So are their predictors to a divorce or is it all a crap shoot?
A walk down the aisle is one of life’s biggest gambles. A Time online article reports that “an average couple has a 57% chance of seeing their 15th wedding anniversary.” But statistics say little about which newlyweds will manage to stay together over the long haul. What can offer insight into the marriage crapshoot are a bride and groom’s maturity, the relationship they have with each other, their financial standing and their respective family histories.
The age difference between a bride and groom is important. Two young people fresh out of high school stand less chance of succeeding as husband and wife than a mature man and woman of at least 25. But, cautions Time, older does not mean better: “marrying at age 35 is not any better than 25.”
Premarital cohabitation is no guarantee of success either. Statistics show that men and women who live together before marrying are actually more prone to getting divorced than those who do not. This is likely because “whatever it was that made them not want to get married in the first place ended up becoming a problem long term.”
If a newlywed husband leaves all housework and child-rearing duties to his wife, this may cause resentments that, over time, will undermine the relationship and help to bring about eventual dissolution. Mutual sharing of domestic responsibilities helps couples long-term.
Money issues also determine the success or failure of a marriage. A relatively small amount can help a lot. Time online reports that if a couple together earns “a modest $50,000 as a family, the odds of seeing their 15th anniversary jumped to 68%.” Interestingly, wealthier couples will typically divorce over interpersonal conflicts while those with less money will divorce because of financial problems.
Children of divorced parents are 14% more likely to end up divorced themselves. However, those who come from a household where marital problems were out in the open tend to do better in their marriages than those who come from households where interpersonal difficulties between parents were kept out of sight. Individuals in the latter group tend “not trust their relationships.”
If your own “marriage gamble” doesn’t pay off long-term, you’re in good company: in fact, you’re actually in the majority. Many factors—some of which are out of your control—go into to making a marriage work than just saying “I do.”
But keep in mind what IS in your control if your marriage must head towards divorce: which is how you handle the divorce. The best option is always to seek the help from a good family lawyer.