Am I the only one who has a strange fear of marrying someone and eventually getting a divorce one day? I don’t believe divorce is a bad thing whatsoever. Because I’ve seen the ability it has to change situations for the better. But I genuinely do not want to fall out of love with the person I feel is my soulmate. And then have to go through the emotional devastation that goes with it (especially if I have a family of my own at that age).
But, good news for those who also share that same fear: the millennial divorce rate is dropping drastically!
An analysis by University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen found the U.S. divorce rate actually dropped 18% between 2008 and 2016.
Obviously, this number could indicate that older people aren’t getting divorced as often anymore. However even when the researchers looked into age, they found the rate still dropped 8% over the same time period for younger people (aka millennials) as well.
Cohen also took into consideration the fact that many people don’t choose to get married. And also looked at the ration of divorces to the total of marriages.
Marriage, in general, is becoming a rare thing in many people’s lives. Mainly because we either don’t need an official document stating our love for someone. Or the fact we can barely afford a house (let alone a wedding). So that could also alter the studies as well, because divorce won’t be an option if marriage was never in the equation.
It’s kind of interesting that young people are staying married while the older generation is not. Why is that?
I have it broken down to a few different reasons why this could make sense.
Our Parents Traditionally Got Married Young & Rushed Into These Marriages
When my mom and her cousins were growing up almost all of them were married at the age of 18-20. My mom was married at 25 and was labelled a spinster by her grandfather as she walked down the aisle. I look at 25 and think that’s a decent age (even if I’m close to that age now but am in no rush to get married). At 18 or 19 they were already working full time and providing for themselves. Often they didn’t know their significant other for very long before they got married and started a family. It was a different time!
We See What Our Parents Go Through And Want to Prevent It
Baby boomers have had a rapidly increasing divorce rate over the past few years. Bowling Green’s National Center for Marriage Research found divorce rates had doubled for Americans 65 and older. Millennials might see that and not want to live in a broken home. Or have that for their family one day after experiencing that for themselves.
We Only Get Married If We Want To
In a response to Cohen told Bloomberg in an interview, “One of the reasons for the decline is that the married population is getting older and more highly educated. Marriage is more and more an achievement of status rather than something people do regardless of how they’re doing.” I couldn’t agree more with that statement. We wait longer and only get into this serious commitment if we genuinely want to be. Many couples are choosing to live common law in lieu of getting married. This study also proves that these relationships tend to be less stable.
It makes me happier to know that only serious couples who want a legal commitment to each other are lasting longer. And that the divorce rates are low considering. It does break my heart a bit that some couples don’t feel comfortable enough in their relationships to get married. Mainly because they fear failure or know it’s inevitable.