After decades of tireless advocacy, same-sex marriages became legal across the United States in 2015. As a result, people began asking what percentage of gay marriages end in divorce. The answer to this question is not easy to pin down because we don’t have a lot of data on gay couples. However, we do know that the overall rate of divorce in a first marriage is about 2%. It is also more likely for couples who get married in their twenties and thirties to dissolve their marriage than those who marry at an older age.
It may seem counterintuitive that gay couples are more likely to divorce than heterosexuals, but this is the trend we have seen with other studies on same-sex marriages. We don’t know for certain what the cause is, but many of the same issues that impact heterosexual marriages are affecting LGBTQ couples as well. These include infidelity, financial stress, and unsupportive family members.
In addition, same-sex couples often have a different life trajectory than their heterosexual counterparts, and this can have a direct impact on the longevity of their relationships. For example, same-sex couples who are rushed into marriage by the rush of legalization are usually younger and have higher expectations than those who wait until later in their lives to tie the knot.
As a result, they can be more vulnerable to problems that arise in later years, such as infidelity or disagreements about parenting and property rights. Some experts believe that women are a key factor, as they tend to have a lower tolerance for infidelity than men do.