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Everybody’s heard the horror stories, “half of all marriages end in divorce.” There are also the anecdotal tales of woe, the friend of a friend who laments having been cleaned out by marriage. All women are like this, they’re all gold diggers. There are the women too, the friend of a friend of a friend who declares all men are jerks, bits and pieces of anecdotal evidence that will confirm our own biases and the narratives often planted by the media.

So, do half of all  marriages end in divorce? No. No, and they never really have. That is a myth that is completely divorced from reality but has taken on a mind of its own. Like they say, “there are lies, damned lies, and there are statistics.”

The correct information is available to anyone who wants it. It’s sad to me that there are people walking around basing their decisions on erroneous information that isn’t even true.

“About 70 percent of marriages that began in the 1990s reached their 15th anniversary (excluding those in which a spouse died), up from about 65 percent of those that began in the 1970s and 1980s…If current trends continue, nearly two-thirds of marriages will never involve a divorce.” -link here

For example, about 23% of college graduates who married in the ’70s split within 10 years. For those who wed in the ’90s, the rate dropped to 16%.-link here

“In the early 2000s, divorce hit its lowest level since 1970, and has hovered there pretty consistently ever since: about 3.5 divorces per every thousand Americans per year.”-link here

“What all experts do agree on is that, after more than a century of rising divorce rates in the United States, the rates abruptly stopped going up around 1980.”-link here

Kind of funny and a little bit scary, but some things are so ingrained in our heads that even when presented with the truth we will refuse to believe it. I used to be all about debunking myths and statistics, but at some point I realized people are going to believe what they want to believe and the facts be darned. It makes me a bit crazy because when it comes to marriage, what you believe to be true really matters, how you think things are going to be, can become a bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Don’t believe everything you think. Odds are good you aren’t even the one who put it in your brain in first place.