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Here’s the question we asked UFI readers:

“What do you think of “fear of divorce” as an excuse/reason to not marry?”

Here’s how UFI readers responded:

13  Percent                          Rational and valid feeling

62  Percent                          Ridiculous and weak

25  Percent                          Just a sign of the times

 Want to start a rousing conversation?  Ask a room full of individuals if they think that getting married now and staying married now is more difficult than it was a generation ago.  The older folks in the room are probably going to tell you that being married is just as challenging (and fulfilling) as it was a generation ago.  There are obstacles and difficult economic conditions that present themselves to each cohort of people who consider marriage.

Yes, many young people now come from families where they’ve had to live through divorce and it has left its mark.  Yes, divorce seems to perpetuate itself – children of divorce have higher incidence of divorce in their own lives.  Yes, the divorce rate is higher than it might have been for your grandparents, but not as high as media and popular culture want you to believe.

Almost seventy percent of individuals who have ever been married are STILL married to their first spouse.  As UFI mentions regularly, the 50 percent overall divorce rate is a product of some individuals who marry, divorce, marry, divorce – repeatedly.

Don’t believe us?   How about hearing it from economists at Wharton School of Business:

 “The great myth about divorce is that marital breakup is an increasing threat to American families, with each generation finding their marriages less stable than those of their parents…  The story of ever-increasing divorce is a powerful narrative. It is also wrong. In fact, the divorce rate has been falling continuously over the past quarter-century, and is now at its lowest level since 1970. While marriage rates are also declining, those marriages that do occur are increasingly more stable. For instance, marriages that began in the 1990s were more likely to celebrate a 10th anniversary than those that started in the 1980s, which, in turn, were also more likely to last than marriages that began in the 1970s.”


“The narrative or rising divorce is also completely at odds with counts of divorce certificates, which show the divorce rate as having peaked at 22.8 divorces per 1,000 married couples in 1979 and to have fallen by 2005 to 16.7…. The facts are that divorce is down, and today’s marriages are more stable than they have been in decades.”

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