Society - Relationships
By: - at January 29, 2015

20 Surprising Facts About Divorce

While most people go into a marriage with the best of intentions, divorce is a very likely outcome of most marriages no matter how hard people may try to reconcile their vows. In the state of Ohio there were 67,606 marriages and 39,306 total divorces, according to 2011 figures. That's 58.1 divorces per 100 marriages for a divorce rate of 58.1%. In Ohio in 1990, there were 98,076 marriages and 53,504 divorces for a statewide divorce rate of 54.6%. The data from Ohio is similar to data from other U.S. states and suggests that the divorce rate has slowly been increasing. There is an attitude of marriage today that is radically different than the attitude towards marriages that lasted many years, and now less marriages truly live up to the terms, "till death do us part".

divorce rates worldwide

With changing attitudes and perceptions aside, marriages can also be doomed from the start; the only hope of solace coming from a divorce. Some of the most common causes of these inevitable divorces are when people go into a marriage with unrealistic expectations, get married for the wrong reasons, the relationship loses its romance and the partners fall out of love, and possibly disillusions as far as what their partner wanted in regard to the marriage also contribute to these "divorce or bust scenarios". One of the most common issues surrounding all divorces is unrealistic or inappropriately founded expectations regarding the marriage and relationship.

expectations divorce

Divorce has become just about as popular as marriage and although it is kind of sad to consider, but divorce can be a very likely outcome for most marriages. Here are some interesting facts and figures pertaining to divorce.

20)  Having Twins or Triplets Increases Chances of Divorce
Having children increases the chances of a successful marriage, but only slightly. Do you know if twins or multiple pregnancies like even triplets or quadruplets is coded in your genetic makeup? A multiple birth scenario unfortunately means that divorce may be much more likely for a couple. The chances for divorce increase by 17% whenever twins or triplets are brought into the marriage.

multiple births, divorce, twins, triplets

19)  Age Matters (For Women)
When a husband is two years older than his bride, than the divorce rate is X. When a woman is two years older than her husband, then the divorce rate is 53% + X. When a woman is older than her husband, divorce statistics show a much higher likelihood of divorce.

 divorced women age matters more than men
By Jennifer Pahlka via Wikimedia Commons

18)  Mistreating A Mother-in-law Isnít Grounds for Divorce
While there are plenty of jokes about nightmare mother-in-laws, in Wichita, Kansas legislation was created in order to help solve issues between mother-in-laws and their son-in-laws. One weird and alarming law states, "A woman canít seek a divorce purely on the grounds that her husband mistreats his mother-in-law.Ē Presumptions about the origin of this legislation possibly come from a common belief that many mothers-in-law and sons-in-law do not get along.

snooping mother in law

17)  Adulterers Can Be Sued
In the states of Mississippi and New York, legal recourse exists such that a person can sue someone other than their partner for causing their divorce. If the marriage ended directly because of an affair, then the party who did not participate in infidelity has the right to sue the person their partner engaged in an affair with. If the distressed party wins the legal suit then like any civil legal dispute, they are entitled to damages. In these states, the law sees a partner's infidelity as a direct cause of alienating any original affection and basically at fault for the divorce just like placing blame for a car accident.

adulterer laws
By Kyjeff via Wikimedia Commons

16)  Smoking Increases the Likelihood of Divorce
Smoking is a always an issue as far as dating is concerned, and couples regularly engage in arguments surrounding the smoking issue. Most people these days along the the theme of healthier living, have learned to give up smoking all together. In America, smoking and divorce statistics show that when one partner in a marriage smokes while the other is a nonsmoker, then thereís a 75% chance that the marriage will end in divorce.

smoking spouse divorce

15)  Couples in Republican States Are More Likely to Divorce
Studies have found that couples residing in states that are known to have strong Republican values have a 27% higher chance of getting divorced than those who live in states that are typically considered "blue states" or democrat states. Its odd to see these numbers because often the Republican party likes to identify itself as being stronger on family values than Democrats are but this is something that needs further examination. The truth behind these numbers really has nothing to do with politics and really has to do with marriage age of republican party members. Mostly couples who strongly identify with the Republican party tend to marry much younger than those who are affiliated with the democratic party. Statistics favor those who get married at an older age, and factors like financial and job security also favor age.

grand old party republican party
By Hydrox via Wikimedia Commons

14)  Couples in the Northeast Are Less Likely to Divorce
Americaís western-located states, like California and Washington for example, generally have the highest rates of marriage and divorce. Southern states have the second highest, relative rates of divorce. Northeastern states have the lowest divorce rates according to the 2010 US Census Bureau, with New Jersey having the lowest divorce figures. There is no solid indication for why New Jersey has a favorable statistical distinction towards marriage. The state with the highest divorce rate is Nevada.

