FILED IN: Social Issues

Report: Long lasting first marriages only have 50/50 chance

Wedding rings
Photo: Roger Kirby

Sorry to break it to all you newlyweds out there, but your marriage only has an even chance of making it to your twentieth anniversary.

New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that women only have a 52 percent chance of remaining in a first marriage for at least 20 years, while men have a 56 percent chance. The report also stated that the median age for first marriages is also on the rise, averaging approximately 26 years old for women, and over 28 years old for men.

Based on interviews conducted between 2006 and 2010 of over 22,000 men and women, the report also seemed to dismiss a previous taboo that couples living together before marriage had a higher rate of divorce, mainly due to the much higher rate of pre-marital cohabitation.

“It’s becoming so common, it’s not surprising it no longer negatively affects marital stability,” Wendy Manning, co-director of the family and marriage research center at Bowling Green State University told AP.

What may have a negative impact on a first marriage lasting, however, is if your potential mate already has children. The report showed that women marrying a man with children had a 17% less chance of making it to twenty years of marriage as opposed to marrying a man without children.

Kids seem to have a positive effect on marriage, however, as long as they are not born out of a shotgun wedding. Women who gave birth at least 8 months into their first marriage reach the twenty year milestone 77 percent of the time.

Another way to improve your odds of a successful marriage seems to be to go to college — the data showed that 78 percent of women with a bachelor’s degree or higher stayed hitched, while only 48 percent of their high school educated counterparts made it two decades; 65 percent of men with college degrees remained married, while 53 percent of high school only graduates wound up divorced.