Relationship Experts Reveal The #1 Reason Couples Divorce

Plus: prenup myths, how to divorce-proof a marriage & more

Oct 15, 2012, 06:00 ET from

NEW YORK, Oct. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey of counseling professionals from—the digital leader in love and relationships—offers compelling insights into why marriages fail. The leading cause of divorce? Communication problems, followed by sexual infidelity and "not spending enough time together/not mutually prioritizing the marriage."

Unfortunately, 54% of experts polled agree with the assertion made by author Dana Adam Shapiro that only 17% of marriages are happy. Likewise, experts had bad news for divorcees: 58% agree that a divorcee's chances of getting divorced are higher than someone who has never been married.

Another indication a marriage will fail? Cold feet. Consistent with the results of a recent UCLA study, a whopping 80% say that a bride's pre-wedding doubts are a harbinger of divorce, while 86% of experts agree prenups have no predictable impact on a couple's likelihood to divorce.

How can couples divorce-proof their marriages? 65% of experts agree the most effective way is by improving communication, followed by decreasing negativity/criticism. Only about 4% cited more/better sex.

Your best bet? Be proactive before walking down the aisle. Eighty percent of experts agree couples who attend premarital education/counseling are less likely to get divorced than couples that don't.

"Hopefully men will heed this message! Given a divorced woman and a divorced man, 75% of our experts agree a man will get remarried first," states YourTango CEO Andrea Miller. "This corroborates considerable research and anecdotal evidence that men are more emotionally dependent in a marriage and can benefit significantly by being proactive before saying 'I do'."  

Additional expert insights:

  • 65% of experts say 25-50% of married couples who attend couples therapy end up getting divorced.
  • 76% of experts polled say that of divorcing couples, most of the time one person—not both—wants the divorce.
  • 57% of experts say that less than 25% of divorces are amicable.

Divorce Survival Guide runs through November 1st.

Join YourTango's #DatingAfterDivorce Twitter party, October 23, 2-4 p.m. EDT.

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YourTango Experts provide authoritative insights on marriage, sex, parenting, divorce, self-esteem, and more.

Survey methodology.