Why Couples Divorce – It’s Complicated

If you pay a lot of attention to celebrity relationships, you might think the only reason people divorce is that they have irreconcilable differences. But according to the experts at Chicago’s ABM Family Law, things are almost always more complicated than that.

Note that Illinois law recognizes irreconcilable differences as grounds for divorce. Yet the term itself is not clearly defined. Courts are looking for differences serious enough to have irreparably harmed the relationship. And in terms of them being irreconcilable, courts also look to see if couples have done their best to try to work things out.

As Illinois attorneys specializing in family law, divorce, child custody, etc., ABM has heard just about every reason for divorce. They say most couples do not divorce over just one issue. It is many issues that have built up over time.

  • Financial Disagreements

Money is a big issue for a lot of unhappy couples. They disagree about who makes what, how money is spent, how much is saved, and so on. Financial disagreements can be exacerbated when couples draw a distinction between ‘his’ and ‘her’ money.

One spouse may believe the other spouse spends recklessly. Or it could be that one spouse racks up a ton of debt that causes the other to feel resentful about having to help pay it off. Needless to say, there is no shortage of financial issues couples can disagree over. And if they disagree from the earliest days of their marriage, financial issues only compound over time.

  • Spousal Infidelity

Another big issue is infidelity. One partner cheating on the other always ends up in friction. Sometimes couples can settle infidelity issues through counseling and support. Other times they cannot. When spousal infidelity is too much to overcome, divorce often seems like the only reasonable solution.

  • A Lack of Intimacy

Marriage is more than just a legal arrangement. It is more than just a physical relationship. Marriage is an emotional investment two people make in one another. Some marriages are broken by a lack of emotional intimacy. One or both partners feel incredibly lonely despite being married and living in the same house with another person.

The thing about a lack of emotional intimacy is that it can be covered up for years. Between work, the kids, and all the activities couples do when they are young, there is enough to distract them from it. It’s not so hard to cover it up in middle age and beyond.

  • Addiction and Abuse

Unfortunately, some divorces are the result of addiction and/or abuse. When drugs and alcohol are involved, one spouse may reach a point where enough is enough. The addiction has gone on too long and it is tearing the family apart. Divorce seems like the only way to get the addicted person away from the family.

In cases of abuse, divorce is almost a necessity. An abused wife has to flee for her own safety. If there are children involved, she has to consider their safety as well.

When abuse is combined with addiction, things are made even worse. An already abusive person who has trouble with drugs and alcohol can become quite dangerous with very little provocation. Years of abuse at the hands of someone like this is more than enough cause for divorce.

ABM Family Law says few divorces are the result of quick decisions. Most occur after years of trying to work things out. But because the reasons for divorce are often so complicated, so is working out the right solutions. A lack of viable options may lead a couple to believe divorce is the only way out.