Home Habits that Lead to Higher Divorce Rates

Shannon Quinn - April 29, 2021

Day-to-day problems at home seem small at first. In the beginning of your relationship, you might laugh at your partner’s “quirks”. But as time goes on, these issues pile up. Suddenly, you realize that these lead to irreconcilable differences over your lifestyle habits. According to a Harvard Business Study, as much as 25% of divorce cases happen because there is a disagreement over household chores. In this article, I may refer to “husband” and “wife” a lot throughout the article. But a lot of these points can be applicable to any gender.

There is conflicting data about how many chores should be shared. Credit: Shutterstock

30. Sharing the Chores

Most people (including myself) would assume that by sharing the household chores 50-50, a modern couple would be happier. But according to a study from Norway, splitting up the household chores was actually one of the causes of major arguments in marriages, and made them more likely to get divorced. On the flip side, marriages where a woman had a more traditional role of doing all of the housework while her husband worked 40 hours a week seemed to stick together more often. However, studies from the United Kingdom contradict that. They say that 3 out of every 10 divorces were triggered by a partner not being willing to pull their own weight around the house. So, maybe this is a cultural problem.

But no matter where you live, no one wants to be in a relationship where they feel like they are the only one putting in the effort. Have an open and honest conversation with your partner about household chores- ideally before you get married. For example, I genuinely don’t mind doing laundry, dishes, dusting, and vacuuming. Since I work from home all day, I use these chores as a good reason to get up, stretch, and rest my eyes from the computer screen 15 to 20 minutes at a time. But I hate cleaning bathrooms and mopping floors. So if I was with a man who was willing to do those two chores (or hire a maid) then we’d be fine. But if I fail to communicate and establish those boundaries, it’s going to lead to relationship issues or divorce.

A woman wants a partner, not a man-child. Credit: Shutterstock

29. Never Cleaning Up After Yourself

Unfortunately, some people were raised by their parents to never clean up after themselves. Maybe they were raised with a mother who cleaned up after them until they were 18 years old. Then they went to college, and lived in a dorm with roommates who dealt with their mess. They got married, and they expected their wife to do what their mother did. Of course, the gender roles could be reversed, but it’s a far more common trait in men. Believe it or not, these men even have a nickname for it. They’ll say they want a “tradwife” or “traditional wife”, because they want to continue to be catered to for the rest of their lives.

Obviously, if a woman is more of a feminist, she won’t stand for this. And if her husband isn’t willing to clean up after himself because he truly believes that it’s his wife’s “duty”, they may be at an impasse. Women don’t want to treat their man like a child. They want a man who knows how to take care of himself like a grown adult. So unless you find a woman who is totally fine with staying in the traditional role, it would be a good idea to learn how to clean up after yourself. Ideally, this should be discussed before you get married, rather than wait until it leads to divorce.

The toilet seat can lead to a lot of arguments between couples. Credit: Shutterstock

28. Not Putting the Toilet Seat Down

Aah, the age-old-war of not putting the toilet seat down. As a woman who grew up in a household full of men, I know all too well how horrible it is to be half asleep, go to sit down, and fall into the toilet bowl. Putting the seat down has become a reflex for me. I do it so often now, I don’t even notice. But for a woman who grew up in a predominantly female household who hasn’t been “trained” into doing this automatically, I can see how this can be a huge problem in relationships. Don’t guys know that we’re going to fall into the toilet if the seat is up? The answer is: No. It doesn’t even occur to them, until you explain why it makes you upset.


And that begs another question. Is this practice biased against men? Men need to remember to put the seat up when they pee and put it down when they’re done. And whenever they are out in public, they check to make sure the seat is down first before they go “number two”. So why should women automatically assume that everyone else is going to be as gracious? Feminism is all about equality. So we need to lift the seat on our own every once in a while. A man named Robert McKeon Aloe wanted to get to the bottom of this- only with data science. He figured out that in his house, where they have sons, it actually saves more time and effort for his wife to put the seat down, rather than expecting the men to put the seat up.

