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Divorce Shocker: Most Marriages Do Make It (New Research)
CBN ^ | Tuesday, May 06, 2014 | Paul Strand

Posted on 05/06/2014 5:41:56 AM PDT by xzins

Most people believe only half of U.S. marriages make it. But a leading researcher is announcing the true divorce rate is much lower and always has been.

Shaunti Feldhahn received her research training at Harvard. She and her husband Jeff help people with their marriages and relationships through best-selling books like, For Women Only and For Men Only.

This Atlanta-based couple often quoted in their writings and at conferences what they thought was accurate research: that most marriages are unhappy and 50 percent of them end in divorce, even in the Church.

"I didn't know," Feldhahn told CBN News. "I've stood up on stage and said every one of these wrong statistics."

Then eight years ago, she asked assistant Tally Whitehead for specific research on divorce for an article she was writing. After much digging, neither of them could find any real numbers.

That kicked off a personal, years-long crusade to dig through the tremendously complicated, sometimes contradictory research to find the truth. The surprising revelations are revealed in her new book, The Good News About Marriage.

The Real Divorce Rate

"First-time marriages: probably 20 to 25 percent have ended in divorce on average," Feldhahn revealed. "Now, okay, that's still too high, but it's a whole lot better than what people think it is."

Shaunti and Jeff point out the 50 percent figure came from projections of what researchers thought the divorce rate would become as they watched the divorce numbers rising in the 1970s and early 1980s when states around the nation were passing no-fault divorce laws.

"But the divorce rate has been dropping," Feldhahn said. "We've never hit those numbers. We've never gotten close."

And it's even lower among churchgoers, where a couple's chance of divorcing is more likely in the single digits or teens.

Hopelessness = Divorce

As the truth about these much lower divorce rates begins to spread, Feldhahn said she believes it will give people hope, which is often a key ingredient to making marriage last. She said hopelessness itself can actually lead to divorce.

"That sense of futility itself pulls down marriages," Feldhahn said. "And the problem is we have this culture-wide feeling of futility about marriage. It's based on all these discouraging beliefs and many of them just aren't true."

Christian psychotherapist Angel Davis has also written about marriage in her book, The Perfecting Storm. The Athens, Georgia-based therapist agreed with Shaunti Feldhahn's warnings about hopelessness.

"The Bible says hope deferred, it makes a heart sick," Davis said. "And we are so influenced by numbers and by culture."

Jeff Feldhahn said anytime he tells people about his wife's findings about how incorrect the 50 percent divorce rate actually is, they're stunned.

"Their mouth drops open and they're just shocked," he said. "They go, 'I can't believe I believed this all these years. And I've heard it so many times. And I've heard it from the pulpit so many times.'"

Shaunti added, "This is a great chance to stand up and say. 'We were all fooled. Not anymore.'"

Spreading the Good News

To that end, Feldhahn has been working to spread the news to pastors and other leaders as fast as she can. The news is changing Pastor Daniel Floyd's counseling because he had bought into fictional research, he admitted to Feldhahn.

"I told her, 'I've said this. I've taught this,'" the pastor at Lifepoint Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, recalled.

Floyd said he's sure this news will change a generation of marriage counseling.

"I think it's significant," he said. "And (it) could change the conversation from one that is 'Wow, it's just the way it is, and half of you are going to make it, half of you are not,' and change the conversation to know historically, an overwhelming majority have made it and you can make it."

Psychotherapist Davis said this belief can change lives and marriages.

"We know in psychology that what you believe affects how you feel, and then it leads to action," Davis stated. "So when other people are accomplishing something we think is hopeless, it gives us hope. And then we start feeling different and start acting different."

Feldhahn has more shocking research: four out of five marriages are happy. That number flies in the face of the popular belief that only about 30 percent of marriages are happy.

"Most people think most marriages are just kind of 'eeh'…just kind of rolling along," she said. "And they're shocked when I tell them that the actual average is 80 percent: 80 percent of marriages are happy."

Not knowing the true statistics often leads couples to avoid marriage and just shack up instead.

A Game-Changer?

Feldhahn said that couples who avoid marriage do so based on wrong assumptions.

"Like, 'if I'm just going to get divorced and I'm not going to be happy, why bother getting married, right?' And it's based on a lie," she said. "That feeling is based on a lie."

