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Iceni Magazine | June 11, 2021

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How have relationships changed over the years?

How have relationships changed

According to the ONS statistics, divorces among heterosexual couples rose by 18.4% in the past year, with almost 50% marriages ending in divorce. 

Not only that, but the divorce rate is also increasing. Statistics by Europa suggest that since 1964, marriages have almost halved, yet divorces have almost doubled. 

So it’s clear that marriages have changed over the years.  

But what exactly is the driving factor behind the number of marriages ending in separation?  

There are several reasons as to why relationships break down. Often, small niggles that may have cast doubts early on are exacerbated over a long period of time. Broadly speaking, reasons for divorce can be broadly categorized into the following reasons.   

Communication Problems  

The crux of any relationship is communication, so without this it’s not good news. Whilst most couples have disagreements over things like money and childcare, those who can communicate affectively are more likely to stay together. If partners can’t communicate effectively, resentment can set in which can lead to the end of a marriage.  


Pretty self-explanatory by nature, an affair comes as a betrayal of trust. While you can move past infidelity, many partners choose to cut ties instead.  

Growing apart  

Sometimes, there is no big argument. Rather, it’s just that the couple have grown apart and would rather go their separate ways.  

Domestic violence 

Domestic abuse is a serious issue affecting many couples, with an estimated 2.3 million adults affected in the last year. Domestic violence may lead to a partner feeling helpless and withdrawn, so it’s no surprise that domestic abuse often leads to divorce.   

Financial issues  

Finally, financial issues can easily trigger a marriage breakdown. Whether you can’t agree as to how to save money, how much is being spent or why you’re accumulating debt – arguing about money doesn’t do relationships any favours.  

Add into the mix a global pandemic with unemployment rates rising to around 5.5%, it’s no wonder we’re experiencing an increase in divorce rates.   

Why is the pandemic causing spikes?  

The stresses of living through a global pandemic in close proximity have caused many married couples to rethink their vows, according to new research from law firm, Simpson Millar.  

Recent research from Simpson Millar found that throughout the lockdown there was an increased interest in divorce solicitors with interest peaking 8th-14th November (at the start of the second lockdown), and again during 3-9th January 2021. 

The last 12 months have been undeniably challenging, with many couples feeling the pressures of home working, childcare, home-schooling and in some instances a reduced income too.  So it’s no real surprise that such an intense period is leading to more separations and divorces.   

It’s clear that relationships have changed over the years. Since the 1960s, we’ve seen marriage rates fall by half, and divorce rates double. However, this isn’t inherently a bad thing. With more women choosing to file for divorce and an increased number of couples cohabiting, it’s clear the landscape is changing. Perhaps individuals want more from their marriage and aren’t afraid to leave the safety of a relationship if something doesn’t seem quite right. However, only time will tell. 


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