Why People in the USA File for Divorce

In 2018 in the United States, almost 7 people per 1,000 are getting married, while just over 3 people per 1,000 are getting divorced.

This means that nearly 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in separation or divorce. 41% of first marriages end in divorce; 60% of second marriages; and 73% of third. The United States has the 6th highest divorce rate in the world.

U.S. wives are more likely to file for divorce than U.S. husbands. Thirty is the average age for people divorcing for the first time in this country.

Professions with the highest divorce rates include dancers, bartenders, massage therapists, gaming service workers, nurses, and home care aids. Professions with the lowest divorce rates include agricultural engineers, optometrists, clergy, podiatrists, farmers, and dentists.

Why do people in the United States get divorced?

When is the right time to contact a divorce lawyer?

Reasons for U.S. Divorces

A little research brings up a wide range of reasons, with several recurring ones.

1. Infidelity

Cheating on a spouse is one of the top reasons for divorce. The reason for an extra-marital affair is often not out-of-control passion and a giving in to temptation, however. Cheating often arises from anger and resentment over aspects of the marriage relationship, as well as lack of emotional intimacy.

2. Differences in Money Handling

Having too little money is infrequently the cause of a marriage breakdown. More often, it is the difference in how money is handled, including spending habits and saving habits, that create divisive and irreconcilable clashes.

3. Lack of Intimacy

This includes sexual intimacy as well as emotional intimacy. Where once a couple enjoyed connection and shared physical and emotional desire, somewhere along the way this tapers off. Busyness, care of children, and stress begin to hijack the closeness a couple feels. Misunderstandings and the feeling that one’s needs are not being met widen the emotional gap.

4. Communication Breakdowns/Inability to Resolve Conflict

Communication skills are not taught in schools, and many parents do not teach or model good communication or healthy conflict resolution. Most of today’s married couples are unable to navigate through conflict productively. Conversations devolve into arguments, emotion takes over, and both parties feel unheard and misunderstood. When arguments become the norm and nothing gets resolved, the marriage relationship is weakened and divorce can be the result.

5. Addictions and Abuse

Couples in the U.S. get divorced because the relationship has been destroyed by addictions. Addictions range from alcohol abuse to drug use to overwork to sex compulsions/porn use. They can also include relationship addictions, shopping/spending addictions, and addictions to power and control. Left untreated, addictions become a force in the marriage that undermines and ruins the relationship.

Physical or emotional abuse brings about divorce when the abused person has had enough of the abuse and summons the courage to leave.

6. Loss of Identity/Distinctness

A healthy marriage is one where both husband and wife maintain their identities and at least some separate interests. When pre-marriage interests are abandoned—hobbies, passions, and pursuits let go—and one or both partners become subsumed by the other or by the relationship, this does not create a vibrant and healthy marriage. At some point one or both partners “wakes up” and wants out to regain space and healthy identify.

7. Incompatibility

U.S. marriages end in divorce because differences that at first seemed like not a big deal later prove to be a very big deal. These differences include where a couple wants to live (country/city); having children (yes/no); religion (one wants the other to convert); career (one earns more; matters of childcare), etc. Differences may have been discussed before the marriage, but things changed after the marriage and compromise is not possible.

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