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What exactly are irreconcilable differences?

The reason most people cite when they divorced on the legal documents is irreconcilable differences. A broad term that outside of the legal realm doesn’t get as much airtime as it should. What does it mean to be forever incompatible? What hurdle is too large to overcome and where do you draw the line? Relationships are supposed to be work, but how much work is too much and rather indicative of forcing the proverbial oil and water together in a way that doesn’t mix? Here are some examples of real couples explaining what their irreconcilable differences were.

When you ask someone why they split up with their spouse, they usually chalk it up to simply growing apart. “We started living separate lives,” they’ll say, or “The relationship simply ran its course.” 

While those polite, canned responses may be true, there’s usually
more to the story than that. Recently, we asked HuffPost Divorce
bloggers and readers on Facebook to share the real reasons they split up. Read some of the most interesting responses below.  

1. We didn’t speak the same love language.

“It wasn’t our fault. He’s him. I am me. We are both so different
that we didn’t speak each other’s languages. Sometimes I feel we should
have tried harder to learn the language of love. When we made efforts to
do things or approached each other, we approached each other as if we
were dealing with someone like ourselves. This meant that we frequently
didn’t understand each other or appreciate the efforts that were being
made by the other party. I was constantly made to feel as if there was
something wrong with me. This disconnect was discussed in marriage
counseling but it never improved enough. We didn’t speak the same
language from the start.” – Laura Lifshitz 

2. My ex didn’t prioritize the marriage. 

“Commitment was missing. He never really made our relationship the
most important thing in his life. Work and his gaming buddies were
always more important.” – Bren Hill 

3. A lack of trust led to a lack of intimacy. 

had an ‘open marriage’ and lost that incredibly special foundation of
trust and intimacy with each other. We became more like roommates than
intimate partners.” – Amy Kristine

4. We didn’t discuss big life decisions with each other. 

“We didn’t have the ability to communicate well. Early on, it was
easy because we didn’t have complicated issues to discuss, but as more
challenging times arose, I made independent decisions rather than having
open conversations. I can only speak for myself, but I now see that I
was doing this because I was afraid conflict might cause discomfort,
divorce or be some sign that we weren’t meant to be together. I believed
our love was strong enough to carry us through. Not communicating about
difficult things reduced our intimacy, exacerbated my fear of conflict
and my co-dependent nature. In my current marriage, I understand that
love is not enough and I recognize discomfort as a signal to talk about
things and identify the issues.” – Chris Burcher

5. There was no friendship. 

“We weren’t friends. Everyone and everything else was always more important.” – Tamara Baskerville-Dolan

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