Pastor Floyd said these new facts can be a game-changer for married couples.

"I think it really helps people in the challenging moments to say, 'If I'll just stick with it, then there's a good chance I'm going to make it the distance,'" he said.

"With hope you feel you can make it through, even though you're in a tough patch," Jeff Feldhahn said.

His wife also pointed to other research that proves most of the unhappily married can turn it around.

"The studies show that if they stay married for five years, that almost 80 percent of those will be happy five years later," she said.

The Good News About Marriage also reveals the divorce rate among those active in their church is 27 to 50 percent lower than among non-churchgoers. Feldhahn's hope is that once people learn the truth that they will spread it far and wide.

"We need to change the paradigm of how we talk about marriage -- from marriage being in trouble and all this discouraging stuff to saying, 'No, wait. Most marriages are strong and happy for a lifetime,'" she told CBN News. "That makes a total difference to a couple who can now say, 'You know what? Most people get through this and we can, too.'"


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: divorce; marriage; moralabsolutes
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1 posted on 05/06/2014 5:41:56 AM PDT by xzins
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To: All
"First-time marriages: probably 20 to 25 percent have ended in divorce on average," Feldhahn revealed. "Now, okay, that's still too high, but it's a whole lot better than what people think it is."

Shaunti and Jeff point out the 50 percent figure came from projections of what researchers thought the divorce rate would become as they watched the divorce numbers rising in the 1970s and early 1980s when states around the nation were passing no-fault divorce laws.

"But the divorce rate has been dropping," Feldhahn said. "We've never hit those numbers. We've never gotten close."

2 posted on 05/06/2014 5:42:31 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins

Maybe this is just paranoid thinking on my part...

BUT, could it be possible that the 50% Divorce Rate Figure has been planted into our media and popular culture by those who want to discredit marriage and family?

Why else would we be fed such a lie?

And, when arguing for “Same Sex Marriage”, its proponents OFTEN cite this figure to justify their own position.

The 50% figure has been bandied about for at least as long as the push for the destruction of the Traditional Family has.

Has anyone else thought of this?


3 posted on 05/06/2014 5:51:38 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: xzins

This fact doesn’t fot the progressive agenda ergo it can’t be true. The MSM now calls marriage “civil unions” so homos can say they’re “married” to make it “official”. Marriage between a man and a woman is so old school and outdated you know...


4 posted on 05/06/2014 5:52:51 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: left that other site

Yep. Satan hates marriage because it embraces fidelity, loyalty, and love...


5 posted on 05/06/2014 5:55:27 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: jsanders2001

Amen.


6 posted on 05/06/2014 5:56:05 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: xzins

Actually, the research was out there to suggest all along that 50% was way on the high side. Extrapolating from different data, my own personal conclusion was that about a third of marriages putatively end in divorce. I’m happy to see that it’s lower still.


7 posted on 05/06/2014 5:56:25 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: left that other site
Yep. Same as the "10% of people are gay" lie. In perusing a few FR articles, libs have floated a number as high as "20-25%" .... but people were smart enough not to buy it.

Any lie, repeated often enough, will eventually be accepted as the truth.

8 posted on 05/06/2014 5:56:43 AM PDT by wbill
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To: xzins

Thanks for this post.

Even relying on the “old understandings”, there was always the difference between saying half of all marriages end in divorce, and half of all people who marry will get divorced. There are a lot of serial marrieds that push the divorce rate up.


9 posted on 05/06/2014 5:57:02 AM PDT by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: jsanders2001

From what I’ve seen? I bet further study would show that homosexual marriages end in divorce at a FAR HIGHER rate.


10 posted on 05/06/2014 5:57:23 AM PDT by SomeCallMeTim ( The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them!)
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To: SomeCallMeTim

> From what I’ve seen? I bet further study would show that homosexual marriages end in divorce at a FAR HIGHER rate.

Any marriage that begins with two animals being attracted to each other by sniffi g each other a$$es won’t end well...just my opinion...


11 posted on 05/06/2014 5:59:13 AM PDT by jsanders2001
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To: xzins

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that first marriages last 75% of the time. And the 25% who get divorced and remarried tend to get divorced again and mess up the overall statistics.

