10 Reasons Why Marriage Fails; What’s Ailing Your Marriage?

I recently came across a very interesting quote about marriage. The quote says, “Marriage is like a deck of cards. In the beginning, all you need is two hearts and a diamond. However, sometimes by the end, you wish you had a club and a spade.” – Austin Sloan. This got me thinking seriously about why marriage fails and what you can do about it.

I’ve always been a hopeless romantic – I believe in love and marriage regardless of the challenges that come with it. I believe that love conquers all and that marriage is forever. Having said that, I know that marriage sometimes fails for one reason or the other. 

When a marriage fails, the couple may decide to continue living together to raise their kids, separate, or in the worst-case scenario, divorce. 

I hope after reading this article about why marriage fails, you’ll make a deliberate effort to salvage your marriage for your own good, for the good of your partner, and for the good of your family.

Reasons Why Marriage Fails

The reasons why marriage fails may vary from one couple to the other. Here are some reasons why marriage fails.


1. Marriage Fails Due to Lack of Commitment By Both or Either of the Spouses


One of the reasons why marriage fails is if one of you or both of you are not committed to making it work. Marriage brings together two adults from different families, backgrounds, cultures, etc. Each of you must therefore make a deliberate effort to make it work. 

You see, once you get married, you must realize that you are a married person, not single. You should start behaving like a married person – some of your behavior has to change. You can’t afford to continue behaving like a single person because it can cause conflict with your spouse.

Some of the things you may have to change for the sake of your marriage include the following:

  • Overindulgence in alcohol: Remember your partner needs a sober spouse. In addition, drinking could lead to money wastage.
  • Ditch some friends: Some of your friends may not be good for you now that you’re married. 
  • Spending carelessly: You have to spend more carefully because you now have someone you’re accountable to. 

Suppose you do not change your behavior. Your partner starts to get pissed off, and tension begins to grow in the home. If you’re not careful, things could explode, and your partner may decide to call it quits.


2. Being An Absent Spouse Can Cause Marriage Failure


Being an absent spouse is a leading cause of marriage failure. Remember one of the main reasons you got married was for companionship. You now have a partner who requires your company and you must do exactly that.

Some of the reasons why you could become an absent spouse may include:

  • Partying and clubbing for hours on end.
  • Hanging out with friends more than with your spouse.
  • Indulging in too many activities (church, community, etc.) that keep you away from home.
  • Being a workaholic; you are often out working and even when you’re home you’re likely doing something work-related.
  • Being a people-pleaser – you always accept invites to go out even at the expense of neglecting your spouse.

If your reasons for being an absent spouse are not valid, your spouse could feel rejected, neglected, lonely, and miserable. This could lead to tension and gradual disintegration of the marriage.


3. Arguing Constantly Without Looking For Solutions Can Make a Marriage Fail

For your marriage to succeed, you need to coexist with minimum conflict. If you argue constantly, it could be a sign that you have irreconcilable differences or are incompatible. 

Some of the things that incompatible couples argue constantly about include the following:

  • Parenting issues 
  • Chores
  • Money
  • Partying habits
  • Use of the mobile phone

Arguing constantly can be draining and it could gradually kill your marriage. So, if you want your marriage to succeed, it’s best to look for lasting solutions to the things you constantly argue about.


4. Lack of Communication

Communication is vital in a marriage. When you share your life with someone, both of you should be able to talk to each other about your needs, wants, desires, plans, feelings, etc. 

If you don’t talk to your partner enough daily, they can start to feel lonely and isolated. I’m especially saying this on behalf of women – we love to talk! You don’t have to say much, just listen and acknowledge what your partner is saying. 

When your partner starts to feel isolated and lonely because of lack of communication, they can decide to stop talking to you altogether – unless about the very necessary issues. Once you stop talking, you might stop caring about each other leading to the failure of the marriage.

5. Marriage Can Fail Due to Financial Issues 

Another leading cause of marriage failure is financial issues. Interestingly, having too much money or too little could sometimes lead to marriage failure. Let me explain:

Too much money

I once came across a very interesting saying, “Money doesn’t change a person. It brings out the true colors of the person that lack of money suppressed”. This happens in many marriages. 

You see, one of the spouses might get a better job or have a financial breakthrough in the course of the marriage. When this happens, some spouses become funny. They change their behavior towards their partners. 

Some may become proud, arrogant, or disrespectful. Some even look down on their partners. In other words, their true colors show because of money.

When you treat your partner badly because you have suddenly gotten some money, your partner feels hurt and bitter. They may decide to leave the marriage.

Too little money

Having too little money in the home could lead to marriage failure. Nobody likes to always worry about lack of money or live from hand to mouth. This could lead to tension and if it goes unchecked, it could lead to marriage failure. 

