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After 15 years of counseling clients and listening to their stories, I have compiled a short list of common causes of the breakdown of marriages, which of course is not intended to be exhaustive or applicable to every marriage.

  1. Disrespect or contempt for each other’s time: for example, a stay-at-home mom who does not feel her spouse views her time as valuable as his, simply because he is paid for it.  Viewing both spouses time as equally compensable avoids these negative feelings.
  2. Not buying into the concept of marriage: the law views a married couple as a unit for many purposes, and when spouses do not buy into that concept and recognize what’s mine is yours and yours is mine, problems often arise.
  3. Inability to weather the storms together: whether it is having children, financial trouble, loss of loved ones, or major live changes, spouses need to lean on each other and when these major events occur.