Divorce rates in United States are is becoming quite common. In fact, the divorce rates are so high that it’s estimated nearly half of all marriages will end in divorce, which means you probably know someone who has recently gone through the process of getting divorced or you may even be going through it yourself right now. Unfortunately, while divorce may seem like an inevitability in our society, it’s far from a positive thing. In fact, you might be surprised to learn just how many people struggle with major health issues following their divorce.
What You Need to Know About Divorce in the United States
30% of all marriages end in divorce
According to a 2007 Pew Research Center report, about 30% of marriages end in divorce. This represents a slight decline from previous years but is still much higher than historical averages. It’s also important to remember that while 90% of first marriages fail, 70% of second marriages fail as well. So maybe those celebrity examples aren’t such outliers after all.
With these facts in mind, it’s probably time we stop thinking about divorce as something that other people do. A high-school classmate recently got divorced with her husband just one year after their wedding; perhaps you have a co-worker whose third marriage was dissolved last week. You might even be on your second marriage yourself!
As it turns out, both adults and teens are getting married less frequently — and many experts think our declining rates of marriage could lead to even higher rates of divorce down the road. Currently, 50% or more of adults born in 1960 (one birth cohort) have never been married compared with only 8% for adults born between 1940 and 1950—with projections being that 15% or fewer people will get married by 2020.
From 1976 to 2009 in every age group except 75 and older, fewer adults got married each year than did in any prior year on record. Even if they manage to stay together longer, Americans are having less sex now than at any point since tracking began 45 years ago — with couples reporting an average frequency somewhere around twice per month.
2% of all people are currently divorced
When you break down all of these numbers, it becomes clear just how many people are currently divorced. For example, in 2012 there were 7 million divorces. If you do some quick math, you’ll find that only 2% of Americans are divorced today.
It may not seem like such a high number until you consider just how many marriages have occurred in America over time and take into account the fact that roughly half of all married couples will divorce at some point during their marriage. With so many people finding themselves as part of an unhappy marriage (or deciding to end a happy one), it’s clear that divorce is much more common than most people realize.
Just because you haven’t gone through your own divorce doesn’t mean that millions of other people haven’t done exactly what you did!
The overall divorce rate has been decreasing since around 2008. While a number of factors could play into why divorce rates have been declining since around 2008, we know for sure that different groups experience different rates and circumstances when it comes to getting divorced.
Whether or not any group with an increased rate should be stigmatized is another matter altogether, but I think we can probably agree they don’t deserve blame or scorn. Even still, folks who get out early when things start going bad are often described as weak by partners who figure they’ll weather it out no matter what.
Millions of children are affected by divorce each year
In 2011, there were more than 69 million children living in single-parent homes. And to make matters worse, approximately 30 percent of children who experience parental divorce will see their family break up again by age sixteen. No matter how you look at it, divorce is a very common occurrence in today’s society.
While some families are able to cope with a divorce and still live happy lives together, many people find themselves asking why divorce is so common in our society. When money issues, infidelity, and drug abuse come into play during any relationship it may lead to much bigger problems within your family unit as well as cause your children and partner to feel alone while they try to comprehend what is happening during one of the most turbulent times of their life.
According to Karney, Bradbury & Gallagher (2002), parents who use threats such as “I’ll kill myself if you leave me,” or “I have access to all kinds of dangerous weapons” clearly have no intention of ending their own lives but instead want revenge on those they believe have caused them pain; however, these threats can be very destructive to both parties involved as well as causing lasting damage on your young children.
Most divorces happen because the spouse isn’t happy with their partner anymore
This is typically due to something that has changed between them. According to recent studies, most divorces happen because one of the partners simply lost interest in their spouse or no longer wanted to be with them. I didn’t know how common a reason for divorce that was until I looked into it.
It’s a sad truth about love, marriage, and commitment. It is one many of us will have to face at some point in our lives. When we get married, we promise ourselves that we’ll stay together forever – but not all couples are built to last.
The age of people getting married plays a huge role in how likely they are to get divorced. If you’re under 25 years old when you marry someone (especially if either partner has kids), there’s a higher chance of getting divorced than if you wait until after 25 years old before getting married.
As an example, let’s say there are two people out there who want to get married. One gets married right away, but is only 20 years old, while their spouse is 24 at the time of marriage. Statistically speaking, that couple is nearly TWICE as likely to end up divorcing as compared to a couple where both partners were over 25 at the time of marriage, which means waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right may be just what you need.
It usually takes 5 years before someone gets divorced
Half of all marriages will end in divorce or separation within 20 years. About 40% of first marriages, 60% of second, and 67% of third marriages end in divorce.
- Couples who marry after age 25 are significantly less likely to get divorced than couples who marry in their teens or early 20s.
- People who cohabit before marriage are twice as likely to get divorced as those who do not live together before tying the knot (Gallup survey).
- Women are more likely to initiate a divorce than men.
- Of divorces that were initiated by women, 87 percent indicated they felt trapped in an unhappy marriage.
- Women are more likely to cite incompatibility or differing expectations for future children between them and their husbands as reasons for divorce (census bureau).
- 53% of first-time married women outearn their spouses and 38% earn at least as much money as their partners.
Many couples live in unhappy relationships for 10+ years but stay together to avoid financial hardship.
That’s a mistake! We believe that everyone deserves to be happy, and if you’re not happy in your relationship, you owe it to yourself and those around you to get out. Of course, getting a divorce can be complicated and expensive (even without considering child custody or spousal support).
There are many reasons why a marriage ends, but infidelity and money problems are among them.
While unhappy couples may stay together for financial reasons, we would like to remind those considering splitting up that there is no shame in ending a relationship when it makes you unhappy, even if it means being alone again.
Divorce in the United States is very common. We’ve all heard heartbreaking stories about families torn apart by divorce, but did you know almost half of all U.S. marriages end up as splits?