Hilarious Arguments People Used To Divorce In The Early 20th Century

People get divorced all the time nowadays; it’s just a fact of contemporary life. But back in the early 20th century, it was a lot rarer. In fact, if you were unhappy in your marriage back then, it was pretty hard to get out of it. So, disgruntled spouses had to get creative. As we can see from newspaper reports from the early 1900s, some couples ended up going their separate ways for the most insane reasons. Here’s a look at some of the strangest and funniest justifications our 20th-century ancestors had for filing for divorce.


“Tickled His Wife So Much She Sues Him For Divorce”

Harrisburg Telegraph, Pennsylvania, December 3, 1924

Though it can be torturous to experience, a couple tickling each other is usually a sign of happiness. Well, it seems the “torture” aspect of it was front and center with this couple. The wife clearly really didn’t like to be tickled, yet her husband was unrelenting. And that was that, as far as their relationship went.

A ghostly lover

“Love Fled When Husband Found Spirit Affinity”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri, August 4, 1909

When a person learns their partner has been cheating on them, it can be one of the most painful experiences imaginable. And sadly, that seems to have been the situation in 1909 for this couple, who we know simply as the Mendelsohns. The twist in their case, though, is that the other lover wasn’t of this realm. It was reportedly a ghost that destroyed this marriage! That’s got to hurt.

Too much talk

“Hubby Talked Too Much, Wife Granted Divorce”

The Star Press, Muncie, Indiana, May 19, 1922

Married couples tend to be each other’s closest confidants, but everyone has their limit with regard to jabbering: this woman obviously reached hers in around 1922. When it became clear her husband was never going to shut up, she took the drastic step of seeking a divorce. She got it.


“Hubby Eats Onions; Wife Grows Angry; Divorce Is Granted”

The Evening News, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, September 4, 1920.

You’d have to wonder just how many onions this guy was eating each day. How much does it take for a person to actually drive their partner away? We sadly don’t know much more about this story, but we just have to presume he was eating an awful lot of them.