People approaching marriage often get a great deal of advice on how to make their union last. There is no shortage of folks who think they've got it all figured out when it comes to wedded bliss. Generally, they all mean well, though they may not really have a grasp on what makes a great marriage.
For people who are considering divorce, they may wonder if they should have seen it coming. Of course, there is no concrete way to predict if a marriage will end. If you're considering getting a divorce, you might be interested to know that studies reveal some common indicators of whether a marriage will last.
Age may not just be a number
Many people likely have heard that getting married too young can raise the risk of divorce. Interestingly, while one study backs up this idea, it also found that people who get married after age 32 have a raised risk of divorce as well. Research shows that the risk of divorce goes up by five percent for every year after a person turns 32.
Another study found that a large age gap between partners can also increase the chance that a couple will divorce. Just a five-year difference in age can make a couple 18 percent more likely to split. A ten-year difference shoots that risk up to 39 percent.
Many people believe that a couple's finances play into their chance of a successful union, but one study done in 2016 suggests that there is more to it than that. The Harvard study found that when husbands do not have a full-time job, the couple is over three percent more likely to divorce the next year. That same research did not find a similar effect regarding the wife's career path.
It may not surprise you to learn that the more education you have, the less likely you are to get divorced. One survey found that among people who did not finish high school, more than half of those marriages ended in divorce. When looking at college graduates, less than a third of those marriages wound up in divorce court. Experts suggest that less education can equal lower income and raised stress levels.
One psychologist said that there are certain negative relationship behaviors that can strain a marriage. These include things like criticism, defensiveness and contempt for one's spouse. Research backs up the idea that couples who engage in these kinds of behaviors are more likely to end up divorced.
In a similar vein, another study examined how couples talk about their relationship. It found that when couples use more negative language or talk about how disappointed they are with their marriage it can be a predictor of divorce. Couples who talk about how much they care for one another or talk about their marriage in a unifying way, using "we" statements for example, are more likely to stay together.
Some people do not manage conflict very well and may even shut down when their partner attempts to discuss a difficult topic with them. This does not bode well for their future. One study looked at the habits of husbands in a marriage and found that they were more likely to get divorced if they were prone to withdraw from their wives when conflict arose.
Though all of these ideas may point towards the possibility of divorce, every marriage is different. Just because any or all of these factors are present doesn't mean a couple will part ways, the same way the absence of these factors doesn't guarantee a marriage will last. If you're considering getting a divorce here in Georgia, know that you are not alone and that your reasons are valid, no matter whether you saw it coming or not.