MapleStory's marriage system is fairly popular, with 26,982 such events occurring last year in North America alone. Each marriage costs $25 for the couple, but it seems that the initial investment wasn't enough to keep a majority of the players together for long. Within a year, over 20,000 of those marriages broke up.
Due to the high divorce rate -- much higher than the real-world version by far -- Nexon investigated individual stories of in-game divorce trying to figure out why these virtual marriages aren't sticking. One player named Seth realized that his "Maple spouse" was merely using their relationship to bum free items off of him, which led to their break-up.
Marriage in MapleStory is a detailed process involving an official engagement, two rings, real-world cash, and a spiffy in-game item that gives the happy pair a big boost to stats. However, if a marriage is annulled, each partner has a 10-day cooling off period before he or she can remarry.
[Source: Nexon press release]