Divorce is usually caused by one of the '3 I's,' therapists say. Here's what they are and how they destroy a marriage.

·3-min read
  • Bill and Melinda Gates announced on Monday that they would divorce. 

  • Insider spoke to attorneys and relationship therapists about the main reasons couples get divorced.

  • One therapist said it comes down to incompatibility, infidelity, and irreconcilable differences.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Bill and Melinda Gates announced on Monday that they would divorce, mutually tweeting that they were ending their 27-year marriage.

Melinda Gates' petition for divorce called their marriage "irretrievably broken."

Tess Brigham, a therapist, told Insider that over such a long marriage, tension can build up in one of three main relationship categories, or the three I's: incompatibility, infidelity, and irreconcilable differences.

Here's how the three I's can affect a couple over their marriage, according to therapists and attorneys.

Incompatibility in living, spending, and romantic habits can build resentment over time

Brigham said some of the most common incompatibilities that lead to divorce are politics and religion.

Marilyn Chinitz, Tom Cruise's divorce attorney, disagreed.

"For most people, money is the No. 1 reason why people get divorced," Chinitz told Insider.

While having different opinions isn't necessarily a deal-breaker, an inability to compromise and talk about those differences is a huge problem, Brigham said.

"While someone might say, 'We couldn't agree on money,' what that really means is 'We fought all the time about money, my partner never listened to me, they spent money behind my back without telling me,'" she said.

"Another couple might have different beliefs about money, but if they can speak to each other respectively and hear each other's point of view, then they're not going to break up over it."

Infidelity can permanently break trust

Kari Lichtenstein, a founding partner of Stutman Stutman Lichtenstein & Felder, told Insider that infidelity is one of the main reasons people file for divorce.

Infidelity occurs when one or both partners are intimate with another person outside of their vows, Brigham told Insider.

Infidelity can lead to lasting trust issues in a marriage that can ultimately make the relationship crumble.

Irreconcilable differences like goals and parenting styles are discussed too late in a relationship, experts say

It's natural for couples to grow and change over their marriage, but the difference between a successful marriage and a failing one is whether couples grow together or apart, Brigham said.

A relationship can deteriorate in the early years of marriage if a couple has different opinions on having children and how to raise them, she said.

Michael Stutman, also a founding partner of Stutman Stutman Lichtenstein & Felder, told Insider that differences in how a couple views their individual and joint futures could come up after their children have left the house.

"Even if a couple makes it through the child-raising years, when faced with an empty nest they can easily get to the point where the Gateses found themselves, where the relationship has run its course and they want something more," Stutman said.

Read the original article on Insider