When you look at statistics for divorce, it can be scary, and if I'm being honest, a little intimidating. According to the American Psychological Association, 40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Without knowing what goes on in someone's relationship, it's impossible to gauge whether or not divorce is in a couple's best interest. But for couples who consider divorce a last resort, there's one simple thing you can do before getting married to decrease your chances of divorce: Wait.
While both experts I talked to said it's in your favor to wait at least a year into your relationship before getting married, I'm a strong advocate for creating your own timeline. Some people know immediately that they're with the person they're going to spend the rest of their lives with, while others need more time to be able to figure it out. Both are totally fine.
If you want to get married within months of meeting, that's completely OK, just keep in mind that once the honeymoon stage is over, you may be bombarded by things you didn't realize bothered you in the beginning. But that doesn't mean you and your partner can't push through and make it work. It's not set in stone that if you and your SO get married after less than a year of dating that you won't make it. You very well could.
However, your chances of divorce might be slightly higher than if you waited until at least the one-year mark. Anita Chlipala, a licensed marriage and family therapist, advises waiting this long before taking the step toward marriage.
"Romantic love lasts, on average, 12-18 months," Chlipala tells Elite Daily. "So, couples who wait until after the infatuation has faded perhaps see each other more realistically. If you're still in the infatuation phase, and you get engaged, then the following months are hectic and busy with wedding planning, you may not see the 'real' side of your partner until you're already married."
Chlipala also touches on how the age that you get married, as well as the point that you're at in your life, can have drastic impacts on your chances of divorce.
"There's research that shows that people who marry in their late teens and early 20s have a very high rate of divorce," she explains. "I have witnessed with my own clients that timing matters. Some people want to have certain life experiences or adventures, feel in a good place financially, have experiences of being on their own, etc., before they want to get married."
However, LeslieBeth Wish, a noted clinical psychotherapist, says there is such a thing as dating for too long, showing there's no indication of moving toward an engagement or marriage.
"Couples who do not move toward marriage often go back and forth about whether or when to get married," Wish tells Elite Daily. "They also often tend to get trapped in a pursuer-distance relating style where Person 1 wants to get married, and Person 2 resists. But then, after a while, Person 2 agrees to get married, and Person 1 resists."
She continues by saying that it usually takes a mildly drastic event, like experiencing a loss or falling ill, to get the couple out of that cycle, leading to one person leaving or the two finally getting married. She warns, however, that "happy marriages need stable foundations, not crisis situations."
So, if you want to decrease your chances of divorce, it might be best to fight the urge to get married as soon as you've found "the one," and ride the relationship out a little. Get to know your partner more and more, and see how you feel at the one-year mark. If you still feel as strongly as you did six months ago about your boo being ~the one~, then proceed.
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