Survey finds emotional reasons for divorce

The main reasons some people in Tennessee get a divorce might differ from reasons for divorce in previous decades. A study that appeared in the "Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy" suggests that ideas about marriage and grounds for divorce may have shifted.

The study surveyed more than 2,300 people who were straight and recently divorced. More than one-quarter said the divorce was high-conflict compared to 40% who said their divorce was low or very low in conflict. Whatever the divorce itself was like, the top reason cited for a marriage ending had to do with too little intimacy or love. Almost half of all respondents selected this as a reason. Nearly as common was communication problems, cited by 44%. The third most common was a lack of respect or trust while the fourth most common was simply growing apart.

Researchers noted that the reasons were based in emotional fulfillment and theorized that such reasons as violence and addiction had become less common reasons for divorce. The reasons for the divorce also suggest the kinds of values that are important to people in a marriage and seem to indicate that when people feel unfulfilled emotionally, they will leave the marriage.

Whatever the reason for the divorce or the amount of conflict, divorce is rarely an easy process for either person. The couple must decide how they will divide their property and which one of them their children will live with. Child custody can be a particularly fraught issue, but parents may need to separate their emotions from what their children need. Family courts usually take the position that it is in the best interests of the child to have a relationship with both parents as long as the child is safe. Judges may also disapprove of a parent who seems uncooperative with the other parent.

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