Why Get Married?
50% of marriages end in divorce. If you are a man, you will be nagged and berated in your near celibate life. And women are ignored and taken for granted, and that is if you are lucky enough to land a good man. It goes downhill from there. So, if marriage is so doomed, why do it?
Paul says: You know that we have to have something good to say about marriage. We are CoupleDumb after all. Of course, I’m not just going to say that I love being married, even though I do (I love you, Lee), because the statistics may not be as bad as you think. You all know how much I love my stats.
Rutgers College has been compiling data on marriage that goes back some four decades and reporting it out as part of the National Marriage Project. When marriage naysayers claim that 50% of marriages end in divorce, it is the National Marriage Project that they are quoting. But statistics are a tricky thing. Every politician knows that a stat can be twisted to ‘feel’ very differently than the actual numbers bear out. Remember that 100% of people who eat tomatoes die sometime during their lifespan. Generally, somewhere near the end.
So, 50% end in divorce…unless you make money. From the same study, if your gross household income is greater than $50,000 (as opposed to less than $25,000), the divorce rate drops by 30%. For this socioeconomic range, 20% get a divorce or, since I am an optimist, 80% stay married. Starting at the 50% number, if you get married after the age of 25 compared to being wed before you are 18, your chances of success drop by 24%. Some college education gives you a 13% reduction to the divorce rate compared to a high school dropout.
The really big indicators are income, intact family of origin, education, religious affiliation, age at time of marriage, and whether or not you have a child after marriage (as opposed to walking down the aisle with your kids in tow). So, if you are not a high school pregnant, low-income atheist, your divorce rate is really very low, under ten percent.
If the numbers are not so bad, then where is all of the smack talking coming from? It is the high school sweetheart mentality. It is Romeo and fucking Juliet that are warping our sense of marriage. Let’s face it, the best thing that those two dipshits did was to off themselves. Based on the stats, if they had stayed alive they would have been divorced within seven years. If they had survived post honeymoon, they would have left home, had no money, gotten knocked up (‘cause you know that Romeo had a huge boner for Juliet that was not going to wait for no condom) and been shunned by the Church which they couldn’t donate to. I doubt that they would have made it a whole seven years. I would love to read Shakespeare’s sequel to Romeo and Juliet. It would have probably looked a lot like the reality show with Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, and had the same ending.
I want to say to all of the haters out there that I love being married. I was older, educated and had some cash. I also married a woman who lifts me up, not holds me down. One that reminds me of all of the wonderful things that I am and continue to become, not of all of the things that I was and feel that I lost. So back off, bitch.
Lee says: I love you too! As I look down from my ivory tower of long and happy life, I could have predicted the stats on marriage. There is something to be said about being an intelligent person. For one thing, we do silly things like buy a book or seek out information. Intelligence is not based on degrees but openess to learn. I know of many educated people who are as intelligent as our puppy (Bones is gorgeous and the most that can be said about his smarts is that he is blond).
Where we get tripped up is our ego. Intelligence has no space for ‘how do I look’ and ‘what will people think’. This is what gets marriage every time. The stats bear out a certain amount of lack of forethought. Divorce seems easier than dealing with the issues. A lack of education and money can be translated as ignorance as to mortality and how time (and therapy) heals all wounds. Education, money, religion and age teach us that consequences are a bitch and she takes no prisoners. At the same time we know that sometimes what we have is good and deserves a second chance or at least some effort. I guess what I am saying is that when we are hurt, divorce seems like a great option. Of course, we can also say, back in the 80s we thought the mullet was the best way to stay professional and yet maintain our party attitude. Regrets, we’ve all had a few. And may I point out, those with an education and money let that go a long time ago.