Some people might assume that couples in Minnesota and around the country divorce for reasons such as infidelity or substance abuse, but a study that appeared in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy suggests that this is not the case. More than 2,300 people participated in the study, which found that reasons related to emotional fulfillment were the main ones.

The main reason cited was a lack of love in the marriage. Nearly half of all respondents said that this led to their divorce. In second place was poor communication, with 44% of people reporting that this contributed to the marriage’s breakdown. One respondent said her husband simply didn’t talk. In third place was the inability to build trust. A lack of respect was also a significant factor, and according to some psychologists, couples need respect even more than they need love for a marriage to last. In fourth place was a sense of growing apart. Some couples find over time that their long-term goals and lifestyles do not mesh.

Overall, researchers noted that the reasons suggested a trend away from couples divorcing because of violence or other behaviors and toward doing so for more emotional and psychological reasons. The authors of the study pointed out that this also implied a shift in the meaning of marriage and the values associated with it.

When couples do decide to divorce for any reason, they must divide their property and work out a plan for child custody if they are parents. This may be less difficult if they have maintained their respect and trust for one another, and they might be able to negotiate an agreement. If there is mistrust and disrespect, one person might suspect the other of lying, hiding assets or taking other actions to make negotiations difficult, and litigation may be necessary.