Most problems can be resolved if you just have compassion for your partner’s needs. Credit: Shutterstock

27. A Lack of Compassion

When polled, a group of people said that one of the least attractive traits is someone who lacks compassion. Sometimes, it’s hard to see if someone lacks compassion when you’re just dating. You might be having a good time, and there isn’t a lot to complain about. Or, if you both deal with similar issues and annoyances, so it’s easy to have empathy and relate to one another. But as time goes on, compassion becomes more and more important in a relationship. And this can go both ways. Men can completely lack compassion for their wives and how difficult it can be to raise kids alone at home. But women can also lack compassion for how difficult work must be for their husbands. (Or vice versa, if gender roles are reversed.)

I have a male friend who got a $70,000 per year job after college. His girlfriend was thrilled, so they moved in together. He had to commute an hour in city traffic both ways. The job itself was also toxic. His girlfriend never had compassion, and refused to listen to him talk about his day. The job caused him to have depression and very poor mental health, so he decided to leave that job. His girlfriend only cared about the money, so he broke up with her. Fast forward a few years later, and he is much happier now, and on his way to building a million dollar company. If she actually loved him and had compassion, she would be there to enjoy his success. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I’d say it’s a sign that this is grounds for divorce.

Ignoring your partner is actually really toxic. Credit: Shutterstock

26. Ignoring Your Partner

No one likes to be ignored. And for whatever reason, the longer you’re in a relationship with someone, the less they seem to pay attention to you. Sometimes, if you find yourself in a daze, you might not hear what other people are saying. Even if it’s not intentional, this is a serious problem in a relationship. For example, I live with a roommate who doesn’t seem to hear me when I speak. I might say something like, “Can you hand me that spoon?”, and they will completely ignore me. If I press the issue, they snap out of it. So I know it’s not personal, because they have their head in the clouds. Thankfully, I’m not married to this person. But if I was, this would become a huge problem in our relationship.

On the flip side, intentionally ignoring people is much, much worse. The “silent treatment” version of ignoring is considered abuse. It is used to ostracize the other person, and it makes the other person feel awful about themselves. This can be damaging to a relationship, especially if it’s used as a weapon whenever the two of you get into a fight. If someone is blatantly ignoring the request of the other, this is going to lead to a lot of issues, and potentially divorce.

A lot of couples can’t understand what the other wants and needs. Credit: Shutterstock

25. Failing to Communicate What Bothers You

One of the biggest relationship issues that I hear people talk about is when they claim that their partner “should just know”. For example, maybe it bothers you that your significant other doesn’t ask you how your day went at work. Maybe you grew up with parents who said this every single day. So you feel like it should be common sense, and that they should “just know”. Remember- No one can read minds. It doesn’t matter how in love you might be with this person. You can’t always understand or anticipate your partner’s wants and needs all of the time. This can be applied to any number of things that annoy you around the house.

I have heard so many people say, “I’m not going to tell them this annoys me. The perfect person for me would just know.” Maybe this is true in some cases. You shouldn’t try to change other people, either. However, you need to at least give that person a chance to change their bad habits. If one or both partners have this “telepathy tax” going on in their relationship, they might benefit from going to marriage counseling before they jump into divorce. Remember that this is happening because of your failure to communicate what bothers you. That will carry over into any relationship.

If your partner drinks every day, this can be a problem. Credit: Shutterstock

24. Drinking Every Night at Dinner

A lot of people drink beer or wine with dinner, and they consider this to be “normal”. There are some people out there who built drinking into their relationship. For example, maybe they love to go to breweries and wineries every weekend. So this may have carried over way beyond their 20’s. They say that drinking a beer at dinner helps “take the edge off” of their stress from work. Most people wouldn’t even consider one beer or glass of wine with dinner as being an alcoholic. However, when you drink often, it’s difficult for you to realize just how much it hurts you, and how much you rely on it. Drinking makes you more irritable, tired, and hurts your ability to sleep. It also makes you gain weight, and it leads to a lot of different health issues.

