What is the Length of the Average Marriage Prior to Divorce?
If you’ve found yourself going through a divorce, you are not alone. There’s something comforting in knowing you aren’t the only one going through challenging times. For example did you know one of every three Americans are having credit problems? In both cases misery loves company. Not in a bad way, but in a way of saying — I’m not the only one who is in this situation.
According to marriage scientist Terri Orbuch, PhD., about 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce today. When J. Lo and Marc Anthony called it quits after seven years, thoughts of the infamous “seven-year itch” surfaced. But in reality, 10 percent of first marriages end in divorce in the first five years. According to Orbuch who has followed nearly 400 couples since 1986 as part of a National Institutes of Health study on relationships, it’s between the 3.5 and 5-year range where you’re most likely to experience a significant drop in marital quality and most likely to get divorced. The honeymoon effect has worn off and romance is trumped by problems like money worries and family drama. Stress levels peak at the three-year mark. What once was a minor irritation, like poor table manners, shifts to majorly annoying. This time slot is coined the “three-year glitch.”
The study indicates there’s smooth sailing once again until around 10 years, and then it gets rocky again between 16 and 20 years. If you make it past 20, you’ve pretty much achieved a level of satisfaction and companionship. The 30-year benchmark can bring on some surprises like a Tipper and Al Gore split.
If you’ve ever woke up in the middle of the night and wondered who is this person and why did I marry them? Let go of the guilt — you are not alone.