You’ve heard the statistic that about 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. It’s usually due to infidelity, growing apart, or financial stress—but not always. Here are 5 surprising issues linked to divorce.
Your commute is too long
Maybe there’s too much stress when you’re stuck in traffic. Or maybe you miss quality time together while stuck on the road. Whatever the reason, when your commute to work is 45 minutes or more each way, you’re more likely to divorce, finds a 2013 Swedish study published in the journal Urban Studies. The study tracked millions of Swedes over a 10-year period and found that 14 percent of the couples in which one or both partners had a long commute split up, as opposed to 10 percent of the couples who worked closer to home.
All your friends are doing it
There’s that moment when all your pals are getting married or having kids, and you start to think you should, too. Turns out the same thing happens with divorce, according to a study published in Social Forces. The phenomenon grows the closer you are to it: Study participants were 75 percent more likely to divorce if a close friend or family member divorced, and 33 percent more likely to split if a friend of a friend called it quits. But the power of influence can be positive, too: The study also suggests that helping a friend improve a rocky marriage may actually improve your own.
Your wife is a busy doctor
The prevailing wisdom from older studies said the demands of working as a physician increased your likelihood of getting divorced. It turns out the opposite is true—sort of: A recent analysis of census data in the BMJ (British medical journal) found that physicians actually had a lower rate of divorce than dentists, health care executives, nurses, and lawyers. But there’s a caveat: Female physicians who worked more than 40 hours per week actually had a higher rate of divorce. The opposite was true for men: When a male doctor worked more than 40 hours per week, his divorce rate dropped.
You share housework equally
In a Norwegian study, couples who split chores 50-50 actually had a higher rate of divorce. The study author suggests that these couples create a business-like partnership that leads to unhappiness rather than a relationship filled with generosity, intimacy, and spontaneity.
Your wife drinks more than you
While heavy drinking and addiction is associated with higher rates of divorce in general, the numbers spike if the wife drinks significantly more than her husband, finds a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. The study looked at alcohol consumption and rates of divorce in nearly 20,000 couples. Couples who didn’t drink or drank the same amount had a lower rate of divorce. And while the rate of divorce went up when a man drank more than his wife, it actually tripled when a woman imbibed more excessively than her husband.