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Is divorce a new phenomenon?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2020 | divorce

Have you ever asked yourself why divorce seems so common in the modern world? Have you ever wondered what relationships looked like historically?

After all, some experts have argued that divorce is, in the scope of human history, a very new idea. In fact, they even go so far as to suggest that strict marriage like we have today is new, and that the rise of divorce is because this is simply not how people lived for tens of thousands of years.

One expert claimed that most humans evolved as “serial monogamists.” By this, she means that they formed couples, stayed together for roughly four years, and then moved on to new relationships. This four-year mark was about when a child born to the couple had been weaned, and the mother would then raise it further while the father moved off to a new pairing.

If true, could this theory show why people get divorced today? Their ancestors never would have been married for this long at all. People often talk about the “seven-year itch.” By that point, most couples would have been together for nearly twice as long as their ancestors. Is that why they start thinking about forming a new couple and finding a new partner? Are they evolutionarily developed to start thinking about leaving a partnership, rather than staying married for decades on end? That type of long-term marriage is quite new and this may show why it does not work for many people.

If you find yourself heading toward a divorce, just make sure you know what legal steps to take.