In Spite of High Divorce Rates, Marriage Growing Stronger

How about some positive news for a change? I read a New York Times article recently that talked about the fact that marriage is actually growing stronger as an institution. High divorce rates might seem to argue otherwise, but studies conducted by several universities reveal that marriages themselves; the ones that last through the divorce stage; are actually growing stronger.

How is this happening?

People are aligning their expectations of marriage to something different. Marriage has been seen as a disposable institution, and many people have been choosing the route of least resistance to leave a spouse when the going gets tough. However, studies conducted by the University of Washington and the University of North Carolina reveal that spouses who are ‘pretty happy’ with their significant others are far less likely to divorce, in spite of the traditional marital difficulties that have been the causes of a growing divorce rate.

The statistic that many people cite relating to divorce is that half of all marriages end in divorce. What many people don’t realize is that those statistics are based on people who were married in the 70s. People married in the 80s have a significantly lower chance of divorcing when the marriage lasts for 10 years, and people married in the 90s have an even lower divorce rate.

This reveals some trends about marriage and divorce that can spell good news for your relationship, or for future relationships. The majority of marriages that break up don’t last very long, so if your marriage lasts for more than 10 years, you’ve got a good chance of making it last a lifetime. Likewise, more people are waiting to get married until they’re ‘sure’ or ‘committed’ to a relationship. As a result of so many people directly impacted by divorce, people are getting more careful about marrying in general, and are more committed to their marriages.

Ultimately, this spells good news for the people who can make their marriages last. If you can survive long enough to have kids together, or work toward goals together, you’ve got more invested in a relationship, and are more likely to work to make the marriage last. With more and more marriages standing the test of time, it’s good news for people who are still committed to marriage as an institution and their marriages specifically.