Why Do People Divorce?

Divorce is a familiar concept across many countries and cultures today. The steady information stream from celebrity gossip columns and social media platforms contribute to the desensitization of divorce. It is no longer perceived as a taboo subject.

In many circumstances, divorce is now considered a healthy and financially viable option for both parties to move on and start anew.

Current statistics indicate:

  • the average length of first, unsuccessful marriages in the United States is eight years
  • the divorce rate per 1,000 married women is 16.9
  • about 15 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce, in contrast to less than one percent in the 1920s

So, are people just unhappier in their marriages today? Or, do they have more financial independence, greater freedom of choice, and more options? While statistics show an overall increase in divorce since the early part of the 20th Century, divorce rates have been on the decline since the early 1990s.

This trend is believed to be driven by the Millennial’s attitude to marriage overall. Where baby-boomers were more inclined to marry young, Millennials are now choosing to complete their education, achieve their personal life goals, and gain financial stability before entering into matrimony. This attitude seems to mirror a steady decline in divorce rates, loosely suggesting that the reasons people divorce may be financial pressures, personal unhappiness, and unfulfilled goals.

Perhaps, the shift in priorities from pleasing your spouse to fulfilling your desires takes the strain out of a marriage, allowing the relationship more breathing room.

Common Reasons For Divorce

The first topics that spring to mind when considering reasons for divorce may be financial strain or infidelity. While these are indeed significant contributors to marital breakdown, sometimes the reasons are more subtle. Relationships can and do fail because of poor communication, lack of intimacy, and a loss of personal identity.

Why Do People Divorce?

  • Lack of Intimacy: It’s no secret that after some time in a long-term relationship, the spark can begin to fade. The familiarity of domestic life can turn “amazing” into “mundane,” and this can initiate feelings of boredom, resentment, or the need to escape the relationship.
  • Loss of Self Identity: Time spent in a long-term relationship can “dilute” your sense of self, too. Your likes, dislikes, behaviors, and attitudes can sometimes merge with those of your significant other. It can lead to feelings of smothering, loss of identity, and resentment as you struggle to reassert your individuality.
  • Different Life Goals: One partner wants to retire early and travel the world; the other wants to work towards a stable life in the suburbs. A disparity in life goals only becomes apparent after the “I dos.” Compromise can assist with this problem, but sometimes the differences seem too insurmountable for reparation.
  • Financial Strain: Money troubles can put enormous pressure on a marriage. Differing attitudes towards money, overspending, and lack of financial planning can all put a significant strain on the relationship. External factors may come into play, too, with a recession or job loss putting the marriage under one stress test too many.
  • Infidelity: According to the American Psychological Association, 20 to 40 percent of divorce proceedings resulted from infidelity. Statistics on this topic are difficult to ascertain, however, and it is rarely straightforward, and many marriages continue after infidelity. Over time, they may start to show signs of strain, though, with communication breakdown, a lack of trust, and unprocessed anger or resentment contributing to a marital breakdown. 

The reasons a couple may choose divorce are numerous and personal. Whatever the reason, divorce remains a part of our culture and a frequent topic of conversation inside the Court of Law and around the dinner table. No matter how desensitized the subject, divorce is still a significant life event to be treated with dignity and respect.

If you need advice or direction through your divorce proceedings, feel free to call one of our professional divorce lawyers today.


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