I wish they included some of the raw numbers in this article though.


12 posted on 05/06/2014 5:59:43 AM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: xzins

Another point to consider is that the researchers appear to be looking only at first marriages. The divorce rate for people who have multiple “marriages” is likely higher.

In my own family, between my wife’s and my siblings, there are a total of nine siblings, 13 marriages, and five divorces. That’s a divorce rate of nearly 40%. But among the nine siblings, there are only two persons who have been divorced at all. That’s 22%. Of eight first marriages, there were two that ended in divorce. That’s 25%.


13 posted on 05/06/2014 6:00:26 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: left that other site

That’s consistent with other “statistics” homosexuals have been trumpeting, namely the lie that 10% of the population has this mental illness.


14 posted on 05/06/2014 6:02:28 AM PDT by afsnco
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To: xzins

Statistics are always unreliable.

“”But the divorce rate has been dropping,” Feldhahn said. “We’ve never hit those numbers. We’ve never gotten close.” “

The marriage rate has been dropping too. That means only those who want to get married are doing it which is probably good.

The other consideration is regarding Catholics. Do the divorce statistics count catholic “annulments” ?


15 posted on 05/06/2014 6:03:48 AM PDT by staytrue
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To: xzins

Medved has been harping on this for decades. It is one of those pop-culture parroted myths.


16 posted on 05/06/2014 6:05:11 AM PDT by Phillyred
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To: staytrue

An annulment must be preceded by a legal divorce. So, only the divorce is counted whether the person gets an annulment or not.


17 posted on 05/06/2014 6:07:23 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: xzins

Another liberal myth being shattered ??


18 posted on 05/06/2014 6:07:55 AM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: xzins

This is such wonderful news, I wonder if anyone besides a few here at FR will hear about it. I would love for the MSM to pick this up, but really doubt that they will, because it doesn’t fit in with the left’s agenda of destroying families.


19 posted on 05/06/2014 6:08:19 AM PDT by FamiliarFace
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To: xzins

There are roughly 2.2 million marriages every year.

There are roughly 1.1 million divorces every year.

That is how they come up with the statistic of 50% of marriages end in divorce.

But to find out the RATE of divorce, you need to put the number of divorces over the total number of marriages that exist in the country.

If there are fifty million marriages that exist in America, then that is 1.1 million divorces over 50,000,000 marriages, or a rate of 2.2% that end in divorce in a given year.

I am using WAG estimates to prove a mathematical point, as government statistics do not include all states, every year, for divorce and marriage.

The rate of divorce in a given year is nowhere near 50% or even 25%.


20 posted on 05/06/2014 6:08:45 AM PDT by exit82 ("The Taliban is on the inside of the building" E. Nordstrom 10-10-12)
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To: xzins

This isn’t really news. The ‘1 in 2 marriages end in divorce’ has never been true, despite being repeated on tv and other media frequently.


21 posted on 05/06/2014 6:09:04 AM PDT by Ted Grant
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To: xzins

I don’t know about others, but I’m 43 and have been married for 22 years. My Depression-Era, Christian grandparents who raised me were married for 60 years. They taught me that life and marriage can be hard and that when you’re going through hell, you cry out to God and push on, because a) you said you would and b) the end result is so worth it.


22 posted on 05/06/2014 6:10:32 AM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind. ~Steve Earle)
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To: xzins

The numbers I have seen are:

85% of people who get married stay married.

15% of people who get married have three or more spouses in their lifetime.

The math just about matches that 50% divorce rate lie that has become so common.

The above number as well as the author’s numbers match my own experience over 60 years or so.


23 posted on 05/06/2014 6:12:40 AM PDT by buffaloguy
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To: xzins

We’ve been lied to for a century. The question is can we turn it around? The government school system continues to indoctrinate our children. That’s the key.


24 posted on 05/06/2014 6:13:45 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: sitetest

There are 5 siblings between my family and my husband’s. Of the 5, only one marriage has survived. (My husband’s brother has been divorced twice and married 3 times, don’t know how you figure that.)

The only marriage that has stayed together is ours, and if we make it till December we will be married for 57 years.


25 posted on 05/06/2014 6:14:20 AM PDT by Ditter
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To: left that other site

You’re spot on. The whole deviant sex thing is a theme of the Left as well. If everybody is having queer sex, then what’s so queer about it?


