Breaking up really is hard to do. In fact, some therapists view the experience of divorce as second only to the death of a child in terms of stressfulness and associated pain.
Not surprisingly, the dissolution of any romantic partnership is a worrying prospect for most couples. And while some may think that infidelity is the most common reason cited for divorce, one recent survey published in the Guardian (via jezebel.com) suggests that may be changing.
The survey of divorce lawyers in the UK, found that “growing apart” from one’s partner overcame cheating as the number one reason why people ended their marriages. The lack of emotional chemistry or “falling out of love” with their partner was the reason people split 27 percent of the time, while cheating, which was formerly No. 1 came in at No. 2, accounting for 25 percent of divorces.
The other common reasons for divorce according to the survey: unreasonable behaviour (17 percent), mid-life crisis (10 percent), and money (five percent).
The survey has lead some to speculate that this shift reflects a change in how UK couples perceive grounds for divorce, with some arguing it reveals that spouses are reacting less aggressively to infidelity than in previous years.
Instead of ending a marriage over an affair, they may be more inclined to forgive and stay together. The Guardian quotes Louisa Plumb, head of the accounting firm that ran the survey, as saying: “We are seeing an increasing number of ‘celebrities’ putting up with alleged affairs in their marriage or relationship — with Abbey Clancy staying with Peter Crouch, and Cheryl Cole looking set to go back to Ashley. It may be that this is starting to have an effect on the behaviour of couples affected by extramarital affairs, with more marriages than before surviving a bout of infidelity.”
The survey didn’t mention whether or not growing apart had any connection to cheating or vice versa. But there was one more interesting insight to be gleaned, though it’s not exactly romantic.
Lawyers for divorcing couples suggested that economics also play a significant role in if and when people get divorced. Of the lawyers polled 82 percent felt the recession had strengthened the bonds of affection, making liquidating assets too high risk. While others believed their clients saw the economic downturn as the perfect opportunity to stick it to their partner with a lower settlement.