In today’s society – thanks to the prevalence of primetime TV dramas and tabloid blogs – it is not unlikely for someone to think that successful relationships are impossible to achieve and that divorce may be imminent in every marriage. But not everything you see on TV or read online is always true. The Huffington Post recently took a look at some of the most common misconceptions about divorce:

  • Half of all marriages end in divorce. According to author on marriage Tara Parker-Pope, “marital stability appears to be improving each decade” since the 1970s. Many factors affect how long a marriage lasts, including age, education and income level. A study by the University of Pennsylvania found that age is the clearest predictor of divorce: the divorce rate is lower for people married in their late twenties than those married before their 26th birthday.
  • The divorce rate is on the rise. Professors at the University of Pennsylvania suggest that the divorce rate has been falling over the last 25 years and is currently at its lowest level since 1970. The divorce rate is rising among those without college degrees (the “middle” class), but affluent Americans marriages are increasingly more stable, according to the National Marriage Project.
  • Second marriages have a better survival rate than first marriages. Apparently those once divorced don’t necessarily learn from their mistakes. According to Psychology Today, 60 percent of subsequent marriages fail – and usually fail more quickly.
  • Parents more likely to divorce after loss of a child. In 1978, author Harriet Schiff suggested that the death of child was a marital stressor and 90 percent of bereaved couples experience martial difficulty following the loss of a child. In the last 30 years, this statistic has often been taken out of context. The actual divorce rate among bereaved parents is 16 percent according to a 2006 survey by the Compassionate Friends organization.
  • Premarital cohabitation increases the odds of a successful marriage. In 2003, a sociology professor at Western Washington University in Bellingham found that a woman who cohabitated with her future husband faced no greater risk of divorce, but a woman who lived with someone else prior to the eventual husband faced a greater chance of divorce.
  • The U.S. divorce rate is higher than any other nation. According to the United Nations’ Demographic Yearbook, Russia may actually have the highest divorce rate with 5 divorces per 1,000 people annually (compared to the U.S. with 3.4 divorces per 1,000 people).
  • Those with stressful jobs, like police officers, are more likely to divorce. Only 14.5 percent of law enforcement officers are divorced, according to a recent study in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. The highest divorce rate is actually among dancers and choreographers at 43.1 percent, followed by bartenders at 38.4 percent and massage therapists at 38.2 percent.

Source: Divorce Myths Debunked

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