On-again, off-again: Boomerang break-ups become the norm

19 January 2016

  • A quarter (28%) of UK divorcees considered getting back with their ex’s
  • Of these, two fifths (43%) gave their marriage another go

Yo-yo relationships are becoming a national norm as over a quarter (28%) of the UK’s divorcees revealed they considered getting back with their ex-spouses, according to new research published today.*

The research, which was commissioned among divorcees on behalf of Co-op Legal Services found that two fifths (43%) of those divorced adults who contemplated getting back with their ex’s went on to make another go of things with the most common reasons for doing so as follows:

Top 5 reasons divorced couples got back together include:

  1. Three quarters (73%) overcame adultery in their relationship
  2. Two fifths (40%) said they still loved each other
  3. A third (29%) did so for the sake of their children
  4. Almost a fifth (16%) said they missed their ex
  5. Almost a fifth (15%) said it was due to financial reasons

Sam Hickman, Head of Family Law at Co-op Legal Services said:

“Our research highlights that divorced adults find feeling lonely difficult to cope with. It’s really important that where couples choose to reconcile and get back together that they think carefully about their reasons for doing so and are absolutely sure that this is what they want.
“Studies show that divorce is hard enough on children and it’s even harder when children are put through the prospect of their parents separating more than once.”

The study also highlights aspects of life which UK divorcees find most difficult to overcome after a split with financial matters topping the list (12%), followed by juggling childcare and household tasks (11%) and losing contact with family and mutual friends (11%).


Further aspects of life UK divorced adults find difficult are as follows:

  • Supporting children through family changes (11%)
  • Feeling lonely (9%)
  • Getting their confidence back (8%)
  • Having to move home (8%)

Christine Webber, psychotherapist and author of 12 self-help books says:

“I’m heartened by this study and how it shows that so many divorced couples attempt to get back together. It’s clear from Co-op Legal’s research that the main reason for this is forgiving infidelity.

“In my consulting room, I frequently see adults who are contemplating re-connecting with their partners. Clearly, after time to think, many people recognise that shared history and mutual love of their children and each other, can outweigh past mistakes.

“This is good news. If couples can stay together and provide emotional as well as financial security for their children as they grow up, this is often the best option all round.”

*Research was conducted in December 2015 among 500 UK divorcees with Atomik research on behalf of Co-op Legal Services.

For further information please contact:

Emily Dalton: Emily.dalton@co-operative.coop / 07738621201
Lauren Hoult: lauren.hoult@co-operative.coop / 07702 505 626

Or visit www.co-oplegalservices.co.uk/media-centre/news-jan-apr-2015/boomerang-break-ups-become-the-norm/