I decided to look up marriage and divorcd statistics. According to the 2000 Census 221,148,671 men and women over age 15 answered quetions about marriage.
Of those between 15 and 24 13.4% were currently married, 1.9% were divorced/separated/widowed, and 84.7% were single/never married.
Of those in the 25-34 age range 55.1% were currently married, 10.4% were divorced/separated/widowed, and 34.5% were single/never married.
Among those who were 35 to 59 68.6% were currently married, 19.8% were divorced/widowed/separated, and 11.6% were single/never married.
For those 60+ 58.8 were currently married, 27.1% were widowed, 9.9% were divorced/separated, and 4.5% were never married/single.
Now of course these statistics don’t reveal anything about 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th+ marriage but they do show an interesting trend. As you get older your percentages of married people increases, and most people who are currently divorced/separated are between age 35-59. The majority of people who marry do so before the age of 35. The majority of people who reported being divorced or separated were between 35 and 59. I think the most significant finding though, is that excluding people under 25 and over 60 people were reported married more often than they were divorced/separated. There are about 5 times as many married people as there are divorced/separated people. That is WAY lower than the often quoted “50% of marriages end in divorce sentiment!” But since this study doesn’t take into account that some people may have been divorced and remarried, the rates of filings for divorce can’t be commented on.
I think that instead of stressing out about divorce or separation so much the better idea is just to marry the right person in the first place. Or the second place. Hey, no judging here.
The best way to accomplish that is to figure out who you are as a person (we’ve all established that this is a good idea and that it generally correlates with age) and what you want out of life. Don’t want kids? Don’t marry someone who does. Want kids? Don’t marry someone who doesn’t want them. Do you want a lavish lifestyle? Don’t marry someone who works minimum wage with no hope of advancement. Polyamorous? You’re going to have a HARD time with someone monogomous.
I think that people make too many compromises because they’re tired of being alone. So they compromise their values and beliefs, meet someone they get along with, a few years later they decide to get married, then they both grow apart and realize it was a mistake so they get divorced. It’s not that the marriage failed, it’s that they weren’t completely honest with themselves or each other.
There is a lot of pressure in our society to get married and make babies. This is based on genetics and evolution. Societies work because people have kids and make a new generation as the elders age and die. It’s a pyramid. You have to have more young people than old people or else society collapses. And since humans are serial monogomists we create this tradition called marriage where we bind two adults to each other.
In a native, naturalistic environment babies are much, much more likely to survive if there are two caretakers. One can watch the baby while the other takes care of food/water/shelter/warmth/ predators/etc… In our modern society you don’t have to have two parents, but it helps! But genetics and urges don’t disappear over 500 years just because we have electricity, houses, and plenty of food and water.
TLDR: People get divorced but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get married in the first place. Just be realistic and honest with yourself and your partner. If it fails and you’ve tried and can’t make it work, then it fails. But at least you tried. Try to live your life without fear of the unknown. No one can predict the future. And there are just too many variables with why relationships work or fail for you to stress too much about it. Life happens. You can plan all you want but it can throw you a curveball at any time.