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Research finds emotional, psychological reasons for divorce

Virginia couples who are considering ending their marriages may be doing it because they are not emotionally fulfilled. According to a survey of 2,371 divorced people, psychological and emotional reasons may have replaced reasons such as addiction or violence as the main causes.

The study, which appeared in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, found that 47% of people surveyed said they divorced because there was no love in their marriage any longer. The second most popular reason for divorce was poor communication at 44%. This was unsurprising since this is a well-researched area of marital discord. One woman's comment was that her husband did not talk to her. In third place, people said their marriage failed because they did not trust or respect their partner. Some marriages suffered a break in trust that one or both spouses felt could not be repaired. In fourth place, people said they had grown apart. They could no longer maintain a marriage in which they did not share the same values.

Only 16% of the participants said their decision to divorce was a mutual one while 40% said their spouses initiated it and 44% said they had. Fewer divorces were high-conflict, at 29%, compared to the 40% who said their divorce had no or low conflict.

When a divorce is high-conflict, people may feel that they have no choice but to go to court to decide on property division and child custody. However, it might still be possible to negotiate an agreement with the help of their respective attorneys and without turning to litigation. Parents who are concerned about conflict after the divorce can include provisions in their agreement to help mitigate that conflict. For example, there are software tools that can help parents discuss custody issues without being face to face.

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