I was going to write a clever post about how getting divorced was like relocating to Area 51, in reference to the stat that at some point the rate of divorce tipped to over half of all marriages. But then the other day I ran across this fairly recent article, which claims that that the 51/49 stat is a media myth:
Despite the high-profile scandals, reality TV shows highlighting “Cheaters,” online companies helping married people have clandestine encounters with other people’s spouses, celebrities proclaiming monogamy to be a biological impossibility, and a false but widespread belief that half of marriages end in divorce, Hartman and Bilton have reason to believe their marriage will last. More than 65 percent of first marriages reach their 10th anniversaries. That number has jumped to about 80 percent for recent marriages.
I was surprised because I’d always just assumed that the 51/49 (or something close to it) was true. Of course, this is encouraging news, especially as reflection up Generation X as whole, but I also found it kind of disheartneing since I’m one of the minority who could stay married. <sigh>
The article goes on to say that divorce rates have been falling for 30 years, and that divorce is at it’s lowest since 1970. That really blew me away. I figure that they were constantly on the uptick. Although reflecting back on the 70s I suppose it should not have been so surprising.
More stats from the article:
“For those marrying in the early 1990s, 78 percent were still married after 10 years compared with 73 percent of those marrying in the late 1970s. … Those marrying in the early 1990s were 7 percent more likely to be still married.”
Apparently being married in the 70s is bit of a curse. Wonder if it had anything to do with huge bell-bottom pants and platform shoes and just ugly fashion in general. Although if that were true, the 80s could arguable be more of detriment to marriage longevity.
According to the article you can up your chances of staying married by attending in premarital counseling:
They are also engaging in more premarital counseling, which is another factor cited by researchers who have documented the strengthening of the marriage institution.
“Couples who attend premarital courses tend to communicate better, solve problems and report better relationships than those who do not,” a study in the journal Family Relations found.
- Born-again Christians have the highest rates of divorce, according to a study done by Christian researcher the Barna Group. The lowest rate is found among atheists and agnostics.
- The highest divorce rates were in the Bible Belt states, according to an analysis by The Associated Press