Reasons for Divorce Have Changed—Some Absurd Historical Examples

couple on verge of divorce or breakup

If you’ve ever watched a dramatic show or caught up on celebrity gossip, you’re likely familiar with some of the modern grounds for divorce: fraud, issues with consent, and` the catch-all “irreconcilable differences”. However, a popular listicle show on YouTube recently published a list of “The Most Unexpected Grounds for Divorce” showing that it hasn’t always been quite so predictable. Here are some highlights.

Step Aside Monday, This is a Job for Coffee

Coffee is a multi-million dollar industry and source of endless memes in modern America. In ancient Turkey, it was also acceptable justification for divorce. In 16th century Constantinople, coffee houses were central to all aspects of daily life as was coffee itself. So much so that wives were legally allowed to leave their husbands if said husbands were unable to provide them with sufficient coffee.

Be Nice to my Mommy

This peculiar reason for ending a marriage originates a little closer to home. An old law in Wichita, KS allowed mistreatment of your mother-in-law as grounds for divorce. This is probably not honestly as weird as it sounds since in-laws are still a common reason for strain in marriages these days, though their treatment is no longer specifically cited as the reason for the divorce.

Keep that Floss Handy

Talmud researchers at Tel Aviv University studying the ancient Jewish text published some interesting discoveries on justifications for divorce. These include a variety of previously withheld “disabilities”, and it was clear to the researchers that people of the time saw halitosis as one of the more severe offenses. Bad breath was grounds for divorce for both men and women. Fortunately, our understanding of causes and prevention of this affliction has greatly improved.

Modern Divorce: Times Have Changed

Today we have less petty reasons for divorce, and some modern circumstances are even quite serious. However, the problems listed above now usually have simple solutions ranging from making less expensive coffee at home to counseling to a visit to the dentist. We live in a time and place where you don’t have to get married, and get to choose your partner. Also, a little respect goes a long way to resolving these once relationship-ending issues.

Hobson / Oram Law

Hobson Oram Law