26 posted on 05/06/2014 6:14:29 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: xzins

bookmark


27 posted on 05/06/2014 6:14:32 AM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: staytrue

This is what I was thinking. You can send me all the statistics you want - it’s like the lies coming from the White House and the murder rate in Chicago. Use your eyes, look around, and see for yourself.

I know probably as many married couples as I know divorced individuals. Some of the married are on second marriages. And also, I know many people living together with a long term partner that don’t want to get married - for whatever reason. These are people that may have gotten married in the past and then divorced. Another fact lowering the rate. The other thing easy to see? Plenty of Divorce Attorneys with full client rosters and plenty of cases on the docket.

Divorce also doesn’t carry the stigma that it used to. And if you’re in an unhealthy marriage that comes with a lot of conflict - especially with kids in the picture, it’s not a good environment to raise and teach kids in. Kids are not stupid. My friends children were relieved when he got divorced.

Each and every case is different, and if there were an honest show of hands here I bet we’d see more than a 25% divorce rate.


28 posted on 05/06/2014 6:16:44 AM PDT by TangledUpInBlue (I have no home. I'm the wind.)
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To: GeronL

Yes, and liberals do love their myths.

They’ll probably enlist people to go out and get divorced or married-and-divorced just to keep the numbers up and their myth going.

Do I think they’re that fanatical? Yep. (Although I am being a bit sarcastic.)


29 posted on 05/06/2014 6:17:47 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: sitetest
“In my own family, between my wife’s and my siblings, there are a total of nine siblings, 13 marriages, and five divorces. That’s a divorce rate of nearly 40%. But among the nine siblings, there are only two persons who have been divorced at all. That’s 22%. Of eight first marriages, there were two that ended in divorce. That’s 25%.”

Your family's experience illustrates an important point. In constructing divorce statistics, you can count the fraction of all marriages that end in divorce or you can count the number of ever-married people who are or have been divorced. The former will give a larger fraction because divorced people who remarry are more likely to divorce again. A good website is http://nationalmarriageproject.org/

30 posted on 05/06/2014 6:20:08 AM PDT by riverdawg
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To: xzins

A bigger problem is young people deciding to cohabitate without the benefit of marriage in the first place.

Strangely much of this is driven by young women, using pretzel logic that if they never get married, they’ll never know the pain of divorce.

Though they might know the pain of their baby daddy picking up and running off with a younger woman, leaving them high and dry.


31 posted on 05/06/2014 6:20:30 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: left that other site
BUT, could it be possible that the 50% Divorce Rate Figure has been planted into our media and popular culture by those who want to discredit marriage and family?

I'd say that's much more than likely. Pewrpetrated by the same people who tell us that 10-20% of the population is gay. They're working for the enemy.

32 posted on 05/06/2014 6:23:37 AM PDT by pgkdan
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To: xzins

In modern times, the statistic is bound to improve even more, because, I suspect, those more likely to divorce are less likely to marry in the first place (since no-commitment shacking up is the cultural norm now).


33 posted on 05/06/2014 6:23:39 AM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative (I'm a constitutionalist, not a libertarian. Huge difference.)
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To: xzins
I am 46 and have never known a single couple (near my age) personally that has been divorced. The other unusual thing is in my group of friends the average family has 3 to 4 kids. Those with only one are almost non-existent and usually would have liked more but couldn't for some sort of medical reason. Even those who we know who could have children, simply adopted 3 or 4.

My experience has also told me the often quoted 50% number was bogus. My guess was always that those who divorce and remarry over and over skew the numbers, but it turned out the numbers were completely bogus to begin with.

34 posted on 05/06/2014 6:24:18 AM PDT by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama lied .. the economy died.)
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To: TangledUpInBlue

My experience says that these researchers are probably right...that the rate of divorce is about 25% for first time marriages.

The frequency of divorce over a specified period of time is generally the method used in researching divorce rate. The period of time is often 5 year increments.

So, the rate of divorce for first marriages at the cohort 5 year mark compared with all cohort marriages at the 5 year mark.

