Tuesday, May 25, 2010

15 Ways to Predict Divorce


Another guest post by Dana


After last week's tirade discussion on open relationships, I thought I'd give equal time to "traditional" relationships.

I was reading [THIS] article titled 15 Ways to Predict Divorce. I'm a big fan of statistics ... and George Burgy's definition of statistics:

Statistics: A bunch of numbers running around looking for an argument.

That said, if you look at statistics as an indicator rather than as fact, there is usually at least some value in the data. So what are the some of the indicators your marriage will end in divorce?

*NOTE* If you are interested, the original article gives sources for all data.

1. If you're a married American, your marriage is between 40 and 50 percent likely to end in divorce.

I think we are all pretty familiar with this statistic, yet we are a persistent bunch. The good news? Divorces peaked in the 1980's and has steadily dropped since that time.

2. If you live in a red state, you're 27 percent more likely to get divorced than if you live in a blue state.

I'm just a "red" person living in a blue state. Wonder what that means for me??

3. If you argue with your spouse about finances once a week, your marriage is 30 percent more likely to end in divorce than if you argue with your spouse about finances less frequently.

Keep those arguments about the bank account to two or less per week!

4. If your parents were divorced, you're at least 40 percent more likely to get divorced than if they weren't. If your parents married others after divorcing, you're 91 percent more likely to get divorced.

This statistic surprised me - really surprised me.

5. If only one partner in your marriage is a smoker, you're 75 percent to 91 percent more likely to divorce than smokers who are married to fellow smokers.

I'd guess this is true of any bad habit/behavior. Remember, sharing bad habits/behaviors leads to successful marriages!

6. If you have a daughter, you're nearly 5 percent more likely to divorce than if you have a son.

Interesting ...

7. If you're an evangelical Christian adult who has been married, there's a 26 percent likelihood that you've been divorced—compared to a 28 percent chance for Catholics and a 38 percent chance for non-Christians.

Of course they don't mention that 67 percent of those evangelical Christian marriages are miserable ...

8. If you live in Wayne County, Indiana, and are over 15 years old, there's a 19.2 percent chance that you've been divorced.

Apparently Wayne County Indiana has the highest divorce rate of any county in the country. Who knew?

9. If both you and your partner have had previous marriages, you're 90 percent more likely to get divorced than if this had been the first marriage for both of you.

The article indicates this number is skewed by what they call "serial marriers." I think this number likely has more to do with the fact that second (or third or fourth) marriages often require there be relationships with ex's and "shared" children.

10. If you're a woman two or more years older than your husband, your marriage is 53 percent more likely to end in divorce than if he was one year younger to three years older.

If you are going to be a cougar, just use him as a play-toy!

11. If you're of "below average" intelligence, you're 50 percent more likely to be divorced than those of "above average" intelligence.

According to Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray's controversial 1994 bestseller The Bell Curve, those with IQs of 100 face a 28 percent probability of divorce in the first five years of marriage, compared to just a 9 percent probability for those with IQs of 130.

Marry smart!

12. If you've been diagnosed with cervical cancer, your likelihood of getting divorced is 40 percent higher than standard rates; it's 20 percent higher if you've been diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Hmmm ...

13. If you have twins or triplets, your marriage is 17 percent more likely to end in divorce than if your children are not multiple births.

I'm actually surprised this percentage isn't higher.

14. If you're a female serial cohabiter—a woman who has lived with more than one partner before your first marriage—then you're 40 percent more likely to get divorced than women who have never done so.

Serial cohabiter ... *gigglesnort*

15. If you're in a male same-sex marriage, it's 50 percent more likely to end in divorce than a heterosexual marriage. If you're in a female same-sex marriage, this figure soars to 167 percent.

Makes me wonder why divorce attorneys haven't spearheaded legislation to make same-sex marriages legal all across the country!

If those numbers weren't depressing enough, feel free to tempt fate further by visiting economist Betsey Stevenson's Divorce Calculator. It allows you to input personal demographic information to determine the probable failure success of your marriage.

I'm thinking 87 percent of people who share the results of the Divorce Calculator with their spouse will likely find themselves in divorce court!



SkylersDad said...

You should see the statistics for parents of special needs kids. Divorce is usually quoted at 75-90%.

Karen said...

Most of those stats are pretty easy to understand.

As someone who made a living off others people's divorcing for so many years, I personally think it is too easy to get divorced in America. It is just another example of the "disposable" view Americans have of the world.

Grant said...

Statistics show that all marriages that don't end in divorce end in death, so who is the real loser here?

I can attest that getting a serious illness can be a real relationship tester. For the well intentioned, it puts a strain on the relationship if one person suddenly becomes needy and in a perpetual bad mood due to illness. For the ones just using their partners, it's a sign to jump ship.

kristi said...

Yep, I was about to say what Skylers dad said. My son has autism and MAN has it been hard. My husband was in denial for so long and it was hell for me.

