Why lesbian divorces are more likely to happen
With the growing acceptability of same-sex marriages, we have to accept same-sex divorces as well– and that lesbian divorces are more likely to occur.
For example, a study in the UK noted that lesbian couples are more likely to get a divorce as compared to gay couples.
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, which was the first country to introduce same-sex marriage in 2001, 30 percent of lesbian marriages failed as compared to 15 percent of gay marriages.
Reasons for more lesbian divorces
In an interview with The Economist, Lisa Power, one of the co-founders of Stonewall, said the greater number of lesbian couples getting divorced is related to the concept of U-hauling.
This is the tendency of lesbian couples to move fast and invest quicker in a relationship. She said: “We all used to move in with each other at the drop of a hat.”
Meanwhile, Ayesha Vardag, president of divorce firm Vardags, told The Economist that this might be because women can be less tolerant of infidelity.
“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,” Vardag said.
However, Vardag added that the problems leading to divorce are the same whether gay, lesbian, queer or straight.
Happier queer people in relations
While this may be depressing for us lesbians, a 2017 study in the UK and Australia did find that LGBTQ people are happier in their relationships as compared to their straight counterparts.
What’s more, a comparison of heterosexual divorces have women in straight marriages more likely to instigate divorce proceedings as compared to men in straight marriages.
Lesbians are also more likely to have been married before with about 18 percent of women who formed civil partnerships were divorcees while 10 percent were men.
If age is accounted for, second marriages are more likely to fail vis-a-vis first marriages.
A resource for lesbian divorces
Fortunately, we now have resources look into lesbian divorces like the book, LGBTQ Divorce and Relationship Dissolution: Psychological and Legal Perspectives and Implications for Practice.
Published by Oxford University Press, this book was co-edited by Adam Romero of the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, and Abbie Goldberg, professor of psychology at Clark University.
Romero noted that: “LGBTQ people going through a divorce are now largely treated like anyone divorcing. Yet, there are number of issues in divorce that are unique to LGBTQ people.”
He noted that “because divorce law was developed with different-sex couples in mind, LGBTQ people who have arranged their relationships differently could find that their expectations are incompatible with the law’s commands.”
He also pointed out that “many long-term couples who are now divorcing– together for 20, 30 or 40 years– are treated as only being together for the few years they were actually married.”