Finish reading this blog and increase your chances of staying married happily ever after
Is it because this blog has the secret for a happy marriage? No. If I knew the secret, you’d be paying to read this blog and I’d be making a ton of money.
The reason I can say your chances of staying married increase is based on statistics.
If you’re reading this, you’re working at getting a college degree. Couples with higher education tend to stay married. By the time you finish reading this blog you’ll be a few minutes older. Statistics say the older you are when you first get married, the better your chances of staying married. The other factor? Economic stability.
This picture is from my son and daughter-in-law’s wedding last summer on the side of Mt Hood. (That’s Mt. Jefferson in the distance). They are bucking the odds. They both earned advanced degrees. Both are in their early 30s. They pull in a good income. He’s a lawyer. She’s in the medical field. They a lot in common.
Oh, and they love each other, a lot.
Wait until you’re 25 to tie the knot (but it’s no guarantee)
Statistically, the biggest factor in whether you stay married or not? Your age. It doesn’t matter where you live or what religion you are. It doesn’t matter what race you are or your education level. Getting married young increases your chances of being divorced. According to the National Center of Health Statistics, if you get married between the ages of 20 and 25 there’s a 60 percent chance you’ll end up divorced. Let me repeat that. There’s a 60 percent chance you’ll be divorced if you get married in your early 20s.
But guess what? Statistically, the chances of your grandparents (50+ years old) getting a divorce has doubled in the last 25 years.
The number of divorces in the 40-49 year old bracket continues to climb.
The only age bracket where the number of divorces has decreased in the past 15 years is ages 25-39. In 1990, 30 out of 1000 marriages in this age group ended in divorce. In 2015, the number of divorces in this age range dropped to 24 out of 1000 times couples said “I do.”
A little divorce history
Up until 1970, getting a divorce was tough. Your spouse had to be beating you to death or cheating. And even then, if your spouse promised not to do it anymore, you would remain married.
In 1970, California introduced the “no fault” divorce. Other states soon adopted it. Suddenly divorce rates increased; dramatically. Spouses who were in bad marriages could finally get out of them, even if the other spouse didn’t want a divorce.
So, basically it’s kind of a myth that people stayed together back in the “good old days.” Yeah, they did stay together, but only because it was so tough to get a divorce. You either had to be beat up or had to come up with the evidence that your spouse cheated on you. Divorce granted! But wait… you promise not to beat or cheat on your spouse again? Pinky swear? Okay, divorce not granted.
Of course, it’s not happily ever after after a divorce. Half of all families who lived above the poverty level end up below the poverty level after the split.
The way the system is set up, custody goes to the “better” parent, which automatically sets up an adversarial situation for the divorcing couple. If you want custody of the kids, you have to prove you are better at parenting than your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
So what can we do to increase marriage longevity and decrease divorce rates? I may have found the answer. It’s called handfasting.
“Tying the knot” is more literal than you might think
BTW– If you want me to crush your ideas about diamond rings being an integral part of the marriage tradition, just watch this video. Be WARNED! They do drop the F-bomb on multiple occasions in this video.