It is widely believed that financial difficulties and arguments over money are the primary reasons marriages fail, but the results of a recent study suggest that spouses in California and around the country are more likely to seek a divorce because they lack emotional fulfillment. Danish researchers reached their conclusions after surveying 2,371 recently divorced people. The study was published on July 19 in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.
Almost half of the respondents told researchers that they decided to divorce because their relationships no longer provided them with intimacy and love. This response was especially common among people who had divorced after decades of marriage. Communication problems were another commonly cited reason for divorce with 44% of the respondents saying that they rarely had meaningful conversations with their former husbands or wives.
The third most common reason given for seeking a divorce was being in a relationship that lacked trust, respect or sympathy. In many cases, the respondents who gave this answer said that an incident that shattered trust was the root of the problem. The fourth most common cause of divorce was growing apart after years of marriage. The least reported causes of marital problems were addiction, violence, personality issues, accidents and illnesses.
The researchers also found that most of the marriages they studied ended amicably. Experienced family law attorneys may strive to resolve divorce cases amicably whenever possible, and they could suggest alternatives to court when property division or spousal support negotiations become contentious. Collaborative divorce and mediation are approaches that seek to identify common ground before addressing divisive issues, and they are sometimes able to yield a positive outcome even when the spouses involved harbor a great deal of animosity toward one another. Avoiding a protracted legal battle may be especially beneficial when young children are involved.