The results of a new survey probably won’t come as much of a surprise. The most common problem that leads to divorce is poor communication. There have been many other surveys and research studies in the past that have come up with the same determination. Learning how to communicate effectively with your spouse is crucial, it seems, in order to have a successful marriage.

The second most common problem in marriages that leads to divorce, according to the survey, is difficulty in resolving conflicts. Forty-three percent of those who were surveyed by said that being unable to resolve conflict was a significant cause of divorce, while 64 percent said it was communication problems.

According to a University of Washington professor emeritus, there are four types of communication problems: defensiveness, contempt, stonewalling and criticizing your partner’s personality. The professor has spent the last 40 years studying the behavior of couples.

The survey found that women and men have differing complaints when it comes to communication. Eighty-three percent of women believe that their spouse “doesn’t validate their opinions or feelings enough.” Men, on the other hand, say that the top problems with communication is complaining and nagging.

Learning how to resolve conflict and communicate more openly could be the key to saving a marriage. However, if divorce is unavoidable, these tips may be advantageous. Battling out such things as child custody, child support, alimony and property division can be difficult, but communication between spouses can help. So can the assistance of an experienced Colorado family law attorney who can explain your legal rights and options.

Source:, “Poor Communication Is The #1 Reason Couples Split Up: Survey” Brittany Wong, Nov. 20, 2013