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Study finds emotional reasons key to divorce decisions

A study that appeared in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy suggests that the main reasons for divorce could be shifting away from issues such as infidelity or violence and toward a lack of emotional fulfillment. Texas couples may be more likely to end their marriages because they no longer love or trust their spouses than in previous generations.

According to the study, which surveyed more than 2,300 people who were recently divorced, a lack of love was the number one reason given. In second place was an issue that is already well-documented as a reason, a lack of communication. In third place, people said there was no more trust in their marriage or that they no longer respected their partner. Some studies indicate that respect is even more crucial to a successful marriage than love. Finally, in fourth place, people said their divorce happened because they had grown apart over the years.

On average, participants were 45 years old. Slightly more had initiated the divorce compared to those who said their ex-spouses had, at 44% to 40%. The remainder said the decision had been a mutual one. More participants described their divorce as involving little or no conflict, at 40%, than the 29% who said they experienced a high-conflict divorce.

In amicable divorces, couples may decide to try to avoid litigation and work out a plan for property division and child custody through negotiation instead. However, couples who are experiencing a high-conflict separation should not assume that they will end up in court. The purpose of mediation is to work through conflict and find a resolution that will satisfy both parties. This means that even couples who are angry or resentful might be able to process those emotions and reach a divorce agreement in a less-adversarial setting.

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