When you drink, it’s a lot harder for you to process your emotions in a healthy way. In fact, being drunk (or even a bit tipsy) often makes arguments significantly worse. Instead of tapping into what’s really going on emotionally, it’s shutting your brain down. In Chinese medicine, drinking alcohol brings a lot of “fire” energy, and it can burn your qi or spiritual energy. This isn’t always a bad thing, though. It’s all about balance. Chinese medicine practitioners will say that if you don’t have enough fire, it’s good to have a drink every once in a while. Basically, it’s fine if you and your partner get drinks on the weekends. But if it happens every night, it could lead to arguments and potentially divorce.

If your partner shops too much, it can cause a huge problem. Credit: Shutterstock

23. Shopping Addiction

In 2020, we saw a lot of people beginning to stockpile groceries and other essentials to protect their home from viruses. While some of this is understandable, it’s not always the best thing to do in every financial situation. Does your partner buy more than they actually should? This may be a sign of a shopping addiction. Just like drinking, gambling, and drugs, shopping can be a compulsion for some people. These people can’t go a day without buying something, because it gives them a temporary dopamine rush. No amount of arguing will fix this. Someone with this affliction needs to go through therapy, and you may need counseling if you want to save your marriage. Obviously, shopping addiction can cause a huge problem in a marriage, and it may lead to divorce.

One of the most famous cases of shopping addiction was a woman named Felice who was interviewed in 2007 on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She would max out the credit cards, take her kids to Starbucks almost every day, and go on non-stop shopping sprees. Felice’s husband had no idea that she had accrued massive amounts of debt, and they were on the verge of foreclosure. Oprah followed up with this woman to see what happened to her five years later. When her husband stopped her from the shopping addiction, Felice switched over to drinking and drugs instead. During her interview, Felice said that her addiction issues were a result of depression. She felt deeply unhappy, because she got married at 21 and felt trapped in her marriage. The dopamine rush was one of the only things keeping her happy. They eventually got divorced.

When one partner tries to control all of the household finances, it is considered abuse. Credit: Shutterstock

22. Trying to Control the Finances

In some relationships, two might might prefer that one person takes care of the bills. Decades ago, it was common for housewives to manage the household finances like a grocery budget, paying the mortgage, and putting some money away in the savings account. However, in the modern world, a lot of couples decide to hold onto their own independent checking accounts while maybe having a joint account to pay mutual expenses. When done in a healthy way, this is a perfectly normal thing to have happened in a relationship. However, there are some spouses that use money as a way to control their significant other. This is called financial abuse.

There are a lot of signs of financial abuse that you need to look out for. Just having one quality doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s happening. But when you see the red flags pile up, you need to call it like it is. For example, maybe your partner is giving you a monthly or weekly allowance rather than putting you on the bank account. Maybe they are discouraging you from getting your own job. They could be trying to sabotage your work life, or encourage you to quit your career so that they “can take care of you”. Financial abuse can also be over-drafting the bank accounts every week, overspending with a shopping addiction, secretly opening credit cards without telling the other partner, and so much more. All of these issues are grounds for divorce.

Receiving constant criticism is toxic. Credit: Shutterstock

21. Constant Criticism

No one likes a bully. So imagine how it feels to be constantly nit-picked by the person who is supposed to love and accept you the most. People can only handle being torn apart and criticized for so long before it breaks down their self-esteem. This can lead to depression, and it can also be an abusive and toxic situation for someone to be in. Psychologists named Drs. John and Julie Gottman have aspects of a marriage called “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse“- as in the four signs that you’re heading for a divorce. One of those is criticism. So this is actually a huge red flag in a marriage.

