Good News about Marriage

. 1 min read

From “Everything We Think We Know About Marriage and Divorce Is Wrong” by Shaunti Feldhahn on the Catalyst site.

In 2006 I was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist
writing a routine piece about marriage and divorce. I wanted to accurately cite
the numbers, but my senior researcher and I were soon really confused by
contradictory statistics about what the divorce rate actually was. In the end,
a question we originally expected to answer in two minutes, took eight years of
investigation to unravel. I felt a bit like Indiana Jones as we waded into the
deep jungle of complex statistical projections and feuding demographers in
search of great treasure: the truth that surely had to be in there somewhere.
Along the way, we kept unearthing encouraging facts not just
about the divorce rate but about marriage overall. Facts we felt urgently
needed to come to light, to bring balance to the national conversation and
encourage individual marriages! Yes, we also saw plenty of very real concerns.
And we quickly found that this field is so complicated, there is often no way
to nail down one “right” answer. But we can get a lot closer.
Here are just a few examples of the truths we cover in The
Good News About Marriage.

Perhaps most surprising, half of all marriages are not
ending in divorce. According to the Census Bureau, 72% of those who have ever
been married, are still married to their first spouse! And the 28% who aren’t,
includes everyone who was married for many years, until a spouse died. No-one
knows what the average first-marriage divorce rate actually is, but based on
the rate of widowhood and other factors, we can estimate it is probably closer
to 20-25%. For all marriages (including second marriages, and so on), it is in
the 31-35% range, depending on the study.

Check out the full article.