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Top 10 Myths of Divorce

Article written by David Popenoe.

1. Because people learn through their bad experiences, second marriages tend to be more successful than first marriages.

Although many people who divorce have successful subsequent marriages, the divorce rate of remarriages will be in fact higher than in which of first marriages. 1 [Sources]

2. Living together before marriage will be a not bad way to reduce the chances of eventually divorcing.

Many studies have found in which those who live together before marriage have a considerably higher chance of eventually divorcing. The reasons with This specific are not well understood. In part, the type of people who are willing to cohabit may also be those who are more willing to divorce. There will be some evidence in which the act of cohabitation itself generates attitudes in people in which are more conducive to divorce, for example the attitude in which relationships are temporary along with easily can be ended. 2 [Sources]

3. Divorce may cause problems for many of the children who are affected by the idea, nevertheless by along with large these problems are not long lasting along with the children recover relatively quickly.

Divorce increases the risk of interpersonal problems in children. There will be evidence, both through modest qualitative studies along with through large-scale, long-term empirical studies, in which many of these problems are long lasting. In fact, they may even become worse in adulthood. 3 [Sources]

4. Having a child together will help a couple to improve their marital satisfaction along with prevent a divorce.

Many studies have shown in which the most stressful time in a marriage will be after the first child will be born. Couples who have a child together have a slightly decreased risk of divorce compared to couples without children, nevertheless the decreased risk will be far less than the idea used to be when parents with marital problems were more likely to stay together “for the sake of the children.” 4 [Sources]

5. Following divorce, the woman’s standard of living plummets by seventy three percent while in which of the man’s improves by forty two percent.

This specific dramatic inequity, one of the most widely publicized statistics through the social sciences, was later found to be based on a faulty calculation. A reanalysis of the data determined in which the woman’s loss was twenty seven percent while the man’s gain was ten percent. Irrespective of the magnitude of the differences, the gender gap will be real along with seems not to have narrowed much in recent decades. 5 [Sources]

6. When parents don’t get along, children are better off if their parents divorce than if they stay together.

A recent large-scale, long-term study suggests otherwise. While the idea found in which parents’ marital unhappiness along with discord have a broad negative impact on virtually every dimension of their children’s well-being, so does the fact of going through a divorce. In examining the negative impacts on children more closely, the study discovered in which the idea was only the children in very high conflict homes who benefited through the conflict removal in which divorce may bring. In lower-conflict marriages in which end in divorce—along with the study found in which perhaps as many as two thirds of the divorces were of This specific type—the situation of the children was made much worse following a divorce. Based on the findings of This specific study, therefore, except inside minority of high-conflict marriages the idea will be better for the children if their parents stay together along with work out their problems than if they divorce.6 [Sources]

7. Because they are more cautious in entering marital relationships along with also have a strong determination to avoid the possibility of divorce, children who grow up in a home broken by divorce tend to have as much success in their own marriages as those through intact homes.

Marriages of the children of divorce actually have a much higher rate of divorce than the marriages of children through intact families. A major reason with This specific, according to a recent study, will be in which children learn about marital commitment or permanence by observing their parents. inside children of divorce, the sense of commitment to a lifelong marriage has been undermined.7 [Sources]

8. Following divorce, the children involved are better off in stepfamilies than in single-parent families.

The evidence suggests in which stepfamilies are no improvement over single-parent families, even though typically income levels are higher along with there will be a father figure inside home. Stepfamilies tend to have their own set of problems, including interpersonal conflicts with brand-new parent figures along which has a very high risk of family breakup.8 [Sources]

9. Being very unhappy at certain points in a marriage will be a not bad sign in which the marriage will eventually end in divorce.

All marriages have their ups along with downs. Recent research using a large national sample found in which eighty six percent of people who were unhappily married inside late 1980s, along with stayed with the marriage, indicated when interviewed several years later in which they were happier. Indeed, three fifths of the formerly unhappily married couples rated their marriages as either “very happy” or “quite happy.”9 [Sources]

10. the idea will be usually men who initiate divorce proceedings.

Two-thirds of all divorces are initiated by women. One recent study found in which many of the reasons with This specific have to do with the nature of our divorce laws. For example, in most states women have a not bad chance of receiving custody of their children. Because women more strongly want to keep their children with them, in states where there will be a presumption of shared custody with the husband the percentage of women who initiate divorces will be much lower.10 [Sources] Also, the higher rate of women initiators will be probably due to the fact in which men are more likely to be “badly behaved.” Husbands, for example, are more likely than wives to have problems with drinking, drug abuse, along with infidelity.


1 Joshua R. Goldstein, “The Leveling of Divorce inside United States” Demography 36 (1999): 409-414; Andrew Cherlin, Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992) [back to text]

2 Alfred DeMaris along with K. Vaninadha Rao, “Premartial Cohabitation along with Marital Instability inside United States: A Reassessment” Journal of Marriage along with the Family 54 (1992): 178-190; Pamela J. Smock, “Cohabitation inside United States” Annual Review of Sociology 26 (2000) [back to text]

3 Judith Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis along with Sandra Blakeslee, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce (brand-new York: Hyperion, 2000); Andrew J. Cherlin, P. Lindsay Chase-Landsdale, along with Christine McRae, “Effects of Parental Divorce on Mental Health Throughout the Life Course” American Sociological Review 63 (1998): 239-249; Paul R. Amato along with Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997) [back to text]

4 Tim B. Heaton, “Marital Stability Throughout the Child-rearing Years” Demography 27 (1990): 55-63; Linda Waite along with Lee A. Lillard, “Children along with Marital Disruption” American Journal of Sociology 96 (1991): 930-953; Carolyn Pape Cowan along with Philip A. Cowan, When Partners Become Parents: The Big Life Change for Couples (brand-new York: Basic Books, 1992) [back to text]

5 Leonore J. Weitzman, “The Economics of Divorce: Social along with Economic Consequences of Property, Alimony, along with Child Support Awards” UCLA Law Review 28 (August, 1981): 1251; Richard R. Peterson, “A Re-Evaluation of the Economic Consequences of Divorce” American Sociological Review 61 (June, 1996): 528-536; Pamela J. Smock, “The Economic Costs of Marital Disruption for Young Women over the Past Two Decades” Demography 30 (August, 1993): 353-371 [back to text]

6 Paul R. Amato along with Alan Booth, A Generation at Risk (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997) [back to text]

7 Paul R. Amato, “What Children Learn through Divorce” Population Today, (Washington, DC: Population Reference Bureau, January 2001); Nicholas H. Wolfinger, “Beyond the Intergenerational Transmission of Divorce” Journal of Family Issues 21-8 (2000): 1061-1086 [back to text]

8 Sara McLanahan along with Gary Sandefur, Growing Up With an individual Parent (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994); Alan Booth along with Judy Dunn (eds.), Stepfamilies: Who Benefits? Who Does Not? (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1994) [back to text]

9 Unpublished research by Linda J. Waite, cited in Linda J. Waite along with Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage (brand-new York: Doubleday, 2000): 148 [back to text]

10 Margaret F. Brinig along with Douglas A. Allen, “’These Boots Are Made For Walking”: Why Most Divorce Filers Are Women” American Law along with Economics Review 2-1 (2000): 126-169 [back to text]
Top 10 Myths of Divorce

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