When it comes to money issues, each partner should put their best foot forward. There’s a financial crisis worldwide and it’s almost impossible to survive with the income of one partner.

I always advise moms to do simple work-from-home jobs to become financially empowered. You see when a woman has some money of her own, she doesn’t have to depend on her partner for everything. That’s great for marriages.

I know being a mom is often a full-time job. However, if you organize yourself, you can earn some money on the side to supplement your partner's income.



6. Marriage Fails Because of Abuse

Another leading cause of marriage failure is abuse. This is where one partner negatively exerts control and power over the other. Abuse in marriage can come in different forms such as:

Physical abuse: This is where one partner hurts the other intentionally by pinching, choking, punching, kicking, slapping, etc. 

Emotional abuse: This is where a partner causes the other mental or emotional pain. Examples include verbal abuse, intimidation, ridiculing, harassment, isolation, coercion, silencing, etc. 

Sexual abuse: This is in the form of non-consensual sexual behavior. For example, rape, forced uncomfortable sexual acts, and withholding sex as a form of punishment are forms of sexual abuse. 

If abuse in marriage persists, the abused partner starts to feel shame, fear, degraded, depressed, and miserable. The marriage becomes dangerous and unhealthy and the abused person is most likely to leave the marriage. And rightly so!

7. Marriage Fails Due to Contempt

Contempt in marriage is hard to define, but it’s when your partner has a low regard for you. They may look at you as stupid, silly, annoying, irritating, nagging, etc. As a result, they contemptuously dismiss or disregard anything you do or say. 

Here’s how to identify contempt in your marriage:

  • Your partner rolls their eyes when you speak or suggest something.
  • They constantly use a sarcastic tone of voice when talking to you.
  • Your partner often has an angry tone when addressing you.
  • They sneer when you suggest something.
  • They mock you when you ask questions or suggest something.
  • Your partner often has a rude attitude towards you.
  • Your partner often looks at you with disgust.
  • Your partner is arrogant when you try to have a conversation – they have the "I know best" attitude.

Contempt grows slowly by slowly, and if you don’t do something about it, the marriage may fail. You see, when contempt escalates, the partner on the receiving end starts to feel like they are not wanted. They are thus likely to exit the marriage. 



8. Marriage Fails Due to Stonewalling

Suppose contempt in marriage goes unchecked. In that case, it could lead to stonewalling. The partner on the receiving end of contempt may decide to develop “a stonewall” as a coping mechanism. As the word suggests, stonewalling is when a partner tunes out of the relationship.

This is how stonewalling in marriage may look like:

  • Your partner shuts down – they don’t respond to you.
  • They give you the silent treatment; they avoid talking to you because they want to avoid your contempt.
  • They always act busy to avoid interacting with you.
  • They avoid eye contact with you; most probably because contempt can show in their eyes. 
  • They may start engaging in distracting or obsessive behavior such as over drinking – they’re trying to avoid you.

If stonewalling goes unchecked, it could make both of you shut down emotionally. Shutting down emotionally could be the beginning of the end of the marriage.


9. Marriage Fails Due to Infidelity

Suppose one person cheats in the marriage? In that case, it could be the beginning of the end of the marriage. Infidelity is one of the leading causes of marriage failure. You see, once a person cheats, their partner feels a deep sense of betrayal. 

Salvaging a marriage after infidelity is very difficult. The reason is that the person who has been cheated on feels angry, hurt, disrespected, and resentful. It’s almost impossible for them to ever trust their partner again. 


10. Marriage Fails Due to Lack of Intimacy and Sex

Last but not least, marriage fails due to a lack of intimacy and sex. These two components are very crucial to a marriage. When they are lacking in your marriage, it’s a sign that your marriage is failing.

It’s even worse when one or both of you are not interested in intimacy and sex and you don’t talk to each other about it and you do nothing about it. It could be a sign that you really don’t care about each other. 

It’s good to note that lack of intimacy and sex is usually the final sign that your marriage is on the verge of failure. It’s a culmination of all the tension that has built up over the years.



So, is your marriage okay? If not, what is ailing your marriage? Do you want your marriage to succeed? 

If your marriage is experiencing any of the things or several of the things I have mentioned in this article, start doing something about it now. 

If you and your partner are willing to make the marriage work, you can address the issues affecting your marriage to help you gradually rebuild your relationship. Cheers!

What are your thoughts about the reasons why marriage fails? We’d love to hear your views in the comments section below. Thank you.


I'm a life coach, teacher, mother, wife, writer, and blogger. I love writing about well-being, relationships, and family.


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