During a 90 day fiancé episode, the topic of marriage and divorce statistics came to my mind. I was talking about how Darcy, a cast member on 90 day fiancé continues to talk about wanting to get married again after having been married once already. As Darcy has continued to have highly publicized and filmed for a global audience, romantic distance relationships on the 90 day fiancé show….. it has made me wonder why on earth would anyone want to remarry given the circumstances?
It has also made me think about all of the education/knowledge that I have received throughout the years about this very topic. So, maybe that is why I have this outlook. Through the years of my pursuit of knowledge/education regarding human behavior and a marriage retreat that I attended with my spouse within the last few years, divorce rates have landed on my radar.
Currently, I am on my 1st marriage of 136 months or 11.3333 years based upon the United States calendar year. It is also my spouse’s 1st marriage. This brings me to my first point. According to the data, 1st marriages are most likely to succeed. However, don’t get too excited because the stats on 1st marriages are rather dismal. It is estimated that between 41% to 50% of 1st marriages will end in divorce (1, 2, 3, 4).
From the 1st marriage and onto the 2nd marriage, it just gets worse….
- 60% to 67% of 2nd marriages will end in divorce (1, 2, 3, 4).
- 73% of 3rd marriages will end in divorce (1, 2, 3, 4).
Let’s go ahead and flip those numbers for people that are optimistic and not at all skeptical.
- 50% to 59% of 1st marriages will continue (1, 2, 3, 4).
- 33% to 40% of 2nd marriages will last (1, 2, 3, 4).
- 27% of 3rd marriages will endure (1, 2, 3, 4).
Even with the stats flipped, the numbers are not very encouraging. So, why do the Darcys of the world continue onward towards ever considering marriage? Well, I think that it is likely that many people are not data driven and instead are caught up in the romantic societal notion of what marriage means to them.
- 7.8 is the median number of years that 1st marriages last for men prior to divorce (4).
- 7.9 is the median number of years that 1st marriages last for women prior to divorce (4).
- 7.3 is the median number of years that 2nd marriages last for men prior to divorce (4).
- 6.8 is the median number of years that 2nd marriages last for women prior to divorce (4).
Getting married is easy and obtaining a divorce is hard. This is largely due to the U.S. laws that vary widely by state. I have read legal blogs of lawyers trying to convince prospective divorce clients how much that they need to hire a lawyer and not even consider DIYing their impending divorce. This is in the face of many DIY divorce software systems that now exist in the U.S.
Check out my podcast and my article on DIY Divorce Software Systems. Thus, hiring a lawyer(s) could cost a person tens of thousands of dollars. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t sound at all appealing to me.
“The average total cost of divorce in the United States is $15,000” (4).
If you really want to go deep with marriage and divorce stats then check out Reference (4) in the reference section below this article.
I think that entering into a marriage should be a well thought out business decision, but it rarely is. Certainly, getting a divorce becomes a forced thought out business decision of sorts, like it or not.
My marriage was not a well thought out business decision. Instead, at age 23, it was based upon a sort of love, infatuation and lust mixed into a 31 day whirlwind romance that culminated into a small courtroom wedding ceremony of sorts.
Most decisions to marry do not come from a well thought out business plan but instead arrive from fleeting emotions.
- McKinley Irvin Family Law 2012, April 22nd 2020, <https://www.mckinleyirvin.com/family-law-blog/2012/october/32-shocking-divorce-statistics/>
- Mark Banschick M.D. 2012, April 22nd 2020,<https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-intelligent-divorce/201202/the-high-failure-rate-second-and-third-marriages>
- MERIWETHER & THARP, LLC, April 22nd 2020,<https://mtlawoffice.com/news/third-time-isnt-always-the-charm-divorce-more-likely-after-second-and-third-marriages>
- Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP 2018, April 22nd 2020, <https://www.wf-lawyers.com/divorce-statistics-and-facts/>
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The information included outside of what is referenced is based upon my opinion and life experience. Information included is for informational, entertainment and/or educational purposes only. This does NOT establish a clinical relationship with anyone. Please consult with a licensed behavioral health clinician in your area for personalized assistance with your unique situation. Thank you.