The Divorce Myth

December 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm 14 comments


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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.

As for religion and how it affects the divorce rate, agnostics and atheists have the lowest divorce rate. Born again Christians have the highest divorce rate.

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.


Entry filed under: Humor, Love, Marriage, Relationships. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Team Oyeniyi  |  December 15, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Pleased to here atheists and agnostics have the lowest divorce rate! Mind you – I have to ask – do we also have the lowest marriage rate? Statistics, and all that, you know…..

    • 2. gooseberrybush  |  December 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      You also have lower rates of marriage and higher rates of cohabitation without marriage.

  • 3. Team Oyeniyi  |  December 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Then with lower rates of marriage, it stands to reason we have lower rates of divorce, so as a valid comparison it is questionable. 🙂 However, I’m one of the happy to be married ones!

  • 4. popsdumonde  |  December 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I had a statistics prof that said,”statistics don’t lie, but people lie with statistics”.
    I like how you implore the married to realize that they are blessed. It is disturbing that the highest rates ate amongst the “born again” Christians.

  • 5. Louella  |  December 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Lovely Post. I myself am not married, or shacked up. I’m waiting…. for the one…. Do you think they exist?

    • 6. gooseberrybush  |  December 15, 2010 at 11:31 pm

      Hi, Louella,

      I have written about this before, sort of hidden in another, much older post. I don’t think there is a “the one.” I think there are many ones, and some are better bets than others. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had too many crushes to possibly count. I couldn’t name every guy I’ve ever been on a date with anymore. I’ve had one “long term relationship,” and I’ve been in love three times in my entire life. All this leads me to believe that the concept of “the one” is a romantic fantasy and probably a very dangerous one at that. It causes us to miss out on some really great people maybe, in our reluctance to commit since “the one” might still be out there somewhere. He’s just dating the wrong woman. It also causes women to maybe be very hard on themselves if they fail to find, attract and keep “the one.” It’s just too much pressure, and I don’t think it’s a healthy way of looking at relationships. I think commitment in romantic relationships is a very serious thing, and we ought to keep our word and stick with one guy once the choice is made, but to believe that he is the only one that we could have ever been with…it opens up a whole can of worms with widowhood and divorce and adultery, sort of makes my head hurt.

  • 7. kayisacute1  |  December 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I think this is the first time I have ever commented on your blog, even though I actually have you on my blog roll.

    Anywho, I am a divorced mother of two. I honestly don’t believe ppl aren’t cohabiting because of the fact that weddings cost so much, it’s because a lot o folks are scared they are going to lose their shirts (what little they have) to a divorce.

    There used to be a time the only way to procreate was through marriage, being as that is no longer an issue, no one seems to find marriage “necessary”. What they don’t realize is marriage is far more than just procreation and shared credit. That worst part is that so many ppl miss out on the intimacy that comes with sharing your life with another person.

    • 8. gooseberrybush  |  December 15, 2010 at 11:22 pm

      Thank you for commenting, Kay, and for putting me on your blogroll.

  • 9. popsdumonde  |  December 16, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Hey Gooseberry, You can add Pops to your stats, he’s getting divorced and has written his last blog.

    • 10. gooseberrybush  |  December 16, 2010 at 12:19 am

      I can’t tell you how sorry I am about this. I will pray for you.

      • 11. popsdumonde  |  December 16, 2010 at 1:04 am

        Thank you, you are very kind, prayers are always welcome.

  • 12. Amanda  |  December 16, 2010 at 12:16 am

    I think in this day and age that people give up too easily and often times for selfish reasons. Compromising is hard. Divorce is so easy to obtain these days that people think it’s an easy out. I wish we could go back to the old days when divorce was a FINAL option when we’d tried everything else first.

    • 13. gooseberrybush  |  December 16, 2010 at 12:20 am

      Amen, sista. You and me both.

    • 14. popsdumonde  |  December 16, 2010 at 1:07 am

      I totally agree with you. You cannot force someone to be married to you or work things out against their will. I think two people willing to take personal responsibility and humble themselves, forgive each other and actively learn to love each other, can have a beautiful marriage.


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