Reasons why divorce rate is low in Poland
First of all a divorce procedure in Poland is quite complex - the court often decide that for the sake of the children a couple should seek the marriage counseling first - it is almost always a case during a first hearing. Only when court decide (after several hearings, in many cases witnesses need to be presented) that nothing can save marriage anymore - the divorce is finalized. It usually lasts couple of months or years after filing for a divorce. The longest and the most bitter are divorce procedures when both sides cannot agree who should be blamed for a divorce and who should keep the children. It is a bit easier to go through separation process than a divorce. Separation is also tolerated by a Catholic Church.
Poland is a very catholic country, more than 90% of people declare that they are religious. Majority of Poles are Roman Catholics. In Roman Catholic Church divorce is almost impossible, but separation is tolerated. People who live only in a civil union (after a divorce) are unable to participate in sacraments. This is also a reason that divorce in Poland, although accepted, is not approved by a society.
The divorce is also often difficult because of the living conditions. It is very difficult to rent another apartment or split one bedroom apartment. So, sometimes people after divorce have to live together in the same place - which is quite impossible to bear in long run.
Many people are also afraid of a divorce because it is not easy, especially for women after 30 or 40, to find anybody else afterwards. All the good guys are already taken!
Marriage is treated by majority of Poles quite serious. Las Vegas type of marriage is very rare among Poles. In order to get marriage a couple needs to take a pre-marital course (especially in a church) - it is also uneasy to file for a divorce.
What are the most important arguments for getting a divorce? Why do Poles divorce ? Besides the typical ones - like difference in character, lifestyle, sex habits etc.
The typical Polish problem is again - living conditions. It happens sometimes that a young couple has to live separately - a husband with his parents and a wife with her parents. This causes that they start leading separate lives. Sometimes a couple decides to share a small apartment with parents of one and in-laws of the other. This can cause even more problems.
Long-distance relationship. A difficult economical situation in 80-es prompted usually men to go temporarily abroad to look for a better job which pays in hard currency. Poles lived in some kind of ghettos, they drunk to much or they lifestyle changed so much - that they are unable to go back to their married life in Poland. Some of them start living with another women. Some immigrants - men and women - were desperately looking for a companionship and they started living in so called "fictional marriages" with another immigrant.
Some men (often young) had to leave Poland after martial law in 1982. Because of their political status could not keep in touch with their family. Sometimes women after years of trying to find a lost husband - after her husband was pronounced dead were able to get married again. When the lost husband finally came back - his family was already bound to another man.
Alcoholism. By many a problem of alcoholism in Poland (as well as in another Eastern and Northern Europe countries where strong alcohol, like vodka dominate) is seen as a problem number one which leads to a dissolution of Polish families. It is also seen as a main reason of high mortality rate among men in age 40-60. One of the main reasons, besides smoking, of an unhealthy lifestyle of Polish men - so that the average length of life among men is almost 10 years shorter than among women. The average longevity for a man in Poland is just 67 years.