6 Types of Conflict That Often End in Divorce

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Arguing couple
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When a marriage goes bad, it rarely happens overnight. Instead, a history of conflict gradually takes its toll, and the notion of “till death do us part” eventually goes out the window.

With that in mind, it can help to be aware of the types of disagreements that are most likely to end in divorce. Recently, Forbes Advisor surveyed 1,000 Americans who have been divorced or are currently getting a divorce.

As part of that survey, respondents most commonly cited the following types of conflict as most likely to slowly sabotage a marriage. Contrary to popular belief, none of the top disagreements is a financial matter (although No. 1 intersects with income).

1. Career choices

financial fight
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Respondents who cited this as a top cause of marital conflict: 46%

In modern life, careers can quickly become all-consuming, robbing couples of the time they need to maintain their marriages.

In other cases, poor career choices lead to a lack of steady employment and robust income. That can in turn trigger money troubles that undermine a relationship.

2. Parenting differences (tie)

Stressed-out mother with her kids
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Respondents who cited this as a top cause of marital conflict: 43%

Arguably, the biggest and most important aspect of many marriages is raising healthy and happy children. It’s a job fraught with challenges.

If two people are not on the same page, conflict is almost inevitable.

2. Division of household labor (tie)

Frustrated couple having an argument and thinking about separation or divorce
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Respondents who cited this as a top cause of marital conflict: 43%

Surveys and research have found that even though more women work outside the home, they still end up doing many of the household chores.

That reality often breeds resentment that — if left unchecked — can lead down a path that ends in divorce court.

Other types of conflict cited by divorcees

money problems
Bojan Milinkov / Shutterstock.com

Additional sources of conflict that divorcees often cited are:

  • Relationships with family: 39%
  • Relationships with friends: 36%
  • Finances: 28%

In addition, a small minority (9%) of respondents cited health choices.

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