How many times have you read or heard in the media the statistic “the divorce rate in the United States is 50%”? Did you know that specific statistic is a PARTIAL TRUTH that is DECEPTIVE and DESTRUCTIVE. It gives the impression that getting married in America for the first time is the same as a flip of the coin—50% chance good, 50% bad. It makes it seem like first-time marriage is akin to a craps shoot—“oh, well, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. What the heck?”
In fact, the divorce rate for FIRST-TIME couples, each getting married for the first time, is widely recognized as 42-45%. That number is still too high, but nowhere near the widely reported 50% mark. A 42-45% divorce rate for first-timers means that 55-58% of those marriages do not divorce. 55-58% is too low, but still well over one-half. That means the average first-time marriage makes it all the way! When was the last time you heard the statistic “well over half of all first-time marriages end only when one or the other spouse dies”?! Therefore, the average first-time marriage is successful! First-time marriage is not a 50%-50% proposition. It is not a half-and-half craps shoot. First-time marriages are alive and well in the United States.
So where does the 50% divorce rate figure come from? The divorce rate for those getting married a second time is 67%. Those marrying for a third time divorce at a 75% rate. Taken across all marriages, the overall divorce rate is 50%. The devastatingly high rate for second and third marriages skews the number to 50%, thereby making it look like that is the number for all marriages.
So, what can we take away from this discussion? Right off the bat, we can say that first-time marriages are not 50%-50% propositions--they are more successful than that. The hard work of marriage is paying off for first-timers well over 50% of the time. Successful marriage is, in fact, a 100%-100% journey. It requires 100% effort from both spouses to make it maximally successful, enjoyable and peaceful. Husbands and wives must work hard throughout the marriage to have oneness with their spouse, who is so very different from themselves.
“Marriage is a lifelong journey of teaching each other how to do life with each other”
If you or anyone you know needs help in that journey please refer them to our relationship experts at the Village Counseling Center. We specialize in helping couples avoid becoming another divorce statistic by helping them take better care of one another, find peace in doing life together, and making their marriage more fun, passionate and romantic. Call today (630) 372-6599.