In America, a divorce occurs every 36 seconds. That’s over 2,400 divorces each day. A common statistic that you hear is that 50% of marriages end in divorce. Luckily, this information slightly off: the divorce rate peaked in the 1980s at 40% and has been decreasing slowly for most age groups ever since. This number is definitely little better, but it’s still a little concerning, especially if you’re thinking about taking the plunge yourself. Now, statistics can’t predict the likelihood of any one particular relationship to end in divorce, but there are a few markers that make a “happily ever after” a little more plausible.
A few of the factors that affect the divorce rate are:
Age: If you get married after the age of 25, you’re more likely to stay together with your partner. Experts say that after 25 you’re more mature, better able to handle conflict, and have a better sense of self.
Education: If you and your partner both complete college, your likelihood of divorce decreases by 10%. Not only does this statistic take age into account, but it also thinks about stability. Individuals with college degrees tend to have a higher income potential and more stable job opportunities which remove some common stressors present in many relationships.
Mental health: Not surprisingly your mental health can drastically affect your chances for a blissful marriage. Depression and substance abuse disorders tend to be the most significantly associated with divorce. Some newer studies have claimed that there’s also a link between ADHD and divorce, although scientists are still determining the root causes. Having mental health issues can be an incredible burden on any relationship and generally make the common easy-to-navigate issues that all relationships have much harder to get through. If you or your partner are going through issues of depression, anxiety, increased stress, substance abuse, PTSD or any other mental health issue, visiting your therapist is a wonderful option that can truly save your marriage.
You also may consider couples counseling to help both you and your partner become better spouses. Your therapist can help you become better communicators, better listeners and teach you how to work through any issues as they arise.
When two people work together, learn from each other, and truly listen to each other’s needs, marriage can be an amazing ride. However, in order to be happy in a relationship, you first need to be happy with yourself. Taking care of any mental health problems as they arise is the best way to set your marriage up for success. If you do end up getting divorced, looking after your mental health is even more important. The stress of divorce can contribute to increased anxiety or depression and make difficult situations like co-parenting, moving, or the division of assets even harder. The fate of your relationships hinges on your mental health. You deserve to take care of yourself. If you’re ready to begin your personal journey to happiness, contact your therapist today to learn how.
Anna M. Hickey, Counseling Macomb, works with couples and families struggling with relationship issues.