The Divorce Myth
Wow. Statistics. I took a course on it when I decided to go to graduate school. No, I did not graduate. But I did pass statistics! I even got a B. Thank God for Eastern European geeks in the math lab and for partial credit. One thing I did learn about statistics, I mean besides that the Greek letter Sigma is not just the “funky E,” is that statistics can be and frequently are manipulated to come up with an answer that’s sometimes less than truthful.
Some stories about studies have come out this month about the marriage success rate in the United States of America. And, if you’re college educated, you make decent money, and you don’t marry too young, your odds are actually pretty damn good. Congratulations! You won the marriage lottery.
If you’re not college educated, if you’re middle class or working poor or, worse yet, impoverished, or if you marry young, you’re screwed. Well, not really. But your odds of success are way lower. It doesn’t take too much in the way of brains to figure out why this is. Since money is one of the big stressors in marriage, those people who have it are far less likely to be stressed over it.
You know how the media has been reporting for years that the divorce rate in this country was 50% or better, no matter what. Turns out the media is wrong. Check out these links.
The saddest trend I find is that marriage is becoming irrelevant for many young couples with only a high school education. They are becoming parents and cohabitating first, then perhaps marrying later when they can “afford” to do so. With the tax advantages for being married, particularly when it comes to having a family, I don’t see how you can afford not to be married.
This seems to me to be indicative of the greater trend in American society to think of marriage not as a serious lifelong commitment but rather a pit stop on Serial Monogamy Lane. A marriage is a ceremony, a great big expensive party that you host for all your friends, which is why you can’t afford it. Better to breed now and save up for that big party later.
If you’re married, please, please remember what a privilege it is to be married, to have someone who loves you to walk through life with, because not everyone does. Treasure it. If you’re not married, there’s plenty of rich, rewarding life ahead of you whether you get married or not. Happiness, like marriage, is ultimately a choice that you get to make. You can choose to be happy. Choose wisely.