Posted by: Alton Rocker | August 5, 2011

50% Divorce Rate!!! Yes…& No

Friends, this is another article written by our associate Heidi Barrier.  Heidi works with our Twogether in Texas couples, helping them get a great start in the journey of marriage.

50% of all marriages will end in divorce, at least that’s what we’ve been told.  Not very good odds.  That may explain some of the reluctance young couples have in “tying the knot”.   While this statistic is basically true (many believe it’s somewhere between 40% & 50%), it’s also misleading.  Details are lacking.  All marriages are not the same.  Each marriage relationship has differing characteristics, such as age, income, education, ethnicity, and so on.  They are not on the same playing field.  You may find that for many couples marriage isn’t that risky.  The odds may be in your favor.

First, marrying at the “right” age can increase your odds for a successful marriage.   For example, men and women who are under the age of 25 are at higher risk for divorce (36% women, 38% men) but after the age of 25 the rate goes down (16% women, 22% men).  Obviously you can’t choose the time when you fall in love, but if you are on the younger side of 25, it may be beneficial to your relationship to hold off a little before you say “I Do”.

Second, the level of education that an individual has acquired may influence marriage stability.  A college educated women who is over the age of 25 has a 20% chance of divorce.  This is an interesting statistic because she has the ability to be financially self-sufficient and is likely not get “stuck” in a marriage due to financial limitations.  Whereas, women who are younger than 25, and do not have a college education, have over 50% chance of divorce.  Statistics show that older and more prosperous (usually college educated) individuals have a better likelihood of staying together.

Since financial stability and education promote marital success, individuals who do not have these advantages are more prone to divorce.  Minorities often fall into this category.  Black and Hispanic women, in particular, can have difficulty maintaining a lasting marriage.  Both have over a 50% divorce rate.

Cohabitation before marriage also increases the divorce rate.  Half of all marriages in the U.S.are preceded by living together.  A study byYale University found that cohabitating women were 80% more likely to divorce than women who had not lived with their partners before marriage.

Whatever characteristics that you and your partner may possess, there is one very positive way to improve your odds.  Studies show that couples who had at least six hours of premarital counseling had a 30% lower divorce rate than couples who didn’t.  We may not be able to change other factors that life has given us, but choosing premarital counseling is one proactive step that every couple can take to improve their odds for a long and happy marriage.

Take a look at this great clip from Dr. Gary & Barb Rosberg on what it takes to really make a marriage work.

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Responses

  1. This had very revealing stats. Sure gives young people something to think about. Sounds like patience would be the best suggestion.

  2. I am 33 years old and have cohabitated twice. Both times they ended in disaster. I will never do it again!


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