6 factors that may predict divorce or separation

What predicts divorce is a complicated subject.  However, a few themes have borne out in repeated studies.

6.  Age:  Couples that marry later tend to have relationships that last longer. The earlier the couple gets together, the greater the risk of later divorce. That holds if couples move in together while they’re younger (as in teen years), too.

5.  Education and religion:  According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are both powerful predictors of lasting or dissolving unions.

“Women with a bachelor’s degree have a 78 percent chance of having their marriages lasting 20 years, compared with 41 percent for those with a high school education, while it’s respectively 65 percent and 47 percent for men. Identifying as religious also gave a similar bump versus being nonreligious.”
3.  Neuroticism or emotional instability, a personality trait that measures how sensitive you are to perceived threats, and how likely you are to ruminate about them:  It’s been implicated in anxietyand depression disorders, and,has been shown repeatedly to predict divorce. ( Lehmiller)
2. Infidelity.  No surprise here. When people cheat on each other, As documented in a 17-year longitudinal study following nearly 1,500 people, cheating leads to lower marital happiness, a greater feeling of “divorce proneness,” or the chance you might split up, and a higher occurrence of actually doing so.

1.  Contempt:  The number one killer – things that signal you’re disgusted with your partner are all super toxic for a relationship, like hostile humor, name-calling, eye-rolling.

(John Gottman relationship research)

But there’s hope: if you want a relationship to last, be kind to the person you’re with. It could be that simple.

Justin Lehmiller, Ball State associate professor, Sex & Psychology blog.

It’s important to note that all of these things are correlations, even in the case of infidelity. these studies can’t say definitely what causes divorce.




5 comments on “6 factors that may predict divorce or separation

  1. This is interesting. As I was raised catholic and my husband raised Muslim I often s finding myself trying to make our relationship work by sorting through our beliefs. Oddly, him and I agree theoretically on a lot of things that the Baha’i faith teaches but we deal with culture and religious pressure from the family ties around us. It’s not easy but we hope it’s worth it.


    • Mother,
      You make an excellent point-that the culture around a religion may be as big a factor as the actual teachings of the religion. You are both aware and work to sort things through and deal with outside pressures, and I think this could make your marriage stronger.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As simple as being kind to the person one loves, is what it all boils down to. A simple solution for lasting relationships. Who knew that eye rolling could predict separation! The age thing makes sense. I told all three of my sons that my one request re marriage was that they wait until they are out of their twenties before tying the knot. So far so good… ahaha. Interesting post.



    • Peta,
      You are so right. Being kind is a solution to all relationships, even those of a global kind. Eye-rolling is a sign, I think, of disrespect at best and disdain at worst. Your advice to your sons is a good one. I have a colleague who says that men aren’t fully cooked until they are in their 30’s!


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