(or 10 years)


35 posted on 05/06/2014 6:26:03 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: SomeCallMeTim
I bet further study would show that homosexual marriages end in divorce at a FAR HIGHER rate

Yep. Even when the 'married' fag in question is a bishop. The divorce for fag married bishops is 100%!

36 posted on 05/06/2014 6:26:17 AM PDT by pgkdan
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To: staytrue
Statistics are always unreliable.

If the calculations are done correctly the statistics are reliable. It's the conclusions are often incorrect.

37 posted on 05/06/2014 6:31:36 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Constitutionalist Conservative

I agree with that, and I think that women, in particular, are beginning to see that poverty awaits them if they get pregnant outside of wedlock.

Poverty is a huge negative, and the story of poverty is beginning to spread.


38 posted on 05/06/2014 6:33:41 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: TexasFreeper2009

In my experience, couples I know who have divorced experienced one of two scenarios:

a) The man was not willing to keep to his marriage vows and engaged in adulterous behavior

or

b) The woman bought into a bunch of Oprah-esque pop psych philosophies that she had a “right” to be absolutely happy. Something that is utterly unattainable on this Earth, and which no man is able to provide.


39 posted on 05/06/2014 6:34:49 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: xzins

During the Reagan administration a guy by the name of Mitch Snyder claimed that there were three million homeless people in the U.S. and the press ran with it for years. Turns out he made it up.


40 posted on 05/06/2014 6:34:55 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Good point.

I remember that now that you mention it.


41 posted on 05/06/2014 6:37:40 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Re point b) — I was reading an article on CNN the other day (clearly targeted at women), and one quote that struck me was, “no matter what your feelings are, they are completely valid.”


42 posted on 05/06/2014 6:39:08 AM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard (Pope Calvin the 1st, defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades)
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To: wbill

Yes...That is what Goebbels meant by “THE BIG LIE”.

(Sorry to break Godwin’s law, but it’s TRUE!)


43 posted on 05/06/2014 6:45:39 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: afsnco

Indeed. I think it is more like 2-3 percent.


44 posted on 05/06/2014 6:47:36 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: 1010RD

It has always been part of the Marxist Agenda to destroy the most ancient and honorable Institution of Civilization, which is, of course, Marriage and family.


45 posted on 05/06/2014 6:49:34 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: pgkdan

Yes. And we KNOW who that enemy is.


46 posted on 05/06/2014 6:51:13 AM PDT by left that other site (You shall know the Truth, and The Truth Shall Set You Free.)
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To: staytrue
The other consideration is regarding Catholics. Do the divorce statistics count catholic “annulments” ?

Unsure of the reason for quotations; however, a civil divorce happens before any annulment proceedings take place. So, no, this really has no bearing on the statistics being discussed.

47 posted on 05/06/2014 6:54:04 AM PDT by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1!)
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To: Incorrigible

I have two sisters who have married multiple times, while I have remained married only once over the same time period.

I agree, the numbers are skewed in that those who divorce once have a 100 percent divorce rate, and they are more likely to divorce again. So that 50% total divorce rate - per marriage- may be correct, but misleading!
I think the OP is correct in that per person, the divorce rate, or the chance an individual in their first marriage will ever get divorced is much, much lower.


48 posted on 05/06/2014 7:01:22 AM PDT by Wildbill22 (They have us surrounded again, the poor bastards- Gen Creighton Williams Abrams)
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To: buffaloguy

The numbers I have seen are:

85% of people who get married stay married.

15% of people who get married have three or more spouses in their lifetime.

The math just about matches that 50% divorce rate lie that has become so common.


Imagine this scenario:

90% of people marry and stay married. (90 marriages and no divorces out of 100 people).

10% of people get married and divorced 10 times each (100 marriages and 100 divorces out of 100 people).

That’s 190 marriages and 100 divorces, which can falsely be taken as that more than a third of marriages end in divorce.


49 posted on 05/06/2014 7:03:27 AM PDT by Freeping Since 2001
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To: Wyrd bið ful aræd

I saw one of these Oprah-esque magazine quizzes asking women if their spouses were “emotionally abusive”.

Question #1 was “is there something wrong in your relationship, but you really can’t define what it is?”

Just how in the hell is a man supposed to go about addressing a problem that no one can even define??


50 posted on 05/06/2014 7:09:37 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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