Are Younger People Really More Likely to Get a Divorce?

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The institution in the United States is changing. Data gathered by Bentley University shows that the median age for the first marriage is up to 29 for men and 27 for women compared to 20 for women and 23 for men in 1960. Younger folks are also deciding to get married and according to a report released by Pew Research Center, one in four millennials will never get married. In 1960, one in ten adults within the same age range had never been married. Marriage has transformed from a way to build alliances and protect assets into financial arrangements and now more people are choosing to marry for the union of love.

Reasons For Divorce

Adultery is a taboo subject and found to be the second most common cause of divorce. Adults older than the age of 55 were found to be more adulterous than those under the age of 55 and married people between the ages of 60-79 were found to have the highest number of adulterers.

The most common reason for divorce was financial issues. When partners spending and saving habits are misaligned it can spell demise for their marriages. If one partner is more interested in saving or investing, and another is more interested in spending or gambling, then the relationship could be doomed to fail.

Other top reasons for divorce include sexual libido differences, interfering ex-partners, and children from former relationships. Marriage not only combines the lives of two individuals but often their families, habits, and past as well. When these institutions don’t align it could harm or end a marriage.

The Evolving Ideals of Marriage

The baby boomer generation married young, divorced often, and remarried more than Generation Xers and specifically Millenials. Millennials are becoming more selective about who they marry and marrying later after their financial and educational goals are amassed. From the year 2008 to 2016 the divorce rate fell by 18%. Fewer young people are getting married and those who young people who do get married are less likely to get divorced.

Younger people or lower socio-economic status are cohabitating and raising kids together but choosing not to get married. Research from the National Institute of Health shows that cohabitation outside of marriage is more common but also less stable. Since more couples are cohabitating and dissolving these relationships before marriage, it also could help to explain why the divorce rate is declining because of young people.

The Future of Marriage

Research from the National Institute of Health also found that young people’s decisions to get married have been affected by the divorces of their parents. A woman whose parents have been divorced reported lower levels of commitment and less confidence in the future of their marriages. Seeing as though it’s more common for Baby Boomers to get married and divorce, this could be directly contributing to Millenials abstinence from marriage.

The ideas about marriage are evolving because it’s becoming a symbol of status and stability for affluent young people rather than rites of passage into adulthood. People are cohabitating more and being more patient with marriage and deciding not to marry. Marriage offers lots of benefits and is still a goal for most young people but not until they’ve beta tested their relationships with cohabitation and have secured their educational and financial goals. Marriage amongst Millenials are more durable but also more selective than ever before.

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