The Truth About “Irreconcilable Differences” in Marriage

marriage counselingWhen marriages end up in divorce, the one who initiates the separation usually says his or her partner did not put as much effort into the marriage as he or she did. Most of the time, it is probably true; sometimes, it isn’t.

In some cases, no matter how hard both parties work to keep the union intact, there are reasons that draw them away from each other. Couples seeking family counseling in Westport and other cities in Connecticut call these “irreconcilable differences.” Writer Cathy Meyer, in her article in, wrote that this is the common reason for granting a divorce in no-fault divorce states.

But, is there actual merit to this?

The Basics

Irreconcilable differences are easy to take at face value. People are different in almost every way imaginable. This includes their psychological tendencies, personal opinions, and general perception of things. This is where irreconcilable differences come from. Each spouse or partner may have a completely different standpoint and will not relinquish it for the sake of the other.

The most basic definition of the term given by the site Foundations Coaching is the “inability to reach harmony or compromise.” This undermines a critical part of marriage — working together to achieve a goal.

A major objective in marriage, for instance, is raising a family. One spouse may not want to have an active role in bringing up the children, such as in changing baby diapers, bringing the kids to school, or attending the children’s soccer games. When this behavior becomes all too common, it gets problematic.

Seeking Help

It may seem almost impossible to move anyone who firmly believes in something. This is what makes the reason a valid point in marriage counseling cases. One of the keys to saving a marriage is getting external, professional help.

Counseling can help anyone see things in an entirely different light. This is true for irreconcilable differences. Instead of, say, considering these differences as “never seeing eye to eye on issues,” the couples can be made to see that “there are two different but interesting views on a specific subject.”

Perspectives like this are critical in saving a relationship. There is always something positive to gain, and an outside opinion will help foster that perspective immensely.

In reality, there are no irreconcilable differences, if couples keep in mind that marriage is all about compromise and cooperation. It’s always possible to save a marriage. What one needs is an opinion outside two mentalities unwilling to budge due to emotional constraints. Sometimes, logic is the only solution to a very emotional problem.