Divorce rate in the western world


Spin off from the tribunal thread.

The western world’s life expectancy is higher than ever before. We don’t have anywhere near the same mortality rate and medicine is able to extend our lives drastically compared to our historical bretheren.

Is it reasonable to suggest divorce rates are higher due to this? The average age of marrying (in australia) in 27. Assuming the couple live to the median age expectancy of 85ish does this create lower chances of successful cohabitation?

I’ve been reading up on my Pre-Reformation English history. It was common for someone to marry 2-3 times due to the death of a spouse. A >30 year wedding anniversary was incredibly rare. My guess is there was much less time for couples to breed resentment between them.



Does divorce become more prevalent after couples have been married many years? I doubt that very much.


I thought it did?
I believe after children grow and leave home the chances get much higher for a certain amount of time.


I think it’s more due to two things:

  1. A change in values. We live more and more in a “throw-away” culture. More and more stuff is disposable. More and more people go through two or three different careers in their lives. Sadly some people see marriage the same way.

  2. Change in economic circumstances. Back in the day it was much harder and less common for people to get a divorce because women didn’t work outside the home. Often women were poorly educated and had few economic opportunities. They simply couldn’t support themselves on their own. Remember, too, that back in the day marriages (especially among the ruling class) were not really about love. They were about creating alliances and increasing land holdings. It was VERY common for men to have mistresses and women to have lovers. Most people would just turn a blind eye. In fact, sometimes men would encourage their wives to try to win the affection of a noble because it could mean the man would receive compensation in the form of titles, money, or land. Today we don’t tolerate infidelity or abuse.


I think the lack of divorce in pre-Reformation times was due more to societal expectations of marriage. People often did not marry expecting fulfillment or companionship. If you could get those things in the bargain, great, and certainly there were married couples who loved each other, but it was primarily an economic relationship for many couples, and many women had very little say in who they ended up married to. “Companionate marriage” where people expected to choose their own spouse and have a fulfilling relationship as we in the West think of it today, didn’t really come in until the early 20th century.

In the pre-Reformation era, once married, divorce was largely impossible, and an unhappy spouse would have been more likely to either have an adulterous relationship on the side, or else focus on something else like work or children, rather than try to divorce.


One also has to recognize the disastrous effect on “no fault” divorce on the rates of divorce in the U.S. As to other countries, I don’t know their laws so can’t say there is any correlation.


Indeed. Having a very big house can help. Also, taking seperate vacations and working opposite hours can reduce the amount of time a couple has to endure one another’s company. Also, frequent trips to the store and taking the long way home from work have also been known to help. :sunglasses:


Yeah, but then she might realize she doesn’t need me around. :grin:


Some risks cannot be avoided. But as long as there are spiders to kill, your job is safe. :sunglasses:


No I don’t think it’s that. I saw study recently of 10,000 people that looked at
(A) number pre-marital sex partners
(B) divorce rate

Essentially it concluded that for every pre-marital sex partner, add an extra 10% divorce rate. 5 pre marital sex partners? 50% chance divorce. 9 or more? 90+%. 0 pre-marital partners? 0%

Our Catholic teaching was pretty spot on!

That’s rough summary of data. If you want to see the video discussing the data PM me, not sure I’m allowed provide name of YouTube channel and video here. Just joined and don’t want break rules.


It would be interesting to compare divorce rates between arranged marriages and marriages where the couple chooses for themselves


I’d guess arranged far less since more mature adult whose brain isn’t clouded by sex hormones is doing the vetting. Plus they have interest in marriage lasting


Yes a lot of the above. No fault divorce likely catapulted the divorce rate much higher.
My parents divorced in the late 60’s after California passed a no fault divorce law. Then it was mostly men leaving for the secretary or younger woman, now most divorces are initiated by women.
Also, women didn’t work outside the home and much less means of supporting themselves.
I think a huge reason also was it was more of a societal taboo to divorce as well pre-1960’s.
Churches need to prepare their parishioners much better about marriage.


If you mean Trump, he’s only divorced 2 times.
The former “most pro-life President”, Reagan, divorced 1 time.
The majority of Presidents since 1900 are known to have had affairs. Not saying it’s right but it’s the norm for Presidents.


The concept of divorce is probably nonexistent in those cultures. A person probably gets stoned.


The cause & effect relationship may not be obvious, but I lay the blame for soaring divorce rates squarely at the feet of universal acceptance of birth control. That acceptance fundamentally changed the way we see & practice sex. Now it is only recreational, and the only taboo now is to restrict it in ANY way. Mankind apparently is not at their best when consequence-free sex is plentiful. Gods ways seem so restrictive, but what joy and freedom they lead us into! Gods ways are restrictive - they restrict us from indulging the worst in ourselves.


The thought of that makes me sad.


You may be right, but not for the reason you stated. Birth control has allowed women to not be obligated for the rest of their lives to huge amounts of children. This provides them with much more freedom to make decisions about how their life is going to go. If they are fed up with the way their spouse treats them, it is much easier to leave if they only have one or two children.


But instead be glad.


About half of all fifteen year olds in the UK are not living with both their biological parents.

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