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– Thoughts, Facts and Statistics
By David Harper
Approximately half of all marriages in the USA will end in divorce before the couple’s 20th anniversary. So is the glass half full? Some Catholic countries were slow in legalizing divorce. In Argentina, it only became legal in 1987 and the first divorce filing ever in Chile was in 2004. A lesser-known statistic is that as divorce was legalized the mortality rate for married women improved.
Religion affects divorce statistics all over the world, often in surprising ways. The Church of England was created when the Pope would not sanction a divorce for King Henry VIII.
“My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn’t.”
Statistics show that stronger the religion, and religious upbringing, the fewer the divorces, be it among Christians or Muslims. Statistics vary but, for example, divorce isn’t increasing in South Asia compared to Central Asia. The reason is that Hindu’s (mostly South Asia) believe that marriage is a religious sacrament as opposed to Muslims (non Arab Central Asia) who see it as a contractual relationship. A great number of odd statistics have been obtained but one that could be significant is missing. That is the ratio of divorces in relationship to the number of lawyers available per capita.
“Why is divorce so expensive? Because it’s worth it.”
Joking aside, statistically speaking, most people coming out of a divorce feel one of two things, a) They gave up too much, or b) They didn’t get enough. But the lawyers were paid in full no matter what the result and lawyers in the USA specializing in divorce become quite wealthy in the process. So it is likely that countries with a high ratio of lawyers to population will have higher divorce ratios.
According to UK Government statistics in 2003: 69% of divorces were at the woman’s behest. Similar statistics occur throughout the world, in other words more than two thirds of all divorces are initiated by women. To quote one lady, “I’d rather get half of everything now, than put up with this **** (expletive deleted) for another 20 years.”
According to a 1985 study the top reasons why American women say they got divorced –Communication problems – 69.7%, Unhappiness – 59.9%, Incompatibility – 56.4%, Emotional abuse – 55.4%, Financial problems – 32.9%, Sexual problems 32.1%, Husband’s alcohol abuse – 30.0%, Spousal infidelity – 25.2%, Physical abuse – 21.7%.
How many women claimed ‘all of the above’ is not known. Similar statistics for men showed lesser percentages in all categories and considerably less for emotional abuse, where only 24.7%, gave it as a reason.
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics – Disraeli
In her paper “Till violence do us part” Rita Thaemert claimed that her studies found that 80% of wives suing for divorce cited that they had been physically abused by their husbands. Rather different than the 21.7% in the 1985 study and also from a British report stating that one in three marriages ending in divorce involve domestic violence.
However, in the Hope Grows Eternal department: 70% of divorced persons re-marry, usually to someone else. Unfortunately two thirds of second marriages also end in divorce.
In this entire matter the only statistic that is perfectly accurate is this: “Marriage is the number one cause of divorce. Statistically, 100% of all divorces started with marriage!”
Before contemplating taking this life-changing step please read these pieces of positive advice on marriage from two of America’s best regarded philosophers:
“I’m a big opponent of divorce. Why leave the nut you got for the one you don’t know” – Loretta Lynn – married at 13 and stayed married to the same man until his death 48 years later.
“If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with some rain” – Dolly Parton – married at 20 and still married to the same man (44 years).