Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Til Divorce Do Us Part: A Look at the Sad Reality of Marriage

In the United States, only 1 out of 2 marriages will survive. Fifty percent will end in divorce. (

According to Irvin, who wrote the article "32 Shocking Divorce Statistics," in October of 2012:
41 percent of first marriages end in divorce.
60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.
Folks, it doesn't get better the 2nd or 3rd time. The phrase, "three's a charm" may apply to attempting a sport, cooking a dish, or learning a new hobby, but not matrimony.

Further, "In America, there is one divorce every 13 seconds. That’s 6,646 divorces per day, and 46,523 divorce per week.

The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eight years.

People wait an average of three years after a divorce to remarry (if they remarry at all).

The average age for couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old."

Irvin also posted some interesting facts on the likelihood of divorce:

"If your parents are happily married, your risk of divorce decreases by 14 percent.

People who wait to marry until they are over the age of 25 are 24 percent less likely to get divorced.

Living together prior to getting married can increase the chance of getting divorced by as much as 40 percent.

If you’ve attended college, your risk of divorce decreases by 13 percent.

The Barna Research Group measured divorce statistics by religion. They found that 29 percent of Baptists are divorced (the highest for a US religious group), while only 21 percent of atheists/agnostics were divorced (the lowest)."

The last fact is very interesting. Many of us who are Christ followers have known that the divorce rate among Christians is just as high as that among non-Christians. Why is that? Why would someone who understands God's sacrificial love and the sacredness of a holy union, choose to break that establishment? It is truly sad.

Divorce doesn't just affect partners; it affects their children as well:

"Forty-three percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers.

Seventy-five percent of children with divorced parents live with their mother.

Twenty-eight percent of children living with a divorced parent live in a household with an income below the poverty line.

Half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage. Of these children, close to half will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage." (Irvin)

Though my generation can't remember it, there was a time when divorce was rare and marriage was honored. Gradually, laws and customs holding together sacred matrimony fell apart as new ones replaced them. Let's take a look at historical facts provided by Princeton University (§ionid=2787&submit):

"Until the latter part of the nineteenth century, divorce was largely proscribed by law and shunned in practice... Most marital disruptions occurred not as a result of divorce but from desertion or informal separation... [It] seems likely that all but a small minority of marriages survived until the death of one or another partner..."

"Divorce rates in the United States began to rise shortly after the Civil War and continued on a steady upward course for more than a century... the pattern of prevalent divorce was firmly in place in this country even before the divorce revolution of the 1960s."

"Nonetheless, there was a sharp increase in the incidence of divorce from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s. During a span of a decade and a half, divorce rates for married women more than doubled (from 10.6 per 1,000 in 1965 to 22.8 in 1979)... Other researchers...projected that more than two in every five marriages would end in divorce when divorce rates reached their peaks in the middle 1970s."

The article suggests that divorce rates may actually be lessening for multiple reasons:

"It has long been known that early marriage and lower education are associated with marital instability. Thus, the pattern of delayed marriage might have had a role in curbing the rates of divorce."

"Another...source of marital disruption, associated with early marriage, is premarital pregnancy. Fewer marriages today occur as a result of a premarital pregnancy."

Interestingly, though not preferably, "growing rates of cohabitation before marriage may have brought down the rate of divorce. As more and more couples elect to live together prior to marrying...That is, a growing number of Americans are divorcing without [actually] marrying, making the official divorce statistics a less reliable barometer of union stability."

The article's sad summation: "For all these reasons, it is probable that the modest drop in divorce rates does not indicate a higher propensity toward marital stability. Instead, the composition of those marrying has changed in ways that only make it appear that marriages are becoming more stable."

On a personal note, I have no direct experience with divorce, but I have seen the pain and psychological disturbance it causes. I have four very close friends, and three of them come from families of divorce and/or remarriage. It's become so prevalent.

Mr Rochester (my new nickname for my husband) and I have decided to buck the trend of wishy-washy marriages built upon the sand. We've agreed marriage is hard, and the gravity of it is truly terrifying when examined, yet at the same time, utterly beautiful. I remind myself, when I start freaking out over marriage being forever, that God is for us!!! GOD IS PRO-MARRIAGE!!! And if you desire to have a godly, healthy, lasting marriage, He's there right beside you to make it happen. But, you must invite him into your individual hearts and your marriage first.

The marriage trend can only change when people have a better understanding of themselves, their worth, their purpose, and their Creator. Healthy marriages start with healthy people, emotionally and spiritually. And the Great Healer is ready and willing to attend to our wounds.

Will we let Him heal our hearts and our marriages?

Mrs. Rochester


  1. We will make it because we will follow God!! Hugs! So much heartache in the world...but God is bigger!

  2. God is the only reason any of our plans ever work out--marriage included! Daniel and I have always been of the mindset that divorce isn't even an option, and I can see God's handiwork all throughout our relationship. I think that's what it's all about--staying attuned to Him so that we see his work, listening for His voice, trusting and serving with all our hearts.