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Abuse is the most common reason for divorce, survey reports

There are countless reasons that an Atlanta couple might decide to end their marriage. Because every relationship, marriage, and family is different, it is likely impossible to boil those reasons down to simple explanations that can be placed in neat categories. But a recent survey has attempted to do just that, and has concluded that domestic abuse is the most common reason that both men and women decide to file for divorce.

According to the survey, which was conducted by GFK Roper and, approximately 36 percent of Americans decided to file for divorce because of domestic abuse, both physical and verbal. For women alone, that number increased to 48 percent.

The researchers behind the survey were not able to conclusively determine why women were more likely to cite domestic abuse as a reason for divorce, but one large reason is likely that women are statistically more common to be victims of abuse. In addition, researchers said, women were less likely than men to cite sexual issues as a reason for divorce because women are less likely to want sexual contact with their partner when there is abuse in their relationship.

Other than abuse, common reasons for divorce included disagreements on how to raise children (13 percent), boredom (12 percent), differing feelings on whether to have children (6 percent), and religion (4 percent).

Domestic violence, however, appears to sit at the forefront. According to the CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which took more than 215,000 domestic violence calls in 2010, abuse has many forms. These range from patterns of control and fear, emotional abuse, financial control, threats and intimidation, and physical and sexual violence. If you are experiencing any of these in your marriage or relationship, please consider getting help.

Source:, “What makes people decide to leave? Survey reports the reasons we divorce,” Michele Kimball, Sept. 22, 2011