When love is young and new during the courtship phase, couples tend to view their differences as charming and amusing. Once the relationship becomes committed and long-term, though, those couples lose the honeymoon and the rose-colored glasses, and the differences may start to become annoying, irritating, or deal-breakers. The root of many breakups can be traced to poor communication. In fact, John Gottman, a professor emeritus at the University of Washington and an expert on couples’ relationships, delineates four major types of communication issues that lead to the end of a relationship: contempt, criticism of the partner’s personality, stonewalling, and defensiveness.
Most Common Reasons for Failed Relationships:
1. The desire for independence
2. Attracted to another person
4. Loss of sexual feelings for partner
5. Physical incompatibility
6. Constant nagging
7. Failing to care for one’s physical maintenance
8. Conflict in tastes and desires
9. Addictions to drugs or alcohol
10. Giving continuous unsolicited advice
11. Physical, mental, and emotional abuse
12. Comparing one’s partner to others
13. Deteriorating health or contracting an STD
14. Ignoring or being disrespectful to partner’s relatives and friends
15. Inability to conceive
16. Repeated lying
17. Constant arguments or fights
18. Continuous humiliation, especially in front of others
Any one of the reasons listed above could be cause for the failure of a relationship. On occasion, one reason may cause a separation, while in other situations, a combination of several of them may lead to divorce. Moreover, how men and women view the severity of the indiscretions may be significantly different. Being attracted to another person may rank high in the problem department for a woman, while taking the plunge and committing infidelity with that other person is far worse than having feelings about him or her.
In some marriages, when the couple remain chaste prior to the nuptials, physical incompatibility may become painfully evident after the wedding night, thus leading to separation and divorce. In other situations, health problems that lead to an inability to conceive children may become deal-breakers.
The institution of marriage may be uniquely human, dating back millennial. Until the latter part of the twentieth century, lifetime single marriages were the norm. Divorces carried a stigma that prevented many of them from happening in the first place. With women eventually gaining financial independence, the options for divorce expanded, and both individuals in a committed relationship are far quicker today to end a relationship based on issues that years ago, most spouses would have learned to accept.