If You and Your Spouse Do This Together, You’re 3.5 Times More Likely to Divorce

When you tie the knot with your partner, you want it to last forever, but of course, we know that not all unions stand the test of time. Although the often-cited statistic that half of marriages end in divorce has been disproved, more accurate estimates remain high: In recent years, couples have been divorcing at a rate of one-third the rate of new marriages, according to a 2016 report from the Centers for Disease Control. and Prevention (CDC). According to their data, about 4.6 million Americans were newly married that year, and 1.6 million became divorced.

Fortunately, you are not a statistician, and your relationship is about more than just a rolling dice. The choices you make in your relationship can affect the prospects for a lifelong partnership. Read on to find out which decision makes you and your spouse 3.5 times more likely to divorce.

Related: If you and your partner can’t agree on this, it’s time to break up.

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For decades, the wedding industry has subtly convinced Americans that high spending on weddings is associated with long-term marriages. But according to a 2014 study published in the journal Social Science Research NetworkExcess spending above a certain threshold is actually associated with higher divorce rates. The research team found that the risk of divorce is 3.5 times higher for people who spend more than $20,000 on their wedding compared to those who spend between $5,000 and $10,000 on their wedding. Meanwhile, “relatively low wedding spending correlates positively with duration between male and female participants.”

Technically, these findings will put the average American at increased risk for divorce. In 2019, the average cost of a wedding was $28,000, although that number has fallen dramatically in the past two years, thanks to the pandemic. In 2020, average wedding spending reached $19 thousand, according to data compiled by wedding website The Knot. This number is expected to rebound as the epidemic subsides.

Related: If your partner has these 4 traits, they are more likely to cheat on you.

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The research team came to this conclusion by surveying more than 3,000 single or married individuals with a 40-question survey. This 5-minute questionnaire examined topics related to someone’s current or previous marriage, including “marital status, duration of marriage, children, length of time, feelings and attitudes at the time the wedding proposal was made, honeymoon, engagement ring expenses, and attendance The wedding ceremony, total wedding expenses, age, age at marriage, gender, race/ethnicity, education, employment, family income, area of ​​residence, religious attendance, differences in age, ethnicity, and education between respondent and partner.”

After controlling for different demographic and relationship characteristics, they eventually determined that higher spending on weddings was linked to higher divorce rates.

Close-up of the fingers of a woman holding an engagement ring, the wedding has been postponed
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If financial stress plays a role in the rate of marriage dissolution, it should come as no surprise to learn that more expensive engagement rings were associated with higher rates of divorce as well. The study found that, “Specifically, in a sample of men, spending between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring was associated with a 1.3 times greater risk of divorce compared to spending between $500 and $2,000.”

However, it is worth noting that those who spent more than $8000 on an engagement ring did so minimum divorce rates. This may be because those who spend in the middle range may squeeze on a tight budget, while those who spend in the higher range can do so more comfortably without getting into debt or causing financial stress. Most likely, there were also fewer respondents spending in the upper band, which means that data will be more limited.

The researchers also found that certain interpersonal dynamics within spouses were associated with higher divorce rates. “In the sample of all subjects, greater differences in age and education between husband and wife, and reporting that a partner’s appearance was important in the decision to marry, were both significantly associated with increased risk of divorce,” the team wrote.

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Happy couple hugging outside
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The team also identified several factors that appear to be associated with long-term marriages. These include having a relatively high family income, attending religious services regularly, and having a child.

When it comes to the wedding itself, the researchers determined that “high wedding attendance and honeymoon (regardless of cost) are generally positively associated with duration of marriage.” In other words, the evidence suggests that holding a low-cost wedding with a large number of employees and then going on a honeymoon—a feat for any wedding budget—is a ticket to marital bliss.

Related: If you and your partner don’t agree on this, you are likely to get divorced twice.

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