What Are the Common Causes of a Sudden Divorce?

When a couple makes the difficult decision to get a divorce, it is usually after a great deal of soul searching. This often occurs over several months, or even years, particularly if there are children involved and the couple is hesitant to break up the family. However, in some cases, a spouse may announce that he or she wants a divorce, leaving the other spouse completely blindsided, which is sometimes known as “Sudden Divorce Syndrome.” While someone may be shocked to hear that their spouse wants a divorce, there may have been plenty of signs that the marriage was far from perfect, they either ignored the signs or simply were not paying attention. There are a number of factors that can cause a couple to get a divorce, including some that may warrant a sudden divorce. If you wish to end your marriage, an experienced divorce lawyer can help you reach the best possible settlement as quickly as possible.

Who Is More Likely to Pursue a Sudden Divorce?

In psychotherapist Donna Ferber’s article “Sudden Divorce Syndrome: Real or Myth,” Ferber asserts that men are more likely to be blindsided by the news that their wife wants out of the marriage. This does not necessarily mean that the wife came to this decision lightly. Statistics show that 66 percent of divorces are filed by women, and some reports estimate that statistic closer to 75 percent. In many of these cases, the spouse filing has made numerous efforts to make compromises, engage in meaningful conversations, and made other attempts to try to salvage the marriage. When those efforts are not recognized, appreciated or reciprocated, it can be frustrating and exhausting. After weeks or even months of feeling disconnected, disillusioned and unsatisfied, they may reach a point where they are simply done trying. While the decision may appear sudden to the spouse being ‘left,’ it is usually a difficult choice that the wife came to after feeling that she has no other choice. The following are examples of factors that can trigger a divorce:

  • Behavior that sends a negative message. Another common issue that causes people to pursue a divorce is the message that is sent when their spouse behaves in a negative way without any effort to change. For example, after years of making requests to be listened to, or to feel appreciated or understood, it is common for a spouse to reach a point where they check out, particularly if their partner promises to make behavior changes, but makes no effort to follow up on those promises.
  • One spouse has reached the point of no return. Unfortunately, once a husband or wife has reached a point where they have invested all they have to give to the marriage, and the effort has not been appreciated or reciprocated, they seldom have the desire to salvage the relationship.

What Are Other Factors that Cause a Sudden Divorce?

There are other factors that may cause either spouse to suddenly file for divorce:

  • New jobs: If you or your spouse gets a new job that has a long commute, requires you to travel extensively, or has a negative impact on the family dynamics, it can end a marriage.
  • Having a child: Oftentimes, couples think that having a child will bring them closer together and solve many of their problems. Unfortunately, this is rarely true. Raising a child puts a great deal of stress on a marriage. If the couple is not ready for children, or they are struggling to make ends meet financially, this can cause a marriage to crumble.
  • Serious illnesses: Despite promising to love each other in sickness and in health, if you or your spouse develops a serious illness like cancer, your spouse may have to take on the role of caretaker. This is difficult for any marriage, but some spouses resent the situation they are now in, and decide to walk away from the marriage.
  • Traumatic events: Unfortunately, some marriages cannot survive a traumatic event. One of the most common examples is the death of a child. While some couples are able to lean on each other for strength and emotional support, others blame the other spouse for the child’s death, or find the situation simply too painful and they are unable to support each other.
  • Becoming empty nesters. After 18-plus years of raising a family, it is often a major adjustment for a married couple when the children head off to college and the house is empty. While some couples have very full and vibrant lives, others find that they do not know how to be a couple, and that they no longer share many of the same interests that they used to.

What Are the Most Common Reasons that Couples Divorce?

Approximately 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, and there are many reasons why couples enter into their marriage with the intention of making it “’til death do us part,” but circumstances get in the way. The following are some of the most common reasons that couples divorce:

  • Communication issues: Communication is key to any successful relationship, including a marriage. If a couple is unable to communicate about financial issues, intimacy, parenting, and other important factors that have an impact on the relationship, the communication breakdown could lead to divorce.
  • Falling out of love: According to one study, close to half of recently divorced respondents said that the reasons for their separation was a lack of love or intimacy. These couples simply grew apart and no longer had romantic feelings toward one another.
  • No longer a partnership: When one or both spouses feel like they are all alone in the relationship, that they are misunderstood or unheard in the marriage, or that they no longer have anything in common with their partner, the marriage is more likely to end in divorce.
  • One or both spouses were not ready for marriage: In some cases, couples who get married when they are very young, or before they are ready to make such a commitment may realize that they are not ready for the reality of marriage and the commitment that is involved.
  • Addiction: If a spouse has, or develops an addiction, and he or she refuses to seek treatment, this can make it very difficult for the other spouse to stay in the marriage.
  • Spousal abuse: Physical, emotional, sexual and psychological abuse are examples of spousal abuse. When a spouse has an abusive partner, and their safety is threatened, staying in the marriage is often not an option. This is particularly true if there are children who would be exposed to the abuse, or are at risk of being abused themselves. 
  • Infidelity: When a spouse has an affair, it is a total betrayal of trust. Depending on the circumstances of the affair, it is often impossible to repair the marriage. Even if one or both spouses want to try to move past the affair, it can be difficult to build that trust back. Oftentimes, the marriage ends in divorce.

Somerville Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients Navigate a Sudden Divorce

If you wish to obtain a sudden divorce, you are urged to contact our experienced Somerville divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Our dedicated and experienced legal team will assist you with every step of the divorce process. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online. Located in Somerville and Morristown, we serve clients throughout Somerset, Woodbridge, Morristown, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.