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February 13, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

3 Common Reasons for Divorce

By Jeany Miller More Blogs by This Author

Divorce is a topic that seems to continuously gain renewed attention from the press. Much of this attention attempts to explain why divorce rates are so high. In 2012, statistics revealed:

  • The divorce rate in America for first marriages is 41 percent
  • The rate for second marriages is 60 percent
  • The rate for third marriages is 73 percent

But, as revealed by in-depth research, no one specific factor can be blamed for the divorce phenomenon. Here are three of the most common reasons cited for the dissolution of a marriage:

1) Alcohol Abuse

To illustrate, a study published in 2013 revealed that drinking habits can irrevocably drive a wedge between couples. Based on data collected from nearly 20,000 married couples in Norway, spouses who drink the same amount divorce far less often than marriages in which only one partner regularly partakes in alcohol use.

The study shows that couples who drank heavily had significantly higher divorce rates (17.2%) than those who were moderate drinkers (5.8%). Further, divorce rates were found to be much higher (26.8) when the wife drank more frequently and in larger quantities than the husband (13.1%). This could be due to the fact that women are usually more prone to the effects of alcohol than men.

2) Not Sharing the Load

Man Vacuuming

Another study, using data from 2007 and 2008, suggests a couple is more likely to split when housework is divvied up between spouses. This survey, which sought to find possible links between "marriage, housework, and happiness," found divorce rates were actually in households where couples divided the housework equally than those in which women did the bulk of the chores. Additionally, successful couples seem to be willing to join forces in raising children, so long as women remained on housekeeping duty.

For some reason, divorce rates are much higher among couples where the husband performed the bulk of the housework. Obviously, this data shouldn't share household responsibilities, but rather it's simply an indication that times are changing, and, with them, attitudes about perceived gender roles are changing too. The "Suzy Homemaker" model is no longer relevant.

3) Communication

A third survey of counseling professionals from from 2012 claims to offer “compelling insights into why marriages fail.” They found that divorce is usually caused by lack of communication.

The best bet to ensuring a lasting and fulfilling union is to be proactive before walking down the aisle. Experts agree that couples who attend prenuptial counseling are more likely to have a successful marriage.

Additional insights from the study include:

  • As many as 50% of divorces could be avoided with pre-marriage counseling.
  • Divorces are almost never amicable, and that only one spouse wants the divorce.
  • Offspring of divorce are more likely to go through their own divorce.


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