By Bae Ji-sook
There may be many factors driving couples to a divorce, but what makes them run out of patience the quickest?
According to the Korea Wedding Culture Research Center, infidelity drives people to court about 7-8 years after they get married on average, while conflicts within the family and financial difficulties ended marriages after 3.7 years and 5.9 years, respectively.
The institute surveyed 2,212 divorced people willing to find new partners and found family conflict brought divorce quicker than drug addiction (6.6 years) or physical illness (5.3 years).
Many couples endure infidelity or irreconcilable differences (6.2 years) longer than external factors such as conflict with family members or financial difficulties.
``We figured it's because before marriage, the families do not combine and all that matters is the couple's relationship. But after getting married, it's all about combining two lives into one, including accepting families and financial liabilities,'' Lee Woong-jin, the head of the institute, said. Many people start to build relationships with their spouses' families after marriage, which produces more stress, and takes time and effort, she added, admitting that drug addiction or physical illness could be hidden from the spouse longer than personality.
Regarding infidelity, a majority of those surveyed said they couldn't find sexual chemistry after 3-4 years of marriage and got divorced, providing a Korean three-year-itch to match the western seven-year-itch. Lee said many people, however, tend to try to sustain their marriage and remain faithful.