Divorce: the top 10 reasons marriages end
Researchers from Pennsylvania State University have identified the top ten reasons US couples seek a divorce.
Paul R. Amato and Denise Previti collected data from people across the United States who had been divorced.
The top ten reasons cited were:
One spouse (or both) being unfaithful was responsible for 18.4 per cent of the divorces in the study. It is hardly surprising considering the emotional damage infidelity can do. In the UK, one of the five ways to demonstrate a marriage has broken down is adultery. However, not all infidelity is adultery.
This reason accounted for 16.4 per cent of divorces.
3) Drinking or drug use:
Responsible for nine per cent. Drug use and alcoholism are known to cause trouble in relationships. In an attempt to combat this issue, the British government introduced specialist Family Drug and Alcohol Courts. Their aim is to help parents combat their substance problems before their relationship breaks down and the family is split up.
4) They just grew apart:
Just over eight per cent of people questioned cited this as the reason for the end of their marriage.
5) Personality problems:
Researchers defined this as “Problems with personality or behavior that cause conflict in marriage”, such as a spouse only ever thinking about themselves. These were to blame for 7.8 per cent of marital breakdowns.
6) Lack of communication:
Respondents claimed this responsible for their divorce in 7.4 per cent of cases.
7) Abuse, either physical or mental:
Only 4.9 per cent of people questioned cited abuse as the main driver of their marriage breaking down. The issue of abuse in divorce cases came up recently in the UK when Home Secretary Theresa May announced plans to criminalise emotional abuse.
8) The couple simply fell out of love:
This accounted for 3.9 per cent of divorces in the survey.
9) Not meeting family obligations:
The study defined this as “Not helping out with family needs”. Examples included breadwinning, housework, childcare or time spent with the family.
10) Employment issues:
This rounded out the top ten with 2.9 per cent of respondents citing issues related to work.
The survey also found reasons for people seeking the end of their marriage which did not make the top ten. These included financial difficulties, illness, interference from family and simply being unhappy. Just under three per cent of respondents said they did not know why their marriage had ended.