Unreasonable behaviour is most often cited as the reason for divorce in the UK. This official, legal reason can account for many different issues within a marriage, and due to the fact that the UK is still waiting to hear the outcome of the ‘no fault divorce’ bill, unreasonable behaviour is often selected by one or both divorcing parties as the quickest and easiest path to divorce.
In reality, and outside of the courtroom, there are many different causes of divorce and separation. Each situation is totally unique, involving different personalities, lifestyles and backgrounds. In this blog post we’ll look at some of the most common reasons for divorce, and some statistics on divorce in the UK.
The majority of arguments happen because of communication breakdown, both in a marriage and during a separation. When couples are going through a divorce, improving communication can make a really big difference.
The skill of the mediator lies in facilitating positive communication, to move the parties forward and ensure a separation itself proceeds without harmful acrimony. When you are emotionally involved in a situation it may become difficult to see it from other perspectives. A mediator is capable of keeping both parties grounded by focussing on what can now be agreed, rather than on what can’t.
This just goes to show why family mediation is a legal requirement when you are considering divorce. Mediation can help both parties save time and money by getting to the route of the problem quickly and structuring an outcome that all parties are happy with.
Of course once an agreement has been settled upon it’s highly likely you may need to see or speak to your ex partner in the months or even years to come, particularly if shared parenting is involved. At Marcia Mediation we believe that after divorce care is an essential element in maintaining the positive outcome, and agreements between the two of you, as well as providing self care in your new life. Communication after divorce may be an aspect of after divorce care.
With this said, it comes as little surprise that lack of communication in marriage leads to divorce or separation in many instances. A survey conducted by Your Tango found the following lack of communication divorce statistics:
‘Communication problems’ is the most common factor that leads to divorce, at 65%.
This was followed by couples’ ‘inability to resolve issues’ at 43%.
Causes of communication breakdown in marriage involved:
‘Blame nagging/complaining’ was a complaint of 70% of men, followed by lack of sufficient appreciation from their spouse at 65%.
Lack of validation for feelings and opinions was number one with women at 83%, followed by 56% who said their spouse talks about himself too much.
Of this study, Your Tango CEO Andrea Miller stated:
“73 percent of experts say that mediation, instead of divorce litigation, facilitates a smoother end to the marriage…and having a prenup ranks last as the most common trait in an amicable divorce. Given how crucial communication is to a successful marriage, better to find a good therapist than a good lawyer!”
An affair can happen for many reasons. Many people feel an affair causes too much damage to fix, or it may be a sign that a relationship is coming to the end for both parties.
In a recent study by the American Psychological Association:
Infidelity was found to be the cause of for 20-40% of US divorces
That said, many marriages do recover from situations of infidelity, as it is entirely up to you and your partner how this situation should be dealt with.
Around 50% of partners who were unfaithful were still married. Men who were unfaithful were more likely to stay married than women who were unfaithful.
It’s normal to worry about money, and sometimes these worries can put a huge strain on a relationship causing one of both parties to feel the desire to move on. If money is particularly tight for a period of time it can cause a lot of stress for everyone in a household, even children may pick up on this stress.
People may have different solutions for financial woes, and this can cause further upsets. For instance, one person might want to tighten purse strings and the other might think that a credit card or loan is the answer. If one person has secret debts that come to the surface, this can cause major damage to a relationship.
Some people may be worried about ending a relationship for the challenge of settling financial responsibilities once they are separated. If financial issues have led you or your partner to realise that your relationship is coming to an end, a mediator is capable of discussing all the problems at hand and finding an ongoing solution which both of you can maintain.
The Office of National Statistics provides the information below on the more common age ranges for divorces in England and the rest of the UK, as well as the average lengths marriages tend to be.
42% of marriages currently end in divorce, although this number has begun to decline in recent years.
Opposite sex couples are most likely to divorce between the ages of 45 – 49, whereas same sex couples are more likely to be in the age range of 30 – 39
In later life, marriages become less likely to end in divorce. This doesn’t mean that older couples don’t divorce though, as all couples and families are different. In 2018 8,578 men aged 60 or above were divorced, as well as 5,736 women of the same age range.
It is estimated that 34% of marriages will end in divorce by the 20th wedding anniversary.
60% of marriages are expected to last until the 20th anniversary, with 6% of marriages expected to end by the 20th year of marriage due to the death of a spouse.
16% of marriages reach the 60th wedding anniversary, with the average duration of marriage expected to be 32 years.