Here are 15 ways to gauge whether your marriage is for the long haul—or on the fast track to Splitsville. If you're a married American, your marriage is between 40 and 50 percent likely to end in divorce.
After peaking at 50 percent in the 1980s, the national divorce rate has dropped steadily, but in the public's mind, that outdated "half of all marriages" figure still sticks—and scares.
With each generation, we're getting a little better about picking mates.
A different kind of marriage is emerging in this century." 2.
You can't guarantee the longevity of a marriage, but what you can do is play the odds.
Researchers have studied marriage success rates from nearly every conceivable angle, and what they've found is that everything from smoking habits to what state you live in can predict how likely it is that your union will survive.
"Inflated divorce statistics create an ambivalence about marriage," says Tara Parker-Pope, author of For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage.
If your parents were divorced, you're at least 40 percent more likely to get divorced than if they weren't.
If your parents married others after divorcing, you're 91 percent more likely to get divorced.
This could be because witnessing our parents' divorces reinforces our ambivalence about commitment in a "disposable society," says Divorce Magazine publisher Dan Couvrette.
If you live in a red state, you're 27 percent more likely to get divorced than if you live in a blue state. Census Bureau, the states with the lowest median age at marriage are Utah, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma. If you argue with your spouse about finances once a week, your marriage is 30 percent more likely to end in divorce than if you argue with your spouse about finances less frequently. The same study also found that couples with no assets at the beginning of a three-year period are 70 percent more likely to divorce by the end of that period than couples with ,000 in assets.
Maybe that's because red-state couples traditionally marry younger—and the younger the partners, the riskier the marriage. Most divorce risk factors—such as age and education level—correlate with poverty, says Statistics in Plain English author Timothy Urdan.
"In most people's minds, it's easier to get a new car than fix the one you've got." 5.