According to a survey sponsored by US-based More Magazine, contrary to expectations, 78% of 2,000 women in their mid-20s plan on getting married – even though their parents’ relationship didn’t last. Furthermore, the women envision getting married at 26 and having their first child at 27 – age targets that are sharply higher than suggested by previous research.
These surprising results have caught the attention of divorce professionals worldwide. As reported by the website WalesOnline, Terry Prendergast, chief executive of Welsh-based Marriage Care, observes that “…when research was done [previously], the suggestion was that a large number of young people were not marrying because they were frightened of what happened when their own parents divorced.”
Young People Marrying Despite their Parents’ Divorce
And as for why the trend is reversing, Prendergast went on to suggest that “what’s crucial when parents divorce is how that divorce happens, how the children feel during the divorce, whether they are part of the problem or used as weapons, or the parents are sufficiently grounded to deal with their own separation and ensure that their children are still their children. Maybe [the women in the study] had a good experience of their parent’s divorce.”
Thea Hughes, a partner with the Wendy Hopkins Family Law Practice in Cardiff, Wales, echoes that view. “[The] figures show that divorces, if they are handled well, don’t have to negatively impact on the children’s lives,” Hughes noted. “Perhaps [the children] have seen that it’s not the end of the world.”
And the Welsh Church in is also celebrating the surprising result. “No-one walking down the aisle expects their marriage to end in divorce,” a Church spokeswoman noted. “Unfortunately, however, many have an unrealistic idea of what it really means to commit your life to someone else and it’s only once the romance of the honeymoon has faded that the real commitment begins. It’s heartening to see that so many young women surveyed still have faith in marriage. It’s important that they see beyond the wedding, the dreams of walking down the aisle, to the reality of keeping the vows they make when times get tough.”