Great Falls of the Passaic River in Paterson, New Jersey:
Great Falls of the Passaic River in Paterson, New Jersey
By Merle9999 via Wikimedia Commons

13)  Men Suffer More Emotionally After Divorcing
There is a common pattern where women seem to struggle more financially following a divorce, while men seem to recover better as far as financial obligations are concerned. The flipside of occurrences like these has to do with emotional damages that come from getting a divorce. As far as emotional issues are concerned, men are said to suffer significantly more than women. One indicator of emotional well-being has to do with drinking alcohol excessively. Common traits are for more men to drink during the aftermath of a divorce, while women will generally drink less than they did while they were still married.

liquor store
By David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons

12)  Some People Will Remarry
While there have been a number of celebrities over the years who get divorced only to get married again years later, this novelty isnít restricted to public figures. The average number of Americans that remarry a divorced spouse is surprising higher than one might think. There is a 6% chance of divorced people getting back together and remarrying the very same person they initially wanted a divorce from.

remarry, remarriage, divorce

11)  Six Warning Signs for Imminent Divorce
There are six specific signs that married people should be concerned with, as they are signs that a marriage is most likely headed for divorce. These signs include: 1. One or both parties fantasizing about a life without their spouse. 2. The realization that the negative aspects of the marriage significantly outnumber the positive. 3. Little-to-no communication between the partners. 4. The act of being defensive and dismissive with their partner. 5. One partner believing that they are the only one attempting to fix things. 6. The lack of intimacy. The best advice here is to try to communicate feelings and concerns and address them as they come up. This is much healthier instead of waiting days or years until the issues become so gigantic, that they become irreconcilable. 

Man and Woman Being Punished in Early Japanese Culture for Adultery:
Man and Woman Being Punished in Early Japanese Culture for Adultery

10)  Elderly Divorce is Becoming Common
The number of divorces for people over the age of 65 has doubled since 1980. Figures like these really shows how prevalent divorce has become even among age groups that have been traditionally identified as being incredibly serious about matrimony. Currently, the oldest known ages for a divorced couple is 99 (husband) and 96 (wife). This elderly Italian couple divorced after 60 years of marriage. The husband initiated the separation after discovering love letters between his wife and her lover, from the 1940s. They were divorced in 2011.

elderly divorce

9)  Divorce Rates Donít Improve in Second and Third Marriages
When people go through horrible divorces, many of them will get married again and go into their next marriage believing that they will fare much better the second time around. On paper this seems to be pretty sound logic. They will most likely learn from any mistakes they made during their first marriage. Taking what they have learned from the first marriage and applying it during a subsequent marriage, they really should be able to make their next attempts at romance really work. There is an unfortunate reality concerned with getting married multiple times and examining figures from the United States. The odds of making marriages work significantly decrease with each attempt at formal romance. In the United States, 40% of first-time marriages end in divorce, and the chances of a divorce increases with each additional attempt at marriage. For those engaging in a second marriage, the chances of divorce increase to 60%, while 73% of third marriages will end in divorce. Also the chances of displacing children becomes more and more of an issue.

childs note

8)  Divorce Was Easy For Men in Ancient Chaldea
In ancient Chaldea in order to officially get a divorce, a husband had to only write to his wifeís father stating that he no longer wanted to be married to her. While the process was remarkably easy for men, if a woman ever tried to divorce her husband, she would be drowned.

chaldea and nieghboring countries

7)  Native American Tribes and the Aztecs Didnít Believe in Divorce
In some Native American tribes a man would be banished if he left his wife without a ďvalid reason,Ē and among Native American cultures there were very few reasons why a divorce would ever be considered. Furthermore, in many tribes it used to be that a man could not, under any circumstances, leave his wife if they had children. The duties to family and children were seen as much more important then a man or woman's romantic happiness. The ancient Aztecs also had similar views of marriage and the idea of divorce, with divorces or dissolutions of marriage only granted in extreme cases where mental illness issues or extreme abuses were occurring.

