With the increase of divorce rates, scientists are scrambling to figure out what exactly is going on in contemporary marriage. Can you predict the divorce? Does it have anything to do with when you got married?
So many questions, very few answers. But VT are on the trail of some hypotheses that just might offer some explanation.
Can you make it last forever?
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According to Nicholas Wolfinger, a sociologist from the University of Utah, the age at which you marry can play the crucial role in the success of the marriage. After looking at the 2006-2010 data from the National Survey of Family Growth, he came to the conclusion that there is a so-called ‘golden age’ that’s ideal for marrying the love of your life.
The period is just 7 years long, and it stretches between age 25 and age 32. Anything before or after that increases the risk of your marriage failing.
For example, if you got married at 20, you increase the chance of getting a divorce somewhere down the line by a whopping 50% in comparison to marrying at 25. The sociologist found that after the age of 25, every year brought an additional 11% of divorce rate reduction. But, for some reason, this trend stops at age 32, when every additional year adds a penalty of 5% in favor of divorce.
I bet these guys married at like, 32 or something.
Mr. Wolfinger notes some diachronic irregularities, however. This trend is obviously recent, he says, because it differs from the data collected during the 2002 survey. That research found that people who married after 30 saw no drop in the rate of divorce. In fact, the marriages remained stable.
Despite all the data and statistics, though, Wolfinger can’t explain what exactly is the cause of this.
One could argue though that it all boils down to generational fads?
One idea is that if you get married later than the age of 30, your long-term marriage prospects suffer because you’ve had more partners in your youth. This would, potentially, make both you and your partner more prone to cheating. But on the other hand, this was surely the case up to 2002, right? Surely people didn’t suddenly decide to cheat more due to having more exes.
As the scientist himself warns, the study is inconclusive, but the findings are interesting. For now, though, the ‘golden age’ to get married is between the age of 25 and 32. So, for everyone older than 25 and younger than 32 – hurry up! Now’s the time!