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This is why lesbian couples are far more likely to divorce than gay men

Lily Wakefield January 10, 2020
lesbian divorce

Lesbian couples are far more likely to divorce, with three quarters of same-sex divorces between women. (Envato)

Lesbian couples are far more likely to get a divorce than gay men, accounting for around three quarters of divorces between same-sex couples in the UK.

The same trend was also seen in the Netherlands, the very first country to introduce same-sex marriage in 2001. In the last ten years, 15 per cent of marriages between two men failed, compared with 30 percent between two women.

Lisa Power, one of the co-founders of Stonewall, told The Economist that the number of lesbian couples getting divorced might have something to do with the tendency to move very fast and quickly invest in a relationship, otherwise known as U-hauling.

Power added: “We all used to move in with each other at the drop of a hat.”

Looking at statistics for opposite-sex couples could also provide an explanation, as overall women are much more likely to instigate divorce proceedings than men, with two thirds initiated by women in the last ten years.

Ayesha Vardag, president of divorce firm Vardags, also told The Economist that she believes this might be because women can be less tolerant of infidelity.

Vardag added that, whether gay or lesbian, straight or queer, the problems she sees that lead to divorce among her clients are the same.

She said: “It’s distress about adultery or domestic violence, not being listened to, the sense of one party slogging away and the other one taking it easy. All the same things crop up.”

However, it’s not all bad. In general, queer people are happier in their relationships compared to straight people, according to a 2017 study.

After questioning more than 25,000 people in the UK and over 9,000 in Australia, researchers found that gay and lesbian couples are better off. However, bisexual people suffered from worse relationships, on average, than straight or gay people.

While it has been widely reported that divorces among same-sex couples have increased year on year since the legalisation of marriage equality in the UK, the ONS explained that this only reflects the increase in the number of LGBT+ couples getting married.

The ONS told The Guardian: “Divorces among same-sex couples were first recorded in 2015 and annual increases have been seen each year since then, reflecting growth in the size of the same-sex married population in England and Wales.”

More: divorce, gay couples, lesbian couples, marriage, same sex couples, statistics

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