From conveniently forgetting to take out the rubbish to disappearing when the washing up needs to be done, a household is a ripe setting from bringing out your partner’s most irritating habits.
Law firm JMW Solicitors, which deals with just over 300 divorces each year, has revealed that one in ten cases are linked to a partner’s habits.
Such irritants included patronising attitudes, treating a spouse like a child and becoming lax with personal hygiene, The Telegraph reported.
Other cases involved complainants accusing their partner of prioritising a pet’s needs over their own.
But the firm believes that partners are often put off from citing their spouse’s difficult behaviour – including pornography use or gambling – when launching divorce proceedings for fear that doing so would make it unnecessarily messy.
If such statistics are used alongside the national average, around 13,000 marriages could be saved by changing behaviour, according to calculations by The Telegraph using data from the Office for National Statistics.
Reasons for divorce according to JMW Solicitors:
• Using pornography
• Alcohol use
Gianna Lisiecki-Cunane, a senior associate at JMW, said she was “surprised” to find how many divorces were linked to a “bad habit”, and said that the internet may have a part to play.
“Access to the internet is so available that people can bet, watch porn or shop in what they believe is relative secrecy compared to only a decade or so ago.
“Even though that unreasonable behaviour might have been the main factor for the break-up, it rarely emerges at the start of a divorce.
“Sometimes, that’s because a spouse is ashamed to say what their husband or wife might have got up to.”
The law firm’s data is backed by figures from the Office for National Stastistics (ONS) which showed that 65 per cent of divorces in 2012 were granted on the basis of wives citing unreasonable behaviour.
ONS figures also show that divorce on the grounds of adultery by both genders has been in decline since the late 1980s. However, 10 per cent more husbands were granted divorces in 2012 because of their wives’ poor conduct than had been at the turn of the century.
Ms Lisiecki-Cunane said that, in those cases handled by JMW, aggrieved husbands were more likely to claim that their wives had an unhealthy appetite for alcohol.
Meanwhile, she said, the complaints levelled at husbands were more varied and included gambling.