By Daniel H. Moss, Attorney
We hear a lot of statistics and so-called facts about divorce every day. Many of the commonly repeated statistics, however are simply not true. When you’re struggling with something as serious as divorce, knowing the facts is important. That’s why I’ve put together this list of 7 myths of divorce.
Myth 1: Men are more likely to file for divorce.
In most cases, women actually file for divorce. One reason for this is that, with growing financial independence and opportunities, a woman’s livelihood is not as tied to her husband as it may have been in years past. That being the case, women are less likely to remain in an unhappy marriage for reasons of security.
Myth 2: Living together before marriage will reduce the risk of divorce.
While it sounds reasonable, it’s simply not true. Often, due to financial or geographic circumstances, a couple might jump into cohabitation too soon. Living together before a solid commitment is made can also cause people to view their living arrangements as temporary, which can carry over into the marriage. Another risk with this thinking is that the couple becomes roommates instead of partners, causing the marriage to end.
Myth 3: First marriages are more likely to fail than second marriages.
People often think that having the experience of one failed marriage somehow gives a person the insight into how to make the second marriage succeed. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Second marriages are actually more likely to fail than first marriages. While there’s not just one reason why this is the case, some common reasons for a higher divorce rate in second marriages are jumping into a new relationship too soon, being less intimidated by divorce the second time around and less family ties holding the relationship together (i.e. relationships with children, in-laws, etc.).
Myth 4: Having a baby can save a marriage.
With all the stresses and sleepless nights, having a baby can actually have the opposite impact on a marriage – especially one that’s already struggling.
Myth 5: Children bounce can back from divorce quickly.
It’s nice to think that this might be the case, but children of divorce have a lot of emotional issues to sort out. These issues can last throughout their lives. While this does not mean a couple should remain married for the sake of the children, special consideration should be given to the children and their emotional needs throughout a divorce and after.
Myth 6: Children of divorce are less likely to become divorced as adults.
Children whose parents divorce are actually more likely to become divorced as adults. Our children learn about relationships from us. Their outlook on relationships and the permanence of marriage is shaped by what they learn growing up.
Myth 7: 50% of all marriages end in divorce.
The divorce rate in the United States has actually gone down over the past 30 years, bringing the divorce rate to around 40-50%. While still not a small number, keep in mind that it also includes divorces from second and third marriages.
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