With that being said, no marriage is criticism-free. But there is a big difference between having a mature discussion that includes constructive criticism versus constant nagging and belittling. If you’re not sure which category your marriage falls into, ask yourself how you feel. Is your partner making you feel stupid, fat, boring, ugly, inadequate, etc.? You should be with someone who lifts you up and inspires you to be the best version of yourself. Otherwise, what’s the point in being with someone who makes you feel terrible? In that case, you might be happier being single.

If you’re a light sleeper, it’s impossible to sleep next to someone who snores. Credit: Shutterstock

20. Snoring Could Lead to Divorce

According to the TMJ Therapy and Sleep Center of Colorado, 1 out of every 6 couples with a partner that snores has considered filing for divorce because of it. This is understandable, because sleep deprivation is awful. On one hand, if you want to sleep with your partner, snoring might make it impossible, especially if you’re a light sleeper. Alternatively, you might want to consider sleeping in different beds (which I’ll mention in the next bullet point.)

People can’t help it if they snore, and it’s often a sign that they may have more serious health issues, like sleep apnea. There are a few things your partner can do to reduce the sound of their snoring. Sometimes sleeping on your side, or avoiding certain foods before bedtime helps. Losing weight is also known to help reduce snoring. For a short-term fix, buying a special snore reducing pillows or a nasal dilator can help.

Sleeping together is sexy and romantic, but not great for actual sleep. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Not Sleeping In The Same Bed

When couples sleep in separate beds, it’s called “sleep divorce”. This practice is actually a hotly debated topic. Some people claim that it helps their marriage, because they sleep better. (Especially if their partner snores.) On Lifehacker, they give plenty of good reasons why a “sleep divorce” is great. You’re more comfortable, sleep better, and are ultimately less irritable in the morning. And if you both work on different schedules, it just might make sense. As long as the two of you are comfortable and confident in your relationship, it could work out.

However, some experts say that sleeping together in the same bed is crucial for a healthy marriage. On Very Well Mind, they say that it fosters comfort, security, and emotional intimacy. Obviously, it’s also more romantic, too. But they still admit that sleep problems often lead to an unhappy marriage. This is something you would need to discuss with your partner.

A lot of housewives feel trapped. Credit: Shutterstock

18. When Household Work Leads to Feeling a Loss in Personal Identity

This next issue was brought up in Men’s Divorce magazine, and it really hits home with what is at the core of many marital spats over household chores. There are some men out there who feel that if they begin to do too many chores or child care, it somehow takes away from their identity. They want to feel like the provider, and the breadwinner. So if they begin to do too many menial household tasks, they feel a threat to their masculinity. However, this has more to do with the man’s identity issues. If he doesn’t feel confident in his identity and masculinity, that’s a journey he needs to take on his own. This could be due to the way he was raised, or some kind of childhood trauma. But it’s not his wife’s burden to fix him. He may need to go to therapy.

The same personal identity issue can happen with women, and it happens often. For example, maybe a woman had a dream of having an amazing career. Then, she gets pregnant, and all of her hopes and dreams seem impossible. She feels as though she has lost her identity as a person, and is unhappy with the label of “mother” and “housewife”. Again, this is an issue she needs to work out on her own. There are always options for her to regain that identity. She can go back to school, work part-time, hire a babysitter, and so much more. Yes, having a child makes having a career significantly more difficult. But it’s not impossible. No matter who is experiencing this loss of personal identity, they might project and say that it’s their partner’s fault. This ultimately leads to divorce.

If you live beyond your means, you will be at first for foreclosure or eviction. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Living Beyond Your Means

Since we’re talking about household habits that lead to divorce, one of the biggest decisions to make together as a couple is the house itself. Financial issues are the #1 thing couples fight about. And one of the issues that causes this fighting is where you live. For example, maybe your budget really only allows for you to live in a one-bedroom apartment. But you decide that you’re going to “make it work” and get a three-bedroom condo. According to Investopedia, you should never spend more than 28% of your income on living expenses. But according to The New York Post, the majority of Americans spent more than 50% of their income on housing.

