Why write about divorce rates? Because, while divorce proceedings can be complicated and intricate, the process of dissolving a marriage is, at its core, a personal event. I’ve noticed that a sizable minority of my clients feel alone. They tell me that their parents stayed together, none of their friends are divorced, and they don’t know who to talk to. Sometimes they feel as though they failed to keep the marriage together and that the divorce represents a shortcoming of theirs. In short, they feel like they’re the only person getting divorced. It’s heartbreaking.
I made the below infographic to show that divorce is more common than many people think. If your marriage is struggling, you’re not alone.
My Un-Scientific Explanation
I should be clear: these theories are based on my experience, not any scientific literature.
Divorce is commonly precipitated by financial insecurity/dishonesty and divergent life goals. That’s not an exhaustive list by any means, but those two factors frequently arise.
We also know that education is correlated with income. Typically, higher educated people earn a higher average income. Likewise, age should show a correlation with income as well. People earn more throughout their careers.
When people get married young, they are still trying to figure out what they want to accomplish in life. Sometimes a couple will grow together, or have their ambitions hammered out such that they are able to find a like-minded mate. However, people’s 20s are often marked as a decade of exploration and finding the right career/lifestyle. My guess is that many people who marry young simply didn’t know what they wanted, both for themselves and in a partner.
Of course, people who marry young are also less likely to have a higher level of education. We know that those families may experience greater levels of income insecurity and financial instability. This, in turn, adds stress to the marriage and increases the likelihood of divorce.
Does this mean that young marriages don’t work? Of course not. Many succeed. And I’m also not saying that a couple has to be rich to succeed. Money is no replacement for love and happiness. The data is interesting, though, and I’d welcome anyone’s theory explaining it.