The Statistical Ingredients for a Healthy Marriage

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February is the month of love. Ironically, it is also the most common month to file a divorce in. Many therapists and divorce lawyers believe this is the case because it immediately follows the holidays. Perhaps the couple recognized they were headed towards the divorce process, but chose to stick it out through the holidays for the sake of family and any children involved.

Whatever the reason, about 41% of first marriages end in divorce, most commonly around year eight of the union. Second marriages have a steeper 60% chance of ending with divorce papers, and third marriages only have a 27% chances of withstanding the test of time. While these statistics are shocking, some factors make a marriage less likely to ever get to the divorce process:

  • If you are in good financial standing, you are 30% less likely to ever need divorce forms than those who aren’t. Everyone wishes they have more money, but couples who argue about finances more than once a week have a much higher divorce rate than those who do not. Many other divorce factors, such as stress-levels and education level, are actually related to the couple’s finances.

  • If you and your spouse both come from two-parent homes, you are 40% more likely to have a successful marriage yourself. The theory behind this is that children of divorce develop the innate thought that marriages are disposable. They learn that is is easier to buy a new dishwasher than to fix a broken one.
  • If both you and your spouse are non-smokers, your marriage has a 75% better chance of surviving than couples who has one smoker. This could be a coincidence, or it could be an indication that marriages between two people with the same values, interests, and goals tend to fair better than those who are on different pages. Also, couples who develop cancer hold higher divorce rates, usually due to the increased stress related to the illness.

  • If the husband’s age is no more than one year younger and up to three years older than the wife, the divorce rate is 53% lower than marriage with wider age gaps. Experts suggest that wide age gaps between spouses, particular if the wife is the senior, leads to sub-cultural differences that make it difficult for a couple to be united.
  • If you and your spouse never lived with another partner before marrying each other, your chances of reaching the divorce process are 40% lower than those who did. While it seems intuitive that the experience of sharing a home with a significant other would help a person develop coping skills that would improve the odds of marriage, couples who co-habitated in other relationship before getting married developed the line of thought that if it gets messy, they can hit the road.
  • If you and your spouse have at least one child together, you are 40% less likely to get a divorce. Perhaps couples stay together for the kids, or perhaps the act of raising a child together unites a couple as a team. For an unexplained reason, couples with at least one son are 5% less likely to get a divorce than couples with a daughter.

While these statistic paint a picture of what the most successful marriages look like, many successful marriages come from unlikely statistics. There are no statistics in the world that can definitively tell you how compatible you and your spouse are at getting through the throws of life together. More.

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