At the time of writing this, we are going through an unprecedented housing crisis. People are skipping mortgage and rent payments, because of the coronavirus moratorium. At the moment, there is a shortage on housing, too. There is a big chance that people will go back to the days of living in multigenerational households, and it’s already on the rise. Unfortunately, that leads to the next issue on the list.

Problems with the in-laws affects your marriage. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Problematic Relationships With the In-Laws

According to USA Today, multi-generational households are on the rise. Now, one out of every six married couples are living with their in-laws. And whenever the coronavirus rent and mortgage forbearance ends, we’re probably going to see this happening a lot more. For some people, this is great. It could be a chance to be closer with your family. And the grandparents can become free babysitters whenever you need to take a break. Household chores also become easier when you have more adults living in the same house. However, that doesn’t mean that every multi-generational household is going to be picture perfect.

In an article called “The Scary Way Your In-Laws Affect Your Marriage” from Women’s Health Magazine, women who reported having a bad relationship with their mother-in-law actually ended up having better marriages! Believe it or not, partners who remain close with their in-laws have a higher level of divorce. This could be because it’s not exactly healthy to have your parents weighing in on your marriage difficulties. Because of this statistic, we might see a spike in divorces as people are forced to move back in with their parents.

In a lot of marriages, the husband creates more mess for his wife. Credit: Shutterstock

15. When One Partner Creates More Burden and Work for the Other

In an article titled “I Didn’t Realize How Much More I Did Around The House Until I Got Divorced”, a woman named Laney Morrison wrote that she was worried about being overwhelmed raising two kids on her own after her divorce. However, once she lived alone, she realized something astonishing. Her life was actually easier without a husband. She says, “And not a little easier. A lot easier. Like, I-have-a-lot-more-time and my-house-is-always-clean and the-laundry-is-always-done easier.” Even when her kids are staying, it’s still easier than before. As the only parent in the house, she set a cleanliness standard, and her kids learned from that. This is because her ex-husband was putting all of the burden on her, including taking care of his mess, like he was an extra child who was too old to learn new tricks.

After doing some research from the University of Michigan, Laney realized that single women do an average of 10 hours of housework per week, but married women do 17 hours per week, whether they have children or not. And this doesn’t change, even if both partners work full-time. Whichever partner works from home is also burdened with any sudden issues that might come up. Maybe it’s taking your kids to the doctor, making phone calls, or shopping. But when one partner is disproportionately doing more of the household chores, it’s likely to cause resentment.

Credit: Shutterstock

14. Not Agreeing to Meal Plans

Something that can trigger arguments in a marriage is dinner. After all, people are angry when they’re hungry. Some husbands want their wives to prepare a warm home-cooked meal every night. Others decide to wing it. But imagine if you slaved over a stove for an hour to cook a healthy meal, only to see that your husband came home with a bag from McDonald’s. This can lead to arguments, resentment, and may be a contributing factor in divorce.

If you plan to eat together every day, it’s a good idea to get on the same page about meal plans. Maybe you take turns on who cooks dinner each night of the week. Or you might agree to get takeout on the weekends. And if plans change, there needs to be communication. This can also be a huge factor when it comes to people who are trying to lose weight. If you have a partner who doesn’t respect your efforts to eat healthier, that can be a red flag. Sometimes, partners try to use food to control the other. If they seem to be sabotaging your diet, this can also lead to divorce.

When you come home late without explanation, it can make your partner suspicious. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Arriving Home Late

If you come home late from work every once in a blue moon, that’s totally understandable. Sometimes, your boss wants you to stay late. There could be an accident on the road, or car trouble. But if your partner starts randomly showing up at home at three nights a week at 9PM instead of 6PM with little-to-no explanation, that’s a huge red flag. It’s also a sign that they may be cheating on you. Or, they could be unhappy at home, and want to spend as little time as possible with you and the kids.

