The way the world, particularly America, looks at marriage has changed a great deal in the last century. Divorce used to be something that was relatively rare, and frowned upon by many as a sign of failure. Today we hear everyone quote how one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. That may be true, but the latest statistics show us that instead of having more divorces, we are actually having fewer.
A recent study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research has shown that in fact 2016 was a record year for having the lowest divorce rates in almost forty years. How can this be true if it seems that every time we are with a group of friends, half of them seem to be divorced? Is it simply the company we keep or are there other factors? Many think it has to do with how we now view living together without the benefit of marriage. It is seen as just as viable as being married.
Marriage American Style
While we all agree that having a stable marriage may still be the goal of most young people, it doesn’t mean it is the only option for many. Today we are seeing a wide variety of ways that many of us live, and in fact staying single is no longer viewed as the loser option it once was. But going to see the kind of divorce or family lawyer you would find if you were to click here is no longer the death knell of your social life.
Today we have not only accepted divorce, but those same statistics tell us that divorce is not only lower then it has ever been, but marriage rates are going up. Of course, you have to remember that that number includes second and third marriages, which typically don’t last as long as the first one. But they do count.
Checking the Tires on Marriage
One reason that some speculate that divorce rates are going down while marriage rates are going up is that today many couple will live together for a few years first before getting married. This means that the marriage has a better chance of succeeding. In addition, since divorce is no longer the social faux pas it once was, it is easier for couples to call it quits when it is obvious it isn’t working. So those marriages may start out stronger, dissolve when it is obvious it isn’t working and the couple is ready to move on to try again.
Is Divorce a Sign of Failure?
Of course, we still do view divorce as a sign of failure to some extent today, but perhaps not as much as before. Oddly, researchers have shown that even with the rate of divorce getting to an all time low and the rate of marriages being one of the highest in years, we still see a fifty percent rate of divorce within those marriages. I say that somewhere the numbers don’t jive. But then research on anything as emotional as marriage and divorce is bound to be fraught with problems.