Divorce is passed from parents to children
Studies have shown that divorce is “inherited” from one’s parents – and passed to one’s children. Consider these statistics found in the article Why do people get divorced?
- In marriages 0-4 years old, chances of divorce increased 87% if wives had a history of parental divorce, 620% if both partners did
- In marriages 5-10 years old, chances of divorce increased 41% if wives had a history of parental divorce, 160% if both partners did
The good news, if either or both of you have divorced parents, is that if you can stay together long enough (eleven years) the odds of divorce fall very close to those of couples with no divorced parents.
Kids of divorce parents are less likely to marry (60% vs. 80%), and more likely to divorce (40% vs. 9%). The net result is that while 73% of children of intact families marry and stay married, only 36% of children of divorce do the same. That is a massive difference!
What does this mean for you?
- If either of you have parents who divorced, you need to know that you are at an increased risk of divorce. Yes, you can beat the odds, but understand that the reason for the odds is that having divorced parents changes how you think about marriage, how you see your spouse, and how willing you are to do all it takes to make it work. Beating the odds requires understanding and working on those things.
- If divorce ever crosses your mind, understand that divorce puts a horrible burden on your children. Are you willing to put a curse on their future? Is your marriage so bad it justifies more than doubling the odds of your children getting a divorce some day?
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A couple of good resources related to the Wednesday tip: Thanks to one of you for pointing me to The Walk-away Wife Syndrome by Michele Weiner-Davis. I have only recently found Michele’s Divorce Busting blog, and I really like what she has to say. Also, see a great post about “burning out” the stress response found on Dr. Jordana Mansbacher’s blog.