Divorce rates have been constantly on the rise over the past decade. In India alone, over 7,000 divorce cases are filed at the family court. This number was 60 per cent more than the cases filed in 2005. 70 per cent of the cases were filed by couples within 25-35 age groups while 85 % of the cases were filed in the first three years of marriage. According to research carried out by matrimonial lawyers worldwide, the main causes of divorce were; Adultery, Extramarital sex; Infidelity – 27%, Domestic violence – 17%, Midlife crisis – 13%, Addictions, e.g. alcoholism and gambling – 6% and Work holism – 6%. However, these are just the main reasons.
According to the survey conducted in several divorce cases, 75% of the cases involved husbands who had engaged in extramarital interactions; wives had affairs in 25% of the total cases. In cases where family strain played a role, the women’s’ interfered in 78% of the cases while the husband’s family interfered in only 22% of the cases. Emotional and physical abuse affected wives in 60% of the divorce cases while husbands were affected in only 40% of cases. In work holism-related divorces, husbands were mostly affected with 70% of the time being their fault. The 2009 survey established that 93% of the total divorce cases were petitioned by the women and of the 93%, remarkably few were contested. 53% of divorces analyzed were of marriages that had lasted between10 to 15 years. The survey also determined that 40% of marriages end after 5 to 10 years. However, the first 5 years of marriage are reasonably divorce-free as the couple is still in its honeymoon period. The survey went further to establish that if a marriage lasts more than 20 years, the chances of divorce are exceedingly slim (Holman and Loveless 34).
There are some minor reasons that are often overlooked yet they play a key role in causing divorce. These are;
1) Greater societal acceptance
Divorce in the civilized society we live in today has become a norm that has been gradually accepted by society. Unlike in previous years, divorced women are welcomed back home and accepted. This is because; people have started to realize that life can continue after marriage ends with or without a husband.
2) The anonymity of large cities
In the past, divorcees were faced by hostility by the society who believed divorce was evil. However, since in large cities people do not focus on other people’s issues, divorced people successfully evade the judgment the society would accord them.
3) Financial freedom
Nowadays, both men and women are able to work and compete in the job market. This financial freedom gives abused partners the confidence to walk out from abusive marriages. Unlike in the past, women were forced to put up with violent husbands for fear of being left without a source of income.
4) The sanctity of marriage has changed
In earlier days, marriage was considered extremely sacred and people respected this institution. However, all this has changed. People have changed their attitudes towards marriage, and as a result, they do not work hard to sustain it as before.
5) More DINKS couples
This means (double income no kids) spouses who are both working and have no children. This makes it easy for them to break and go their separate ways as nothing is tying them to one another. In earlier days, parents would try to work through the marriage for fear that the divorce would affect the children negatively. This is hardly the case anymore.
6) Stress of modern life
Today’s working environment puts strain on marriage drastically. There is tremendous pressure on employees to perform making most of them work late and for 6 days a week. Some bosses also interfere with marriage when they frustrate their workers and getting them stressed up. Thus, when the spouse returns home, they do not give their partners the attention and love they need. This puts a strain in the marriage (Worell 52).
Nuclear family today has been exposed to long hours apart from each other. This happens especially when one spouse works away from home. This results in loneliness that can push either spouse into infidelity and eventually divorce.
8) Change in gender roles
This applies in a situation where the wife is working, resulting in a change in the gender roles. Conflicts are likely to arise when the two spouses cannot agree on how best to share the work load at home. Tension arises between the two and eventually they may divorce (Lamb 64).
9) Professional rivalry
Men are usually not comfortable with strong and independent women in their lives. Irrespective of, how educated and civilized a man is many find it difficult to cope with a high powered career woman who probably earns more than they do. This can result in, conflict and tension in the marriage.
10) Lack of compatibility
In the last two years, couples have blamed their marriage troubles on lack of compatibility. Compatibility has been named in divorce cases severally. Most couples nowadays complain of attitudinal problems as their reason for divorce (Riedmanne and Lamanna 87).
Research has shown that people who take time before getting married have more stable marriages than those who get married early. This is because; taking ones time before marriage helps individuals to choose the spouse they are most compatible with.
Money is one of the most sensitive issues in marriage. In fact, money causes most couples a lot of headache and heartache. The other top reasons for divorce: Infidelity, Poor communication, Change in priorities, This can be caused by having kids or due to one’s job, big things, Lack of commitment to the marriage, Sexual problems. Other reasons that come up frequently, but not as frequently are Addictions, Failed expectations of your spouse and Physical, emotional or sexual abuse (Schacht and Knox 76).
Divorce has over the years become an acceptable part of life. Before, it was considered respectful for women to remain married to their husbands. Women had no choice but to remain with their husbands especially for the sake of the children. However, women today have discovered a way out of unhappy marriages. Women can now work and support themselves plus the children comfortably. Therefore, divorce has helped to set women free to pursue their paths separately from their husbands. In addition to this, divorce has given people another chance at being happy with the people they love rather than remain in a loveless marriage.