When two people get married, they’re not typically planning a divorce in the future. And yet, for many married couples, that’s exactly what comes their way.
The question is: what is the official divorce rate in the U.S.? Is it even worth getting married in the first place? We’ll answer these questions and more below.
The Official Divorce Rate in the U.S.
In truth, there is no official divorce rate in the United States. This is because state reporting on divorces is not mandatory. As such, a handful of states don’t reveal any divorce count whatsoever.
That said, most states do report divorce and marriage data. As such, the CDC does have ballpark statistics for the divorce rate in the United States.
In 2019, a CDC study showed that 2.7 out of 1,000 American citizens divorced. This came out to 746,971 divorces in total.
In the same year, 6.1 out of 1,000 American citizens got married. If you divide 2.7 (the 2019 divorce count) by 6.1 (the 2019 marriage count), you get .442 or 44.2%. That’s a crude statistic that doesn’t tell the whole story, but it’s reasonably accurate overall.
What Causes Divorce?
Divorce is brought on by a number of different factors. Some of the most common of these factors include the following.
Infidelity is perhaps the most common cause of divorce. When one partner cheats on the other, trust is lost, hurt is brought on, and the relationship is essentially operating on borrowed time. It’s possible for relationships to make it through affairs but it’s not at all common.
Another common cause of divorce is abuse. Whether it’s physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, or otherwise, abuse is like poison in a relationship. It leaves feelings of hurt that are scarcely ever recovered from, at least while the relationship is still going on.
A marriage is a partnership that requires near-equal effort from both partners. Substance abuse often prevents a partner from carrying his or her weight in the relationship. In fact, in most cases, it creates a severe imbalance.
It should come as no surprise then that substance abuse issues often lead to divorce. If you or your partner have an issue with substance abuse, you should seek treatment as soon as possible.
Financial issues are a common cause of divorce as well. For instance, if one person prefers to save money while the other prefers to spend it, resentment could build, causing the relationship to deteriorate over time.
Differences in Lifestyle
Differences in lifestyle can often lead to a divorce as well. For instance, if one partner wants children and the other doesn’t, a divorce may occur. Or, if one person wants to stay in a small town while the other wants to live in the city, a split could occur.
Lack of Intimacy
When a relationship first starts, it’s fun and exciting. There’s a spark that keeps both partners invested.
After some time, unfortunately, this spark tends to fade. This is when effort needs to come into the picture. If one of the partners stops trying, however, intimacy will die and love will eventually be lost.
There are plenty of loveless marriages out there. You can conceivably make it work. However, in many cases, one or both of the partners decides to break free, resulting in a divorce.
It might seem crazy, but stress has killed more than a few marriages over the years. But that stands to reason, though, doesn’t it?
After all, when a person is stressed, he or she tends to either clam up or lash out. The former results in a lack of communication; the latter results in feelings of resentment. Both are poison for a relationship.
Stress can be brought on by a number of factors. It can come from having too much responsibility at work; it can come from having children; it can even come from within (ie. a person placing too high of expectations on him or herself).
If stress starts to creep up, you can’t let it ruin your marriage. See a therapist sooner rather than later.
Loss of Individuality
In a good many cases, marriage encroaches upon one or both of the partners’ sense of individuality. This can leave the affected partner(s) feeling depressed, stifled, and unhappy.
After some time, in an effort to reassert him or herself, the partner might decide that he or she needs to leave the relationship. As such, if you want a marriage to work, you need to give each other a little space.
Too Little Support
Again, a marriage is a partnership. It requires that both sides carry their fair share of the weight. It also requires that each side support the other through hard times.
If one partner goes through a hard time and receives little support from the other partner, he or she might start to question the validity of the relationship. He or she might recognize an imbalance and become resentful. If the issue is never rectified, divorce could be the end result.
The Impact of Divorce
Rarely is divorce a simple splitting up of a relationship. In most cases, it entails a number of legal and financial consequences. Many divorce cases end up in court, with a decent number of them being volatile and contentious.
Divorce triggers a splitting of assets. A divorce triggers life-changing child custody decisions. A divorce will impact you not only in the foreseeable future but for a long, long time after that.
You can learn more about the specifics of divorce on this page.
Don’t Let Divorce Statistics Stop You from Getting Married
Yes, the divorce rate in the U.S. is fairly high but it’s not so high as to invalidate marriage entirely. If you love the one you’re with, marriage can help to solidify your bond. You don’t have to get married, of course, but you shouldn’t let divorce statistics stop you from doing so either.
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