How exactly? The answer is really quite simple.

By watching out for major warning signs and mending them before they go beyond repair, there's a fighting chance at not only surviving your marriage, but actually being happy with your partner. In order to discover the biggest signs of marital doom, we asked six experts and got some pretty telling responses.


Here are 6 relationship issues that often destroy good marriages, according to couples therapists.

1. You fight over finances.

No matter what attraction there may be between people, if the money issues are not in balance, there will be marriage problems. All relationship issues, somehow, some way, will come down to money.



"I learned this in my 20 years as a relationship counselor. We are chained to each other, mad at each other, fearful, and troubled by money matters," says relationship expert Audrey Hope.


One must truly look at how ideas about money impact the relationship. Get real about money matters, and make sure that you don't let finances consume your relationship. Otherwise, well... you may end up heading for divorce.

RELATED: 5 Uncomfortable Truths About Marriage That Are Often Misunderstood As 'Problems'

2. You don't communicate properly.

You aren't fighting, but you aren't communicating. If you've been fighting or dread fighting, moving into a phase where meaningful dialogue becomes rare can feel like a relief.

The problem is, "It could be a sign that you've both given up on being understood," says psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, PhD, L.M.F.T. And when this happens, divorce is often the next step.


It's strongly encouraged that couples seek out counseling and figure out how to talk to each other without fighting. Because a relationship without open, honest communication between partners is a bad sign.

issues that cause even good marriages to end in divorcePhoto: Timur Weber / Pexels

3. You show contempt toward one another.

There are couples that simply devolve into nastiness without realizing it. "Whether it is through a negative tone, nagging or verbal put downs, subjugating your partner is never healthy," says Dr. Kat Van Kirk, a licensed marriage and family therapist.


It can become a problem if you can't put yourself in your partner's shoes, emotionally. Learn to be a good friend to your partner — listen to them and be present, open and honest emotionally.



Above all, lead with compassion and empathy toward your partner. Show them that you love, appreciate and care for them, and realize that criticisms or overall negative demands are not conducive to a healthy partnership.

4. You've grown apart.

Yes, couples can grow apart, given that people are always evolving. Unfortunately, spouses may not always change together or in the same way.


"Sometimes, spouses want different things out of life, or change perspectives, which can influence changes in behavior. This too can end a marriage, when spouses are no longer like-minded," says life coach Dawn C. Reid, PhD.



It's true that marriage takes work, every single day. Rather than letting yourselves grow apart, take the initiative to reconnect with one another. Remember why you got married in the first place, and make sure you are on the same page about your individual wants and needs.

If all else fails, consider professional help that can bring you closer together.


RELATED: 5 Brutally Harsh Lessons Only A Divorce Can Teach You

5. One or both partners lie or are living a double life.

"Especially with the technology we have at our fingertips, it can be easy to hide a conversation or online profile from your significant other," says Robert Weiss, PhD, LCSW, clinical therapist.

In your marriage, it's crucial that you keep lines of communication open and honest. Once they find your hidden profile or realize you're being untrue (in any regard), nothing you say or do will be entirely trustworthy — not from your significant other's point of view, at least.

issues that cause even good marriages to end in divorcePhoto: Viktoria Slowikowska / Pexels


The internet presents us with an opportunity to create fraudulent personas, making it easier to interact and communicate on dating sites such as Ashley Madison. And because of the anonymity that the internet provides (to an extent), it can be difficult to know what your spouse is really doing if you don't keep the lines of communication open.

This applies outside of technology as well, whether you lost your job and haven't told your spouse or took money from the joint accounts to hit the slot machines — these are each catalysts for infidelity and mistrust.

6. Your relationship lacks intimacy.

The key to a healthy marriage is touching: holding hands, hugging, resting your hand on your partner's thigh. Any kind of action that brings you physically closer together builds intimacy and strengthens your connection.




"Doing those things, and wanting to do those things, is what creates and maintains intimacy. Nothing will end a marriage quicker than a lack of physical connection," says Jenny Block, relationship and intimacy expert.

The physical is a metaphor for the emotional and the romantic. Once the touch is gone, the "magic" will follow soon. Don't let your marriage fall into that trap.

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


Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyle writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly.