Infidelity no longer the main cause for divorce in UK

Bianca Ffolkes
Yahoo Lifestyle

Filing for divorce under the terms of infidelity is no longer the leading reason for marital breakups in the UK, new research has found.

According to a study by accountancy firm Grant Thornton, who release an annual survey on divorce in the UK, ‘growing apart’ is now the most common reason cited for cause of divorce.

The lack of emotional chemistry - or ‘falling out of love’ with their partner -  has surpassed cheating as the leading cause of divorce in the country.

Since the survey began in 2003, infidelity was the number one cause of divorce, with 25% of cases citing that as the main reason for splitting up. In the most recent survey,  27% of respondents said 'falling out of love' was the primary cause of marriage breakdown, according to divorce lawyers.

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Other common reasons for divorcing were: unreasonable behaviour (17%), mid-life crisis (10%) and money (5%).

The survey has lead to speculation there is a shift in attitude towards how British couples perceive divorce.

One influencing factor is celebrity relationships that have survived infidelity, suggesting that spouses are reacting less aggressively to cheating than in previous years.

Louisa Plumb, Associate Director at Grant Thornton, told the Guardian: "The movement in the reasons for divorce is interesting and certainly difficult to explain. We are seeing an increasing number of 'celebrities' putting up with alleged affairs in their marriage or relationship – with Abbey Clancy staying with Peter Crouch, and Cheryl Cole looking set to go back to Ashley.

"It may be that this is starting to have an effect on the behaviour of couples affected by extramarital affairs, with more marriages than before surviving a bout of infidelity."

While some think the change in the grounds for divorce relate to celebrities Christine Northam, a counsellor from the relationships charity Relate, dismisses this idea.
She thought the change "reflected a slight shift in people's expectations of relationships".

Christine said: "While in the past an affair would have been the signal that all was not right in a relationship, now that is not necessarily the case. People are not necessarily having those affairs before they decide the spark has gone out of their relationship."

Do you think Brits now look less critically on cheating? Or are more of us simply falling out of love with our partners?

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