Dana said...

SkylersDad, it took me a long time to realize that part of the reason I am a "single parent" is because I have a child who requires extra time and attention as well as unique parenting skills.

Karen, I think many people go into marriage with the idea that if it doesn't work out, they can always get a divorce. There was a time when people took the commitment far more seriously, and they didn't expect that marriage would always be good and easy.

Grant, worse yet, even those that end in divorce end in death!

Nolens Volens said...

Or even those married to people with disabilities. Example: Hearing spouse/deaf spouse are 3x more likely to divorce than hearing/hearing or deaf/deaf. Interesting.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I found 2,7, and 11 pretty funny and could all be put together couldn't they?

I love your 1st paragraph to number 15. So true. Normally in the US if there is money to be made laws will change to help them.

I think the best indicator of a successful marriage is to marry for the right reasons and not be afraid of the questions before you get married. I am always amazed at the women who say, I didn't want to talk about that before we got married because I was afraid of what he/she'd say. DUH. Now it's a big issue and divorce pending. Guess that goes back to number 11 then doesn't it?

Good and fun post.

Dana said...

kristi, my son was 7 when husband and I got together. Son was diagnosed with Aspergers at 6, more recently severe ADD and PPD-NOS. Husband is convinced the diagnosis is an excuse for poor parenting. I know your stress well.

Nolens Volens, I think the adage "Opposites Attract" is very real, the problem is that opposites should never marry!

Margaret, I think most of us who have found ourselves in divorce court are really not surprised by what led us there, which is a lesson in and of itself!

Jay said...

I think #11 explains #2. Ha! I'm kidding people! Settle down. I live in the Red State South too. ;-)

Here's another one. Men who have had affairs with at least a dozen women have a 90% divorce rate.

Men who are rich and powerful elected officials who have affairs, patronize prostitutes or get caught getting blow jobs in public restrooms from other men have about a 10% divorce rate. Weird huh?

Sedorah said...

I always kid my husband that our marriage is "til death do us part"...it will be HIS death if he screws up! *evil grin*

Mike Golch said...

divorse is a very ugly thing.if we are lucky enough to survive the diforse and are blessed enought to find a new person to share one's life that is good.I know I was divorced after 5 years of marriage.2 years after the divorce I was again standing before God and saying my wedding vows again.That was 1 March 1980.I guess I got it right that time.we are still married today.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

People have "fairy tale" views on marriage most of the time and it is NOT always easy. It is time, commitment, communication and compromise. Plus an added promise to always "be there".

Lola said...

167% more likely for lesbians. Criminy! Why do we even bother? Could it be because of the theory/notion that our social circles are smaller and there seems to be a fair amount of hooking up with "friends"? That just tends to prove the idea that lesbian couples can't have single friends. Ooh that sounds like an idea for a blog post. Feel free to steal it.

Warrior_Kat said...

These are some shocking statistics! #4 also surprised me. Great post Dana! Very interesting read.

Dana said...

Jay, there were a few of these that I thought were likely related and wondered why there weren't any statistics specific to political figures. Thank you for sharing those with us *wink*

Sedorah, I'm all for keeping a man on his toes - I just have a different way of doing that!

Mike Golch, so you dared to defy the second time around odds? Good for you!

Dana said...

Evil Twin's Wife, I do think that sometimes social stigma is a good thing ... like when it encourages all involved to really give their all rather than giving up!

Lola, The same-sex marriage statistics were from a Norway/Sweden study where five out of every 1,000 new couples are same-sex. I have to wonder how much of that "turmoil" will even out as same-sex marriages become more common and more supported.

Warrior_Kat, they will either scare you to death, or force us to see which items we might be bringing to the table so that we can minimize them.

we're doomed said...


Charlene said...

Reading those statistics I recken the only people who stay married are those who are too stubborn to get divorced or die. :o)

J.J. said...

It's a good thing I'm not dying to get married. ; ) As a disabled person, I'm always afraid that he'll bail when the going gets tough. I don't want to be married if/when I find that out.

Although, my disability wasn't the reason my parents divorced. I think it (mostly) comes down to one partner going through changes that the other partner doesn't want to deal with in the long run.

Hubman said...

What, having an open marriage isn't one of the predictors? After last weeks post, I expected to see that on the list...

Laura said...

very encouraging (said in my best sarcastic tone)

Dana said...

we're doomed, well, I don't know if *we* are doomed, but you most certainly are *wink*

Charlene, it almost seems an impossible feat, doesn't it?

J.J., I think unconditional love might exists - just not unconditional commitment.

Dana said...

Hubman, I covered that one last week *wink* Hey! If there is one thing I am, it's an equal opportunity pisser offer!

Laura, no kidding, huh??

Mike said...

I think 9 skews 1 a lot.

From the test - People with similar backgrounds who will be divorced over the next five years: 1%

佳俐 said...