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Divorce and Marriage Statistics in the United States
Some couples experience marriage in crisis due to a number of factors such as financial, religious, emotional and psychological issues. They may have tried applying different methods that could save their marriage, yet the reason for getting a divorce may be intense. According to researchers, about 50% of marriages in the United States lead to divorce. While most adults claimed to have gained benefits from divorce or single-parenthood, a high percentage of children end up suffering from it. With this in mind, couples should think carefully if something could still be done to save their marriage.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), there is an increasing rate of divorce in the United States. Here are some of the most currently available statistics on divorce and marriage in the US, which is based from the U.S Census Bureau.
1. In 2005, there were 2,230,000 marriages in the country, which is lower than the rate during the previous year.
2. In 2005, the divorce rate per 1,000 U.S citizens was 3.6, which was the lowest rate obtained since 1970.
3. The highest divorce rate was at 5.3, which was recorded in 1981.
4. The 2005 marriage rate in the U.S was 7.5, quite lower than the 7.8 rate from the previous year.
5. In 2004, Nevada has the highest divorce rate at 6.4, while Arkansas was second with a divorce rate that reached 6.3. On the other hand, the area with the lowest divorce rate was the District of Columbia, at 1.7. Other states with low reported divorce rates were Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.
6. According to a report gathered by the National Marriage Project (Rutgers University), about 8.1% of coupled households have unmarried heterosexual live-in partners. The study also noted that only 63% of all American children grew up and were raised by both biological parents, which was the lowest rate in the Western world.
7. In 2003, about 56.2 of custodial fathers and 43.7 of custodial mothers were either divorced or separated.
8. In 2002, over 7 million Americans paid more than $40 billion in spousal or child support, and 84 percent of these payers were male.
9. Most American get married between June and October. In 2005, the most marriages occurred in August, which was at a rate of 9.3 per 1,000 Americans.
Marriage in Crisis: Causes of Divorce
Several researchers estimate that 40 to 50% of first marriage end in divorce, as evident in the current situation in the country. The risk of divorce tends to increase for second marriage, which is about 60%. While the divorce rate was generally higher in the last 50 years, it still maintains a high rate at present.
Psychologists have identified the common signs and reasons for divorces among couples. According to the most recent national survey, 73% of couples stated that lack of commitment was their main reason for getting a divorce. Other respondents gave the following reasons:
Frequent arguments (56%)
Infidelity and trust issues (55%)
Abuse in marriage (29%)
Marriage at a young age (46%)
Unrealistic expectations and disappointments (45%)
Inequality in the relationship or unfair treatment (44%)
Abuse in marriages is one factor that deserves special consideration when it comes to the common reason for getting a divorce. All individuals including children and adults have the right to be safe – emotionally, sexually, and physically. According to the national Domestic Violence Organization, some of the signs of abuse include the following:
Insults or criticizes you
Tries to isolate you from friends or family members
Monitors whom you spend time with, where you go or whom you talk to
Acts jealous or does not trust you
Does not allow you to work outside the home
Controls your finances and refuses to share money
Punishes you by failing to show affection
Infidelity in marriage is another typical issue that leads to divorce among most couples.
Furthermore, this doubles the chance the a married couple is likely to get a divorce. While the majority of people in the society is sexually tolerant, over 90% of Americans believe that infidelity is morally incorrect. While it may be challenging to conduct a research on the prevalence of infidelity among couples, about 2% of married women and 4% of married men confided to researchers that they were infidel to their spouses in the previous years.
Another issue that exists among married couples is marital financial problem. Money and other aspects related to finances can be a cause of disagreement and frequent argument between couples. They may encounter problems such as unequal monetary status or bigger share of financial responsibility in the household.
Does Marriage Counseling Work?
Marriage counseling is based on the context that couples and their problems may be handled with the support of a professional. Both partners are encouraged to attend the counseling session, so they can discuss specific issues that affect their marriage. The aim of counseling is to help couples deal with their immediate concerns and learn effective ways on how to relate with each other.
According to the United States Center for Addiction and Mental health, marriage counseling can be a useful approach that can help married couples who suffer from difficulties such as pervasive anger, dissatisfaction, resentment, repetitive arguments, feelings of emptiness or distance in the relationship, and lack of interest in affection with one another. In the 2000 US Census Bureau, a vast majority of American couples choose to live with a partner, and 52% of households consists of married couples. Moreover, about 21,000 marriage counselors and family therapists help couples deal and work on their relationship issues, based on the 2000 Census.
Researchers have discovered the following outcomes on marriage counseling:
1. At the end of the marriage counseling session, 75% of married couples agree that they are better off than other couples who failed to receive therapy or professional counseling.
2. About 65% of married couples have experienced significant improvement by undergoing therapy.
3. Long-term counseling sessions have a positive effect to the couple’s intimacy and emotional bonds, which help them deal with their personal issues and achieve a higher level of emotional maturity.
The Bottom Line
While the divorce rate in the US may continue to increase each year, couples can do something to analyze and reflect on issues that affect their marriage. They may also consult professionals such as marriage counselors or therapists that can help them sort out their issues and come up with effective ways in saving their relationship.