What is the #1 Cause of Divorce?

What is the #1 Cause of Divorce?
The No. 1 cause of divorce is lack of commitment.

Shelby B. Scott and his colleagues at the Department of Psychology, University of Denver, discovered the leading cause after using qualitative and quantitative methods to survey 52 divorced people. 75% of the respondents listed lack of commitment as the #1 reason for divorce, followed by infidelity and conflict.

Signs of Lack of Commitment

Lack of commitment is also referred to as commitment phobia by psychologists. Commitment to a marriage begins diminishing or ends even in marriages that have been successful for a long period.

People, when they start losing commitment in a marriage, can send out the following signals:

  1. Behaving casually about an issue that requires careful attention, or being nonchalant about issues that require a joint decision by both the spouses.
  2. Showing casual attitude and lack of interest, or displaying irregular behavior, during times of intimacy.
  3. Any sudden disinterest in planning for the future can be perceived as a sign of a lack of commitment. A person stops making medium-to-long-term plans with the spouse if she/he no longer feels optimistic about the future of the relationship.
  4. A sudden lackadaisical attitude, for example, not sharing stories about the events happening at the workplace as shared earlier, making excuses, lack of interest in togetherness, or generally not appearing meaningfully invested in the relationship.
  5. Becoming emotionally detached from the other spouse or showing little concern for her/his emotions.
  6. Irregular speech patterns, sudden bouts of silence, and infrequent or delayed communication about important matters are other indications of lack of commitment in a marriage.

When a spouse starts feeling trapped in a marriage, starts believing that the relationship is incompatible, or begins to wonder if the foundations of the marriage have gone weak, she/he can start displaying the aforesaid signs of lack of commitment.

That said, know that every individual is unique and that there is no comprehensive list of red flags that can help any spouse identify for sure if there is a problem in the marriage. Factors such as upbringing, quality of relationship during the married years, family history, individual disposition, and other factors play a big role in determining the level of a spouse’s commitment.

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About the Author: Marco Brown
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Marco C. Brown was named Utah’s Outstanding Family Law Lawyer of the Year in 2015. He graduated with distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 2007 and is currently the managing partner of Brown Family Law, LLC.
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