Aztec (left) and Mixtec (right) Brides Being Carried to the Wedding:
Aztec (left) and Mixtec (right) Brides Being Carried to the Wedding

6)  Divorce is Illegal in Some Countries
In the Philippines, divorce continues to be illegal. Even if you were legally divorced in a different country years earlier, it would not be legally recognized by the Philippine government and unfortunately in the eyes of the law you would still be married. Divorce is also illegal in the Republic of Malta, which is a country where the Vatican (Catholic beliefs) has control. Due to Vatican influence the conception of divorce is banished, and the specific faith a couple may believe in is irrelevant; divorce is illegal for everyone.

Location of Malta and Malta's Capital City, Valletta:
Location of Malta and Malta's Capital City, Valletta

Roman Empire Mosaic, Republic of Malta:
Roman Empire Mosaic, Republic of Malta
By Immaculate via Wikimedia Commons

5)  Divorce Used to be Common in Islam
The religion of Islam has a long tradition of permitting divorces over the years, although divorce is considered to be one of the worst things a person could do during their lifetime. During medieval times, members of Islam desired more and more divorces as the crusades brought many unwanted marriages between Muslims and the newly organized Christians. These marriages were often brought on by force or through extortive techniques. However in most Middle Eastern countries today, divorce rates are significantly lower than most modern European nations.

islam points on divorce

4)  The Catholic Church Frowns on Divorce
The history of divorce throughout Western culture is in large part due to the Catholic church and their staunch opposition to divorce. From the 13th century onwards, people rapidly began abandoning the faith because of its hard-lined views on marriage. That is, the church forbade divorce as it believed that the only valid way a marriage could end was if either partner died. Much like today in Western culture, people didnít like the idea of life without the freedom to choose to divorce if they so wished.

Promiscuity Greatly Alters People's Serious Considerations of the Catholic Church's Opinions:
catholic church

3)  The Circumstances of the Catholic Church (In Theory) Approving Divorce
Despite the fact that the Catholicís views are strongly against divorce, there are actually some church laws that permit it under certain circumstances. In 1 Cor 1:15, the Pauline Privilege specifies that divorce and remarriage are permitted if a Catholic spouse has been abandoned by their non-Catholic partner. Some other exceptions include: The marriage never being consummated and the wife deciding to dedicate her life to God and become a nun. In such instances, the church (at least in theory), may grant a divorce as it would be considered favorable for the sake of the religion. Often couples have to attend church-sponsored marriage counseling as a last ditch attempt of saving their marriage. The pressing issues surrounding church sponsored divorces are irreconcilable differences and when marriages are destroying the lives of the people directly and indirectly involved. 

Divorce Proceedings of Anna Gould (American heiress and socialite) and the French nobleman Boni de Castellane who Sought Annulment from the Vatican, Depicting Ridiculousness of Dealing with Catholic Church 1906:
Divorce Proceedings of Anna Gould (American heiress and socialite) and the French nobleman Boni de Castellane who Sought Annulment from the Vatican, 1906

2)  Japan Has a Divorce Temple, Complete With a Divorce Toilet
At the Jorakuzan Mantokuji Temple in Japan, believers gather and make their desire for a marital separation "officially" with their God. The formal procedure involves formally writing out their desire to get a divorce on a piece of paper, then taking that piece of paper and flushing it down a toilet. Fittingly, the temple has an extensive history of providing refuge for women who were desperate to escape a failing marriage and have nowhere else to turn.

Beautiful Statue at Jorakuzan Mantokuji Temple, Japan:
Beautiful Statue at Jorakuzan Mantokuji Temple, Japan

1)  Divorce Was Common in Ancient Rome
Divorce was not only common in Ancient Rome, but it was also remarkably easy to get one. It was usually the upper class members of society that even thought to get divorced. A married couple had only to declare (in front of seven eye witnesses) that they no longer wished to be married. With the dissolution of the union, the woman would get back her complete dowry Ė assuming that she wasnít found to have committed adultery. If a woman was believed to have committed adultery, then she would only receive half of her dowry. A manís adultery was considered of no significance when it came to the divorce, thus his fidelity had no bearing on how much (or little) his former partner would receive.

Roman Couple Joining Hands with Bride's Belt Symbolizing Her Husband was "Belted and Bound" to Her:
Roman Couple Joining Hands with Bride's Belt Symbolizing Her Husband was "Belted and Bound" to Her
By Ad Meskens via Wikimedia Commons

With the ability to get married easier than it has ever been before, the chances are that more and more marriages are being rushed into and thus will end in divorce. It seems that if nothing else this will ensure that the already curious history of divorce and the strange circumstances that surround it will continue for many years to come.





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