No doubt, marriage is risky, but it’s still, by definition, a ‘forever institution’. While experts have long debated the doomsday ’40-50% of marriages end in divorce stat’ , the fact is divorce rates are going down in the US.
While the news is a bit rosier for Americans, in general, Millennials may actually have a better built-in shot at divorce-proofing their marriages than other groups simply because of their views on marriage, and the reason we unhitch in the first place.
1. Age Before Marriage
How old you are when you put a ring on it counts! Researchers at Utah State found that the younger you are when you pair up with a lifelong partner, the more likely you are to fail over the long haul. The youngsters here need to grow up together to bond for life and, unfortunately, too many just grow apart. Millennials sort of have a leg up because they are getting married later than their parents, and much later than their grandparents. While the so-called Post-War “Silent Generation” of the 50s and 60s got married before they even got out of college (if they went to college), Millennials aren’t sealing the deal until they are 27-29 on average.
2. Quite the Education
Maybe they are getting married later because they are spending so much time getting educated, or maybe their education is making Millennials smart enough to put the brakes on getting married too early. Either way, Generation Y is on track to be the most educated in history.
3. Money Matters
Part of the reason so many Millennials have stayed in school and gotten so well educated may be, in part, because of the “Great Recession” and its fallout. Jobs were tough to come by in the late 2000s early 2010s, although the situation is thankfully improving. Millennials are standouts for employers in many ways, though, known for their creativity, resourcefulness and “out-of-the-box” thinking. They are getting jobs, with their current median household income just over $61,000. Research shows that is a pretty healthy start in terms of lowering the financial stress for a new marriage. Finances are always among the biggie fight topics, so if a couple is in the black, they are most likely on track.
In addition to these core issues, I will give the same advice to the 20 and early 30-somethings that I give to all of my patients and clients:
- Remember to prioritize each other. Your relationship is priority one over everything else. Of course, you can, and should, make regular ME TIME. But, you are a unit and need to act like one. Date nights are a necessity, even if you don’t feel like doing them. They matter.
- You know what they say– sex sells. Nothing, even your kids or career, can get in the way of keeping your sex life alive. If you let that die, there is no bullet-proof shield that will protect your marriage forever.
- Communicate, silly. If you have an issue, talk it out. Actually, look back at the ‘date night’ priority, and make sure you make it a point to talk regularly. Even about little things. You don’t want to only talk about the tough stuff. Little, regular check-ins about daily happenings are good, and positive. Your communication styles are probably different. Most couples’ are. That doesn’t matter– at all. Just figure out the language of your partner and learn to listen.
One Comment on “Are Millennial Marriages More Divorce-Proof?”
I concur- we shouldn’t overlook this problem any more. How to proceed?