Do you want the good news or do you want the bad news? I think you are due for some good news and here it is: It’s not true that 50% of marriages end in divorce. Turns out that’s one big myth. Your marriage may be safer than you realize.
Isn’t that great news? Now, from where, you ask, did I get this astounding, though wonderful divorce fact? Well, I was reading an article about that in Time tonight and they pretty much have debunked the whole thing as myth. Added to that is a piece that appeared in the New York Times earlier this year by divorcee Tara Parker Pope which basically uses stats from Wharton School study that shows that those who married older and were college educated (an upward social trend right now) tend to last in their marriages and eschew divorce. So she basically has busted the myth that 50% of marriages end in divorce in the United States. It’s actually closer to 40%. Which is great news. Because it means that the majority of marriages succeed. Although, I guess it depends on who you ask. One sociologist interviewed in the Time article begged to differ from Tara Parker Pope. Says Time re sociologist Paul Amato:
Perhaps, but there may still be truth to it. Penn State sociologist Paul Amato, in a thorough new report on interpreting divorce data, writes that the half-of-all-marriages-end-badly figure still “appears to be reasonably accurate.”
What seems most clear is that less-educated, lower-income couples split up more often than college grads and may be doing so in higher numbers than before. “The people who are most likely to get divorced have the least resourcesto deal with its impact, particularly on children,” says Amato.
Well then. I guess according to him it’s the poor people who have a high divorce rates. The poor and the illiterate. Not the rich and the educated. It’s a class thing. According to him. But I don’t know. Since I’ve been writing for this divorce blog, I have to say, most of the cases I’ve covered are of the ultra wealthy and highly educated and it seems to me they are just as divorce-prone as the rest of us. Now, I’m not saying that the rates are 50%. I really am not sure what the true stats are since there are widely varying opinions on the issue.
But I will say I would tend to disagree with Mr. Amato about the class/education differences in the rates of divorce. I think divorce is an equal opportunity menace. It’s like Hurricane Katrina. Things like those don’t discriminate. Everybody is equally at risk for divorce. But hopefully, Ms. Pope is right that it’s nowhere near 50% of people who end up throwing in the towel.