Abuse is the number one reason people decide to divorce, according to poll results from Gfk Roper
. The poll, commissioned by Divorce360.com
, showed that 36 percent of respondents said that they divorced over physical or verbal abuse
. Financial issues ran a distant second at 22 percent.
GFK Roper spoke to more than 1,500 people by telephone in September to discuss marriage and divorce issues with them. Slightly more than half of the respondents, 860, were women, and the rest were men. There is a margin or error of plus or minus 2.6 percent for the sample.
When looked at separately, men and women were divided on what they saw as the reasons for their divorces. Women overwhelmingly said they made the decision to divorce because of abuse issues with a response rate of 48 percent. But 23 percent of men said the reasons they divorced were based on money. Another 22 percent of men cited sex as the reason for the divorce.
In fact, sex as a reason for divorce was the most divergent response. It was high on the list for men, but very low on the list for women. Just 11 percent of women said sex was the reason they divorced. MORE FROM DIVORCE360.COM
Take our poll: Why Did You Divorce? Physical, Emotional Abuse Top Reasons for Divorce Women Use Divorce as Way to Improve their Lives
Christie Lawrence, who hosts Pathways Life Management Seminars
in Texas, said the divergence makes some sense because as women are feeling dissatisfaction with their relationships, they are less likely to want to have sex. Men might see the lack of sex as the problem, but it is likely something more complicated, Lawrence said.
There is conflict and confusion between men and women regarding the definition of intimacy, she said. The seminars Lawrence runs are intended to help couples with conflict resolution.
Divorce because another person entered a respondent’s life was the reason 20 percent of men divorced and 16 percent of women.
Men and women were generally in agreement about the four issues that fell at the bottom of the scale. Disagreements about how to raise children ended marriages for 13 percent of the full group. About 12 percent of the people who responded said they left their marriages because they were bored. The decision of whether to have children ended 6 percent of the marriages, and religion was a reason for divorce for 4 percent.Michele Bush Kimball has a Ph.D. in mass communication with a specialization in media law. She has spent almost 15 years in journalism. She recently won a national research award for her work.