Here on Home Addict, we actually have a list of stories of ways people caught their partner cheating. If you’re afraid this might be the case, it’s worth taking a look at some of those examples. Not surprisingly, a lot of these stories involve people who were perpetually coming home late or pretending to spend their weekends with friends. In almost every case, this lead to them getting a divorce.

If your partner is always staring at their phone during dinner, it’s honestly insulting. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Looking at Your Phone at Dinner Time

Studies have shown that you’ll be a happier person if you stop staring at your phone at the dinner table. Putting your technology away during dinner and having a normal conversation with your family is very helpful for bonding. As you can imagine, the opposite is also true. If you and your family members are constantly staring at their phone during dinner, this is a sign that there is a lack of communication. Staring at your phone during dinner is rude, but it’s also hurtful. Like your conversation isn’t interesting enough to talk for the 20 minutes it takes to eat.

It’s not likely that someone will file a divorce just because you checked your notification at the table. But it’s the type of behavior that is usually a big red flag that the person is unhappy, and that the attraction to you may be wavering. Think about it- If your celebrity crush was sitting across from you, would you really be watching a YouTube video or texting your friends? No! You would be giving them your undivided attention, smiling the entire time. So a lack of interest in your partner is a sign that you may no longer love them, find them attractive, or can’t even tolerate their company.

Female breadwinners tend to do more chores than you would expect. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Struggle Over Who ‘Wears the Pants’ in the House

Most people would assume that if the wife makes more money and is the main breadwinner of the household, her husband might step up and do more chores. But you’re wrong. Studies have shown that the more money a woman makes, the less her husband is willing to help with around the house. Sounds insanely sexist, right? Well, this goes back to the masculinity issue again. I personally have a few female friends who were the main breadwinners of their household, and they went through this exact same thing. Rather than seeming “manly”, their ex’s came off as being incredibly self-entitled and lazy. Not surprisingly, they split up.

When a man’s wife makes more money than he does, he often feels emasculated. Most men are raised to believe that they should be the providers. This isn’t entirely their fault. It’s even in our DNA going back to the days of hunter-gatherers. So by doing traditionally “female” chores, they feel even more emasculated. Some women will begin to hold themselves back from their career goals in order to maintain a happy marriage.

Many men are totally oblivious to sexism in their marriage. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Never Noticing, or Outright Denying Inequality in Your Marriage

In 2020, when the world was on lockdown, a married man in Japan flew his drone throughout his house. He posted the video online, mocking the fact that their house was messy. When his wife saw it, she rebutted by writing a list of over 200 household duties she was responsible for, and her husband only had 21. Since she was homeschooling their children during lockdown, she didn’t have as much time to clean the house as she once did. And all her husband could do was play with his toy, like a child, and complain to the world about the messy house he could have cleaned himself.

We live in a society who claims to be so “woke” about gender equality. But that doesn’t mean sexism no longer exists. It’s so ingrained in our day-to-day that many men never even notice. And in a world where both parents and at home all day, how is this fair? A lot of men I have spoken to will try to deny that sexism still exists in 2021. These same people are likely to have said that racism was gone, too. But it’s because they are not experiencing it first-hand. Sometimes, men can be shown just how uneven their situation is at home, and it forces them to change. But if not, it’s likely to lead to divorce.

One person may have much higher cleaning standards than the other. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Disagreeing on Cleanliness Standards

For some couples, a big issue can be their standard of what constitutes “clean”. For example, maybe you sprayed and wiped down the shower, so you think it means it’s clean. But then your spouse comes in and says that “clean” only happens if you use a toothbrush to scrub the grout for an hour straight. When a couple is not on the same page about this, they can often make inflammatory and unfair statements like, “You never clean.” In reality, the other person might have the perception that they are always cleaning. The standards are just totally different. If you don’t both get on the same page of what constitutes “clean enough”, it’s going to be a huge problem.

