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What Are the Main Causes of Divorce in Texas?

Sophia Merton
November 2, 2023

Getting divorced is a major step in anyone’s life– not only does it change just about every aspect of life and cause a great deal of emotional stress, but it’s also an expensive endeavor. The difficulties that divorce can bring about might leave you wondering, what are the main causes of divorce? What would drive someone to go through that process?

The truth is, there are lots of reasons that people in Texas and elsewhere choose to dissolve their marriages. At the same time, some patterns start to emerge when you look at the main factors that motivate individuals to file for divorce.

  • Some of the main causes of divorce in Texas include incompatibility, infidelity, communication issues, and financial problems. Beyond that, some individuals cite drug problems, abuse, and cultural differences as the driving force behind their marriage ending.

Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about the primary reasons people get divorced in the Lone Star State.

What Are the Main Causes of Divorce in Texas?

Marriages are incredibly complicated, so it’s important to understand that the “main cause” of any divorce is often going to be the final straw rather than the sole factor. At the same time, sometimes a marriage will end after just one clear event that drove a spouse to head to the courthouse and file their paperwork.


Just like anywhere else in the country, infidelity is a significant cause of divorce in Texas. It is often difficult for couples to recover after one has engaged in an extramarital affair, with the breach of trust being too much to bear.

man having extramarital affair as leading cause of divorce

According to some stats, a shocking number of married people have had affairs outside the marriage. One survey from 2018 states that 21% of men and 10% of women had sexual relationships with someone other than their spouse while they were married.

Did you know that women are more likely to initiate divorce than men in Texas? Check out our recent article that looks at six reasons why women file for divorce more often than men.

Communication Issues

Poor communication or a breakdown in communication can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and emotional distance, which can ultimately result in divorce.

couple fighting which is a main cause of divorce

Communication is seriously the foundation of any successful relationship, so when the ability to talk to one another breaks down, the marriage often isn’t far behind.

Money Problems

Financial stress, disagreements about money, and economic instability can place a significant strain on a marriage, especially if this is a common culprit for fights and conflicts. Dealing with your own finances can be stressful enough, after all– trying to collaborate with someone else when it comes to making ends meet can be simply exhausting.

Drugs and Alcohol

Problems related to substance abuse, whether alcohol or drugs, can lead to marital discord and, in some cases, divorce.

woman with wine in glass, drinking problem as main cause of divorce in texas

Some stats suggest that more than one-third of divorces involve a citation of substance abuse as one of the primary reasons for the split.

Though there are lots of different reasons people file for divorce, one of the most common “grounds” is irreconcilable differences or insupportability. Take a look at our recent post about what grounds of insupportability are in a Texas divorce.

Marital Violence and Abuse

Sadly, another reason that sometimes leads to divorce in Texas is domestic violence and abuse.

  • According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in four men and one in three women have experienced physical violence from a romantic or intimate partner.

When you consider that this is only physical violence and doesn’t even touch upon emotional or verbal abuse, it becomes apparent why marital violence is such a common cause of divorce in Texas and elsewhere.

Lack of Intimacy

A lack of intimacy can result from various issues in a marriage. Still, at the end of the day, people can start to feel like their needs are not being met when physical or emotional intimacy is missing and choose to move on from the relationship.

Different Expectations

Sometimes, individuals don’t talk about what they expect out of a marriage before tying the knot. If both spouses have different ideas about whether to have children, where to live, how to relate to money, and more, it can lead to one or both parties deciding it’s time to end the marriage.

Too Much Arguing

Some experts say that it’s a major red flag for your marriage if you never argue. At the same time, fighting all the time and constantly being in a state of conflict isn’t a great sign either.

couple fighting as one of the main causes of divorce in texas

High levels of stress and constant conflict within a marriage can take a toll on the relationship; at a certain point, it can make divorce seem like the only solution.

Cultural Differences

Family pressures and cultural differences can also seriously strain a marriage. This is particularly true in cases where one or both families exert a strong influence on the decisions a couple makes about their own marriage and lives.

Health Problems

Serious or chronic health problems can impact a marriage, affecting the quality of life and creating additional stress. When you add in the likely component of medical bills, it becomes easy to see how health issues could cause a lot of strain in a relationship.


In some cases, people simply grow apart. They might even still have a lot of love and appreciation for one another, but they ultimately learn that they have fundamental differences in values, goals, or interests. Realizing that both spouses have changed in ways that make the relationship less tenable can lead to divorce.

Steps For Working on Your Marriage

Understanding the primary causes of divorce can help you keep an eye out for issues in your own marriage before they get out of hand. At the same time, seeing why others have left their spouse could help you see that it’s time for you to walk away from your relationship.

For example, it can be difficult to clearly see a loved one’s drug problem or tendency towards violence and abuse when you are in the thick of a marriage. By understanding how common these are as reasons for divorce, you could potentially realize it’s time for you to make a change, too.

If you do believe your marriage is worth fighting for, though, here are some quick tips to keep in mind as you work towards improving your relationship:

  • Work toward open and honest communication: Work to create a safe and non-judgmental space for both partners to express their feelings and concerns. Try to listen actively to your spouse, seeking to understand their perspective.
  • Pinpoint your key issues: Make a list of the specific problems or challenges in the marriage that need to be addressed. You can then discuss each issue and try to understand the underlying causes.
  • Consider working with a professional: Depending on the issues you are dealing with, you might consider marriage counseling or therapy with a qualified therapist or counselor. A professional can provide guidance and facilitate communication. Choose a therapist who is experienced in working with couples and has a neutral perspective.
  • Figure out your expectations and goals: As a part of working on your marriage, define clear goals for what you both want to achieve. Discuss your expectations for each other and the relationship– remember, be honest!
  • Make a commitment to make it work: Both partners must commit to making changes and putting in the effort to improve the marriage. This doesn’t just mean expecting your spouse to change– be prepared to work on your own issues and shortcomings.
  • Learn to let go and forgive: An important part of working on a marriage is being willing to forgive each other for past mistakes and let go of resentment. Focus on the present and the future rather than dwelling on past conflicts.
  • Set your boundaries: Sometimes, relationships can struggle because there aren’t clear boundaries. Set healthy boundaries to protect your individual well-being and the marriage– you and your spouse can discuss what behaviors or actions are unacceptable.
  • Work toward personal growth: When a marriage is facing problems, each partner ultimately should work on self-improvement, both for themselves and the relationship.

Divorce in Texas: Knowledge Is Power

Some of the most common reasons that people get divorced in Texas include incompatibility, frequent fighting, money problems, and infidelity. Understanding the primary causes of divorce can help you get some perspective on your own marriage or potentially even persuade you to walk away from an abusive or otherwise unhealthy situation.

  • Regardless of your circumstances, one of the most important things you can do when you’re getting divorced is to learn as much as possible about the process.

Through the acquisition of knowledge, you can reduce stress about what’s going to happen, how things will play out, and what you can expect. Furthermore, the more you know about divorce, the more able you are to create a positive post-divorce outcome for yourself.

Are you searching for more resources about family law in Texas? If so, make sure you check out our Texas Divorce Laws blog!

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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is a researcher and writer that aims to help make the complexities of the legal system understandable to the layperson. Believing that people can be empowered by understanding their rights and responsibilities under the law, Sophia aims to offer accurate and well-researched information in straightforward and easy-to-digest legal articles.

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