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“Silent Relationship Killers” That Can Lead A Relationship To Divorce

In the intricate landscape of relationships, there exist what some refer to as “silent killers.” Silent killers stealthily erode the foundations of love and trust, often culminating in the heart-wrenching decision of divorce. Examples of “silent killers” in a relationship would be poor communication, unspoken resentments, and even a lack of shared goals between partners.

Lack of Communication 

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“Usually, the first and biggest complication in any eroding relationship. A breakdown in communication can make partners feel isolated and misunderstood. When this happens, partners may begin to search for companionship and camaraderie from others with whom they feel a connection.”


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“When one partner feels resentment toward another partner for any reason, it’s difficult to get over. Unaddressed grievances and accumulated resentment can create a toxic atmosphere in the relationship that breeds bitterness and animosity.”

Financial Strain 

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“Constant financial stress or disagreements about money management can lead to ongoing conflict and erode marital trust, especially if one partner is hiding money or spending money they don’t have without their partner’s knowledge.”

Mismatched Priorities  

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“When partners’ individual life goals and aspirations diverge significantly, the shared vision for the future and even the path they share can strain the relationship significantly.”

Emotional Neglect  

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“Failure to nurture emotional intimacy and prioritize each other’s feelings can lead to emotional distance and detachment. A user shared that this was the first thing he noticed before the sprint toward divorce happened between him and his wife. She grew cold and unloving of him, and he knew it was the end.”

Lack of Intimacy 

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“A decline in any type of intimacy in a relationship is often a bad sign. Whether it be physical or emotional intimacy, a lack of one or both can result in feelings of rejection, leading to emotional disconnection. Once the sex stopped and I no longer “wanted” my wife, I knew that was the end of the relationship,” said one user.” 


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“Approximately 35% of marriages end because of cheating. Betrayal due to infidelity can shatter trust and irreparably damage the foundation of the relationship. Many users have said that any form of cheating, whether it be emotional, physical, or mental, is grounds for divorce.”


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“Substance abuse or other addictive behaviors can strain the relationship and create an environment of instability and mistrust. A recovering addict recalled stealing all the furniture and anything that wasn’t fastened to the house of he and his wife so he could get money to purchase his next hit.”

Parenting Differences 

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“Parenting styles should be talked about prior to having children. When two people have conflicting parenting styles, and one is accusing the other of being too “soft” or too “harsh” on their children, it can lead to tension and discord, impacting the family’s dynamics.”

In-Law Issues 

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“In-law issues can create a lot of unnecessary drama in a relationship and cause undue stress for the partner with the family with which the spouse is having issues. Challenges with in-laws and extended family are a big part of why one user divorced. He said he never felt up to par regarding his wife’s parents, which ultimately killed their relationship.”

Career Demands 

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“When one partner’s demanding career takes precedence over the relationship, it can result in feelings of neglect and resentment. A recently divorced man said that the three most important things in his wife’s life were her job, dog, happiness, and then him, in that order.”

Loss of Individuality 

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“Over time, partners may lose their sense of self in the relationship, leading to feelings of suffocation and resentment. It is difficult to go from an individual who does their own thing when they want to be in a relationship. It’s difficult for many to balance time for the things they love and time spent with their partner. One woman shared that the unraveling of her marriage was that her husband wanted to be around her and do whatever she was doing constantly, which felt suffocating to her.”

Constant Criticism 

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“Many women have shared that the negative talk and criticism from their partners ultimately led them to end the relationship. Criticism can be a form of mental and emotional abuse as part of the process of breaking someone down and then building them back up to the abuser’s specifications. Habitual criticism and belittling can erode self-esteem and create a hostile environment.”


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A lack of personal growth and development can lead to feelings of stagnation and dissatisfaction in the relationship. One woman shared that once she and her ex-husband got married, he was very comfortable in his job and position. He had returned to school to get an advanced degree to help propel his career forward, but since his wife was making significantly more, he said he was comfortable with her being the breadwinner.”

Health Challenges  

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“Coping with chronic illness or health issues can strain the emotional resources of both partners, leading to increased stress and strain. A user shared that for many years, he became his wife’s caretaker while she was ill, and the relationship felt less like a partnership and more like a parent/child relationship. His wife was battling mental health issues but refused to address them in any way, ultimately leading to them getting a divorce.”

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