Often a single statistic cannot represent a story or issue effectively. It is only through further research and the sourcing of supportive material that a trend or theory can be developed. A relevant case in point is the rising levels of divorce within the US, which currently see 4 in 10 marriages end through a court process. While this statistic is informative and interesting, as a single entity it cannot expand the on causes or issues that have created this circumstance. However, by delving a little deeper into conducted research, it is possible to create a more balanced assessment of increasing divorce rates and their triggers. For example, research conducted into the reasons behind divorce throughout the last 12 months revealed that a majority of couples had developed issues regarding their future planning and long term aspirations and expectations. This had incurred conflict and disharmony, which in turn had led to separation and ultimately divorce. Conflict and Aspiration Differences in relationship expectations and each individual’s aspirations in life are often a primary cause of divorce. While it may not be the cited as the main reason in a relationship breakdown, it is often the trigger for acts such as physical or emotional infidelity. This is because the realization within a couple that they are completely incompatible and without a single purpose can breed resentment and apathy between individual partners, and leave them seeking an outlet for love and affection. In many ways, whatever conduct and behaviour is encountered during the decline of a relationship, a long term incompatibility is the most debilitating to a couples union. Where individuals that are joined in matrimony find themselves at odds over their future ambitions, there is often no compromise that can be made without leaving one or both of the individuals dissatisfied. This type of conflict is therefore the most difficult to resolve, as couples who cannot compromise with each other are unable to get their relationship back onto some form of common ground. Quick Marriages and Short Term Courtship To many, it would seem strange that a couple who have entered into a marital union should have issues with their compatibility and future expectations. However, investigation has shown that the average length of time that a US couple spends in a relationship prior to marriage is just 14 months. This is less than half the period of time that British and European couples spend during courtship, and also substantially less than couples based in Canada and Australasia. This short time span is restrictive, and not conducive for developing a compatible union. It is certainly a worrying statistic, and the impatience displayed by couples who marry too quickly is indicative of the online age. Modern culture is driven by the World Wide Web, where consumers can source information and purchase a range of products and services within a matter of moments. This has developed certain expectations of speed of service, and an understanding that a successful relationship can be formed, evolved and enjoyed in the same manner of swift efficiency. Of course, this is a misjudged notion, and an influential factor in why many couples find themselves tied to incompatible relationships and marital unions. A Cycle of Discontent These elements form a destructive cycle, starting with a brief and inadequate courtship, before developing into a rushed and ultimately incompatible marriage. Divorce follows as an inevitable consequence, ending a chain of events that can unfold within a mere handful of years. The formative part of this process is a significant factor in explaining that only an estimated 20 percent of married people living within the US are happy, as more and more couple’s battle with compatibility issues and problems with expectations between the pair. The most distressing aspects of these statistics are that they show a complete lack of understanding to the fact that marriage is designed to be a life time commitment, and this generational misconception is likely to be repeated and passed on to impressionable and affected children.