Matthew Cambó

As no couple is perfect, relationships can face numerous challenges throughout their existence, both prior to and after marriage. The level of commitment inherent to marriage will likely amplify pre-marriage disagreements and heighten unresolved conflict, which is why many marriages end up in divorce. Matthew Cambó, an associate attorney at Leinoff & Lemos, P.A., who practices exclusively in family law, says that one of the best ways a married couple can avoid divorce is to learn how to identify common issues that generate conflict between couples, take the initiative on gathering information and options to address these issues in a resolution oriented manner, and communicate them clearly and non-confrontationally to your partner. Cambó offers some simple guidance to married couples by sharing these five most common causes of marital conflict:

5 Most Common Causes of Marital Conflict

Cause #1. Mistreatment

Disrespect and mistreatment between partners are two of the most common sources of conflict in marriages. If an individual is condescending to their spouse, treats their spouse as if he or she is inferior, or treats their spouse as an object, the relationship is destined for failure or a lifetime of unhappiness and resentment. A relationship with that kind of dynamic is toxic to the spouses and any other people who interact with them. Other behaviors that result in marital distress include over-dependence, neglect, moodiness, inconsideration, and selfishness. Any consistent negative behaviors that a spouse exhibits towards the other, which the couple fails to address, will continue to rankle the mistreated spouse until he or she can no longer tolerate it, at which point, the damage done may be irreversible.

Cause #2. Communication Issues

If a married couple communicates poorly, they will always struggle to resolve conflict appropriately. Communication issues manifest through countless negative behaviors, including a demonstrated lack of appreciation for your spouse’s interest or concerns, dismissive conduct, a refusal to engage in amicable discourse over difficult issues, domineering conduct, overbearing opinions, persistent negativity, cultural differences, lack of clarity and candor, dishonesty, bottling emotions, limited feedback, and personal baggage. Communication struggles can develop further when the environment or dynamics of a relationship change, such as new employment, home relocation, or raising children.

Cause #3. Intimacy Insecurities

Insecurities concerning intimacy between a couple can create substantial conflict. Regardless of the root of either party’s insecurities, whether trauma-related or a mental or physical issue, couples who neglect their intimacy issues risk experiencing various negative repercussions to their marital relationship, as intimacy is typically one of the largest factors elevating a friendship to a marital relationship. Intimacy insecurities can result in partners avoiding sex, loss of emotional connections, resentment, jealousy or possessiveness, adultery, and, of course, divorce.

Cause #4. Lifestyle Differences

Once a married couple realizes they are living different and, effectively, separate lives, they will usually either try to make adjustments to save their marriage or resign to a divorce. Many divorced couples who have this experience will maintain that their separation was a mutual decision. A gradual drifting apart of married spouses is an all too common occurrence in longer marriages. People evolve, grow, and change throughout their lives. This is a fact that will likely always be a part of the human experience. If married couples are not sharing regular, consistent, and meaningful time together, their relationship will suffer. Even married couples who seemingly know everything about their spouse and have been together for decades, still must nurture the bonds they have made with their spouse, which made their marriage successful.

Cause #5. Extramarital Conduct

Generally, when people hear “extramarital” conduct, they immediately think of extramarital affairs, i.e., cheating and adultery. However, extramarital conduct encompasses any actions taken outside of the marriage that don’t further the marriage and are usually conducted without the knowledge or consent of the other spouse. Common examples include gambling, excessive drinking, drug consumption, etc. Any time a spouse feels the need to conceal their actions from their spouse or conduct their affairs in secret, there are almost certainly marital issues that abound. These issues almost always relate to the other causes of marital conflict expressed herein.

About Matthew Cambó

Matthew Cambó is an associate attorney with Leinoff & Lemos, P.A. He has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America 2022 due to his exceptional focus on serving clients in family law matters. Mr. Cambó has a degree in Political Science and a J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law. He is licensed to practice in Florida and is a member of the Family Law and Young Lawyers sections of the Florida Bar.