Are Early Marriages More Likely to End in Divorce?

Oct 14, 2020 9:21 AM ET

Oct 14, 2020 5:21 AM ET
iCrowd Newswire – Oct 14, 2020

Supporters of natural changes in modern society around the world and in the United States argue that there are no exact algorithms for identifying certain trends in relationships between people. Indeed, if we talk about the relationship between partners, spouses, or family members, it is impossible to make assertions with certainty because each case, as well as the character, features, and fate of each person, is individual.

But can statistics and studies give an unambiguous answer to some questions of interest to society? When human relations are the object of such studies, it is always difficult to avoid crossing the fine line between scientific basis and stereotypical opinion. After all, if two adults decide to mutually legalize their relationship and get married, why should they care about some kind of inflated public opinion or statistics about divorce proceedings?

And in this case, paradoxically, both polar points of view can have a certain weight and significance! On the one hand, the popular opinion that fast marriage is a great risk for spouses due to a lack of life experience is nothing more than a conservative and moralizing social stereotype that has been cultivated for many years by certain moods and lifestyles. On the other hand, dry scientific numbers, as well as trends and sociological dynamics, only confirm the rather sad theory that young marriages are not always durable and are more likely to end sadly for spouses and their families.

What does the official statistics say about this?

Official statistics cite the following data as an argument: about 60 percent of all divorce proceedings in the United States occur between spouses whose age varies between 25 and 35 years. According to Jamie Kurtz, on average, 65 to 70 percent of all divorce cases were initiated by the wife who also served as the petitioner in the process. But does this mean that the most likely reason for the divorce was precisely the fact that all of the young men and women mentioned in the study got married too soon?

After all, the main factor that was taken into account in the study was precisely the age of the spouses. But, as you know, the decision to dissolve a marriage and end a joint family life between two spouses can have many different reasons. Is the young age of the spouses the cause or consequence of such statistics in the United States? Or maybe this is not a trend at all, but a banal coincidence that has no logical justification behind it?

What do family psychologists say about this?

Any specialist in family relationships, personal coach, or psychologist will most likely tell you that the definition of “mature relationship” is not an archaic myth or a stereotype, no matter how awful it sounds. Marrying early is in no way associated with mature relationships, balanced decisions, rational behavior, planning, and a clear vision of a joint family future. And this is a completely logical observation because, at a young age, emotions and feelings, above all else, govern our actions!

There is a scientific explanation for this! Human behavioral patterns, including mood swings, adaptive tendencies, and spontaneous decision making, as well as emotional background, are largely dependent on human hormones. These invisible substances, which are produced by our body and can react in different ways to stress, pain, pleasure, physical and psychological stress, literally control our behavior. Over time and with age, the ratio and amount of hormones that are produced in the body can change, as well as our emotional intelligence.

This is partly why, especially, but rightfully, young age is associated with ease, recklessness, spontaneity, and heightened emotionality. While the mature age of a person is associated with prudence, outward manifestations of wisdom, drawing conclusions, and introspection. At the same time, a fast marriage is most likely a spontaneous decision of two people in love who firmly decided to be together and start a family, based on mutual understanding, passion, and hypertrophied feelings.

What do many years of life experience of married couples say about this?

Unfortunately, the reality is that rose-colored glasses tend to get covered with dust quickly. And the honeymoon has such a name precisely because it is a very limited period of time that ends too soon. Fashionable french fictional writer and literary provocateur Frederic Beigbeder deduced a funny formula for the relationship of a couple in his novel of the same name, “Love Lives Three Years”. Of course, such a statement by the author is quite post-ironic, but there is some truth in every joke. Sooner or later, the spouses cross the subtle line between attraction or passion and habit or stability.

And what happens when this conditional border is crossed? Concept revolution and paradigm change! Two people who several months earlier swore eternal love to each other and promised to get the stars from the sky if necessary, with a good coincidence of circumstances and the right state of affairs, should become real partners for each other. Spouses no longer have to constantly look at each other; they must learn to look in one direction! Of course, it can take a long time to find common interests, mutual views on life, and mental points of contact. By this, we mean a much longer amount of time than the candy-bouquet period of a relationship can last.

What can be the logical summary and conclusion for this review? Divorce can turn into a personal tragedy for each of its participants, but only if neither of the parties can analyze their own experience and apply it in their future life. An early divorce is a very sad situation, but it can turn into a positive trait since at a young age it becomes obvious that life does not end with the end of family life, and personal experience is the most valuable thing we can get from life!