Untying the Knot

Untying the Knot

| Staff Writers

Untying the Knot
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Untying the Knot

In 2012, 2.4 million people got divorced in the U.S. That’s 1.2 million couples that started out with high expectations, only to have everything fall apart; that’s also approximately 1.5 million children left with a broken home. So what’s happening and can anything be done to keep the love?

40%-50% of today’s marriages end in divorce.

Approximately 10% of first marriages that end in divorce within the first 5 years

8 years
The median time together when most couples divorce (3)

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So the “seven-year itch” is kinda true?

Austrian philosopher/teacher Rudolf Steiner believed in this phenomenon, citing an astrology-based theory that human experiences change physically and mentally every seven years.

  • Many couples have navigated the trying infant years to realize they don’t want to be together anymore
  • Couples can experience a loss in excitement
  • Once tolerable habits are now annoying

The Kid Factor

Couples are 4½ times more likely to split up after the three-year mark when they have young children rather than the seven-year mark.

Why?

  • Juggling careers with parenting in addition to changing gender roles has proved tough on relationships.
  • Couples have less time together before starting a family.

“Perhaps some women hear the biological clock ticking and start looking for a father rather than a boyfriend.” English parenting website (netmums.com) founder Siobhan Freegard, addressing the issue of women having children at an older age, but earlier in relationships, leading to a higher split-up rate

Children of divorce are at a greater risk of:

  • Academic problems
  • Depression and aggressive behavior during childhood and adolescence
  • Drug and alcohol abuse in adolescence
  • Engaging in sexual intercourse at an earlier age
  • Marrying younger
  • Getting divorced themselves (6)

To minimize effects of divorce:

  • Keep conflict away from the kids.
  • Minimize disruptions to kids’ daily routines.
  • Confine negativity and blame to private therapy sessions or outside the home. (7)

A Bumpy Road …

The Cyclical Ups and Downs of Marriages
First few years
Exciting and passionate (aka honeymoon effect)
3 years
When marriages begin to falter
3.5-5 years
A drop in marital quality leads to high divorce rates
10 years
If a couple survived the first rough patch, then a second rough patch hits around this time
16-20 years
Third rough patch
After 20 years
Marital satisfaction tends to rise and level off (Bliss!)

Strategies to keeping a marriage strong:

  • Be thoughtful and affectionate.
  • Know little, but personal, details about spouse.
  • Pay attention to partner’s feelings.
  • Don’t let it get boring.

Sources:
1. http://living.msn.com
2. http://www.scientificamerican.com
3. http://www.everydayhealth.com
4. http://www.huffingtonpost.com
5. http://www.dailymail.co.uk
6. http://everydaylife.globalpost.com
7. http://kidshealth.org

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