One of the most famous examples that sticks out in my mind is from the reality show “John and Kate Plus 8”. There is an episode when John tries to hire a maid to help clean up around the house. This was supposed to lighten the workload for Kate, since she was busy and incredibly stressed out from raising their 8 kids. However, Kate’s standards of cleaning were so high, she ended up cleaning even after the maid had left. She pulled back the heavy furniture, pointing at the dust bunnies the maid neglected to vacuum. Kate promptly fired the maid for not being good enough. This was just one of the many issues they had in their marriage, and they ended up getting a divorce.

It’s important to maintain a level of self-care in a relationship. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Never Making Time For Self-Care

Some people have this misconception that “true love” means that you should be happy around your partner 24/7. Or, if you’re trying to achieve great success, you may need to work 100 hours a week, barely sleep, and never do the things you enjoy. Both of these mindsets are problematic. It’s totally necessary for you to have a work-life balance. If you don’t make time for self-care, it can seriously hurt your relationship.

Remember that even in a marriage, you are still two individual people. Both of you are going to need time alone, friendships, a relationship with your respective families, and so on. And if you have a spouse who doesn’t respect your need for self-care, it could potentially lead to divorce. If or when you two split up, self-care is more important than ever. Even if you have children to look after, don’t forget to love and care for yourself, too.

It’s okay if the bed doesn’t get made 365 days a year. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Caring Too Much About the House Being Perfect

So far on this list, we have talked a lot about how bad cleanliness habits can lead to divorce. However, this can sometimes go too far. If you forget to make the bed one morning, is that really going to hurt anything? Sometimes, we are so busy rushing to work, or swamped with deadlines that we can’t get to cleaning right away. That doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen. For example, I am constantly told by my roommates that I am the cleanest and most organized person in my house. And yet I still allow papers to pile up on my desk sometimes for a week straight before I get to cleaning it. This weakness doesn’t negate the other 90% of my cleanliness.

If you’re married to someone, you should know by now how messy or clean your partner actually is. So it should really only be a problem if this is something that happens over, and over again. If you start to nag someone the one time they are less-than-perfect, that can be completely unnerving. When you pick on someone for their occasional weakness, it can feel like an attack. And if someone can’t relax in their own home, it’s very problematic.

Is it really appropriate to split things up 50-50 all the time? Credit: Shutterstock

6. Dividing Everything into “His” and “Hers”

When you get married, you’re supposed to share everything 50/50. This includes your assets, but it should also mean splitting household essentials like food. So if you’re bad at sharing, this can be a huge problem that leads to resentment. On one hand, you shouldn’t give up who you are as an individual. It’s totally healthy for you to keep some boundaries intact. However, the whole point of getting married is to come together. Otherwise, why legally get married at all?

If your partner is never willing to share things with you, this is a red flag that the relationship might lead to divorce at some point. I’ll never forget a famous scene in The Joy Luck Club where a married couple both worked, and maintained their independence. They also agreed to split everything 50-50, and buy the things they want for themselves. If the wife ate some of her husband’s ice cream, she was expected to pay him the money back for the amount she ate. Eventually, it dawned on her that this was toxic. In a loving relationship, you give and take equally without keeping tabs.

Some people have been unnecessarily hoarding household goods. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Hoarding

Most people have seen the TV series “Hoarders” at least once. Unfortunately, hoarding is a serious mental health issue that is going on in the United States and other parts of the world. Millions of people have hoarding disorder, and it’s really difficult to fix without therapy and support from your family. When they’re young, this could manifest as simply enjoying collecting things. But as time goes on, it can get worse and worse.

Hoarding isn’t just about being messy, either. This has led to people getting evicted from their homes, or losing their house. Having this happen can make your life a nightmare. Hoarding puts a very heavy burden on your family. When your mental illness hurts others around you, it only makes sense that it could lead to divorce. Here at Home Addict, we’ve collected some of the most disturbing hoarding stories.

