In days gone by, divorce was something that people contemplated only when their spouse’s behavior became impossible to handle. Most of the time, the reasons for divorce were somewhat pragmatic: A spouse was unfaithful, gambled, drank or was abusive and living with them was intolerable. For the most part, as long as both halves of a couple did their jobs, avoided major vices and stayed reasonably civil toward each other, they could pretty much count on remaining married.

Times change, however. These days, couples are apt to seek a divorce for reasons that are largely emotional or deeply personal. A recently published study took a look at the reasons recently divorced people gave for their split. The number one reason, chosen by 47% of respondents, was that they simply fell out of love.

Even the next most commonly cited reasons spoke to emotional issues rather than practical or financial ones. Communication problems were second on the list, with a lack of sympathy, trust or respect being third. The fourth most common reason was that a couple grew apart, meaning they developed different goals or value systems after they married and those goals and values no longer aligned with that of their spouse.

What does all this mean? Well, this reflects a shift in the general culture that stresses the importance of inner fulfillment and personal happiness — even if that means going it alone. It also means that you don’t necessarily have to do anything “wrong” to end up finding yourself in the midst of a divorce. Your spouse’s need for something intangible can be impossible for you to meet.

If you’re facing a sudden divorce, take the time to get your bearings and consult with a California family law attorney about your case.