Could Waiting Too Long to Get Married Increase Your Odds of Divorce?



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If you tie the knot past a certain age, your risk of splitting increases, according to new research.

It's no secret that people are waiting to get married. Building a career, dating to see what you like in a partner, and, you know, experiencing life just has a way of making an aisle walk less of a priority.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median age that women get married is 26.6 and the median age for men is 29. With that, you'd assume these marriages are more likely to last, given that everyone is older and more experienced in knowing what makes a good S.O.

But new research from sociologist Nicholas Wolfinger, Ph.D., a sociologist at the University of Utah, suggests that may only be true up until a certain point.

Wolfinger analyzed data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Survey of Family Growth from 2006 to 2010 and discovered that you can get married too early—and too late when it comes to maxing out your odds of staying together.



People who get hitched at the age of 20 are 50 percent more likely to get divorced than those who say “I do” at 25. Each additional year you wait to get married reduces your odds of divorce by 11 percent...until you turn 32.



Wolfinger says he was “very surprised” by the findings, adding, “it's a totally new development that only occurred over the past 20 years. It reverses decades of research on the relationship between age at marriage and divorce.”

As for why this happens, Wolfinger says he really has no idea.

While we’re floored by the findings, licensed clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula, Ph.D., isn’t. “Sometimes marriages stay together, not because they are working, but because of issues such as finances and traditionalism,” she says, adding that people who get hitched later in life might be less tied to those factors.


People who marry at a later age are also less likely to have kids, which Durvasula points out can make it easier to get divorced if things go south. And finally, she says someone who gets married at a later age may have personality traits like openness, which makes them more open to new experiences—including divorce.



“These marriages are often quite wise and healthy,” says Durvasula. “It is quite possible that these divorces happen because there is greater comfort—and less stigma—about calling it quits when it feels like it doesn't work.”



That’s good news for a lot of people since data from the Pew Research Center found that the biggest growth in marriage rates is among adults aged 35 and up.

Durvasula points out that there are many more important factors that typically make a marriage work—regardless of age—like respect, commitment, flexibility, the ability to communicate, empathy, and a shared sense of values. Basically, it all boils down to picking the right partner.

So while the research findings are eye-opening, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to get divorced if you get married after the age of 32.


At the end of the day, age is just a number.



Images Source: womenshealthmag
Source: womenshealthmag












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