Smoking can really take a toll on your family’s health. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Smoking Cigarettes

According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, adults who smoke cigarettes have a 53% higher chance of getting a divorce compared to people who don’t smoke. When you think about this, it actually makes a lot of sense. If one of the partners doesn’t smoke, they’re going to be more sensitive to the smell. Smoking also leaves behind cigarette butts, ashes, and can increase the risk of a fire at home. What was once a harmless habit now becomes a huge issue once you’re living with a smoker.

When you have kids, this also becomes a game-changer. For example, both of my parents were smokers when they first got married. Then, when my younger brother was born, he was diagnosed with childhood asthma at age two. The doctors told them that it was most likely due to breathing in cigarette smoke. So both of my parents agreed to quit smoking at the same time. For them, it was a no-brainer. Their son’s health came first. A similar thing happened to my friend, who developed health conditions because of her mother’s smoking habit. Even though she knew that she caused her daughter’s health issues, the mom refused to quit smoking. Her parents ended up getting a divorce. While smoking wasn’t the only cause, it really does make you question how you can stay married to someone who is so selfish.

When you have kids, it can be really difficult to maintain romance in your marriage. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Too Much Time With The Kids, and Not Enough Together

There are a lot of well-meaning parents out there who essentially put their marriage on the back burner in order to take care of their kids. Not only does this add a lot of stress to a relationship, but it also kills the romance in your life. Remember that you still need to nurture your romantic partner.

When you’re new parents, it’s really hard to find any time for yourselves. But it’s still important to have your date night. Ask friends and family to help babysit for you. Chip and Joanna Gaines are one of the busiest couples in the world, and yet they still have a weekly date night. They are constantly working on their marriage, even though they continue to have more and more kids.

When one person never does the dishes, it’s incredibly frustrating. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Not Doing the Dishes

There is an amazing article called “She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes By the Sink” by Matthew Fray. He talks about how he used to leave his mess behind for his wife to clean up. While he was married, he felt like his wife was unreasonable. He felt like she was trying to force him to care about a clean house as much as she did. But it wasn’t until after their divorce that he realized his behavior was a blatant lack of respect towards her. “She didn’t want to be my mother. My wife wanted to be my partner, and she wanted me to apply all of my intelligence and learning capabilities to the logistics of managing our lives and household.”

If you’re having arguments in your marriage over household duties, I highly recommend reading that article. Matt goes over both his mindset, as well as his wife’s mindset. Arguments often occur when we don’t understand the other person’s perspective. Oftentimes, it’s not even about the dishes. It’s about a perception of disrespect and a lack of love. “The wife doesn’t want to divorce her husband because he leaves used drinking glasses by the sink. She wants to divorce him because she feels like he doesn’t respect or appreciate her, which suggests he doesn’t love her, and she can’t count on him to be her lifelong partner.”

People are more concerned with respect than housework. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Most Fights Over Housework Isn’t Really About the Housework

Last and certainly not least is that most these household habits and fights that lead to divorce are not actually about the cleaning itself. It’s about the power struggle, and lack of respect in the marriage. In the end, a man who loves a woman will swallow his pride and masculinity if it means doing something for the one he loves. Just look at the fathers who will agree to sit down to their daughter’s tea party. Do you think they enjoy doing that girly stuff? Not really. But their daughter does. And that’s all that matters. So why can’t you show that same love and respect to your partner?

If one partner can’t relate to the emotions of the other, it’s really difficult for them to get on the same page. When one person thinks the other is irrational for wanting something clean, it’s a problem. And when one person feels disrespected by the other for making a mess, it’s a problem. At the end of the day, it’s really about so much more than house work. When your partner brings up a problem, don’t automatically brush it off as nit-picking. Really listen to them, and consider going to counseling if you want to save your marriage.