A survey of 2000 men and women in Britain reveals that the British divorce rate could be much higher than it is, if wives were assured of future economic security. That’s how 59% of the women surveyed responded to the question “Would you divorce your spouse?”
While statistics are highly manoeuvrable, the consensus among government agencies that track the data is that in Great Britain the divorce rate for first marriages is 40%, while second marriages and third marriages have a 60% and 75% rate of failure.
The United States divorce rates are similar although 50% of first marriages are likely to fail, while 67% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end in divorce. Canadian statistics fall somewhere between the United Kingdom and the United States.
So, why are the unhappy British wives staying in their marriages? The survey showed the following:
12% stayed to have an “easy life”
30% stayed to avoid a major upheaval in their lives
37% stayed for the children
42% stayed so they would not lose their homes
33% stayed because they feared if they left they would get nothing
25% stayed because of the cost of legal fees in a divorce
Additional data indicated that 30% of men stay in a “loveless” marriage because they fear losing contact with their children. Were the survey participants open to marriage counselling? Yes, 50% would welcome marital therapy while 20% said they wouldn’t bother.
Surprisingly, 60% of the participants were unaware of mediation as an alternative to a court battle to resolve issues arising from marriage breakdown.
I often remind clients who are weighing the pros and cons of divorce to consider that marriage requires hard work and it doesn’t get any easier the second time around. Like author and marriage therapist Lori Gordon PhD says “Love is a feeling, marriage is a contract and relationships are work.”
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang