The number of couples who enter marriage with the expectation of divorce is likely low. Most couples anticipate growing old together and building a life as partners. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. While divorce rates in the U.S. reached a dismal 50% just a generation ago, they have been declining in recent years. Nevertheless, if you are struggling to keep your marriage together, those statistics may not mean much.
With the skyrocketing divorce rates came the many analysts who tried to determine the reasons why some marriages work and others do not. Identifying these risk factors in your own marriage does not necessarily mean your relationship is doomed, but it may help you understand your situation better, which may be beneficial when making your decision about whether to remain in the marriage.
Is my marriage at risk?
Fewer people are getting married now than in past decades, and many who do marry have already finished college, started careers or taken other steps to establish their adult lives. These are no longer the milestones couples take together, and they may indicate a certain maturity that each partner brings to the marriage. On the other hand, based on statistics and surveys, the following factors may place a marriage at risk from the outset:
- States like Oregon that allow for marriage at a very young age often see higher rates of divorce.
- Spouses who are over the age of 50 and in good health are divorcing at alarming rates, presumably because they desire some independence after their children grow up and leave the home.
- If you have been married for longer than 20 years, your chances of divorce may be increasing.
- If you wait until you are 50 or older to get married, your chances of divorce before your tenth anniversary are doubled, according to some research.
- When close friends, family members or even social media friends divorce, it may influence your decision to take steps toward your own divorce.
- In many cases, those with degrees of higher learning tend to have longer marriages.
- If you entered your marriage carrying significant debt, especially debt related to your wedding expenses, you may have begun your marriage with a serious disadvantage.
Of course, every marriage is different, and many couples experience more than one risk factor and remain together successfully. By understanding the factors that may wear down a relationship, counselors may find ways to help couples develop methods of handling those situations that place their marriages at risk. However, if you feel your marriage is already past the point of reconciliation, you would be wise to have a legal professional in your corner as soon as possible to ensure the protection of your rights throughout the divorce process.