Essay about Divorce: Marriage and Utah State University

Submitted By fishfan9703
Words: 1248
Pages: 5

Christopher Salas
12 November 2012

Divorce factors Marriage is a global institution that has been around since the beginning of time. Merriam-Webster defines marriage as “the state of being united to a person in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law”. Although most people do not go into marriage contemplating divorce, about half of first marriages end in divorce and the percentage for subsequent marriages is even higher (American Psychological Association, 2012). It is curious to see that people who are in love with each other to the extent that they pledge to spend the rest of their lives with one another, at some point, can not imagine spending another day with that person. There are some documented factors that lead to higher rates of divorce; these high risk factors are marrying at a young age, less education and income, living together before marriage, a premarital pregnancy, no religious affiliation, parents’ are divorced, and insecurity (Utah State University 44). However, the most common reasons people themselves give for seeking a divorce are lack of commitment, infidelity, marrying too young, abuse, and financial issues (Utah State University 44). The top reason people sighted for divorcing, according to a 2005 national survey, is a lack of commitment (The National Fatherhood Initiative). Seventy-three percent of the people surveyed stated that this was the major problem in their marriage. An interesting factor of these relationships is that they are typically low-conflict marriages that appear to be similar to happy unions that do not end in divorce; the one differential is the level of commitment. Low-conflict individuals who may not be happy in their marriages, but have a high level of commitment are more likely to try to work the differences out and stay married rather than pursuing a divorce (Amato and Hohmann-Marriott 69). Amato and Hohmann-Marriott (69) call this constraint commitment; the constraints in this instance are issues such as social pressure from friends and family, financial worries, children, and religious/moral beliefs about divorce. These constraints can work in a positive way to make one or both people in the marriage value the contract rather than bailing out when there is a little pressure. It should be noted that Amato and Hohmann-Marriott (621) also commented that this may work in the short term; however, if this is the only type of commitment in the marriage, it may not be enough to save it in the long run. Next on the list of reasons to divorce was infidelity coming out with 55% of the people surveyed by The National Fatherhood Initiative. Even though society seems to be sexually tolerant, more than 90% of Americans surveyed in a 2008 Gallup Poll conceded that infidelity is morally wrong. It is difficult, though, to amass exact numbers of those who have been unfaithful due to the nature of the material; however, a public opinion poll conducted by Insight Express in June 2008 stated that 10-15% of women and 20-25% of men admitted to having been unfaithful. And although a Gallup Poll revealed 63% of the people surveyed said they would definitely divorce their spouse for being unfaithful, the number is actually closer to 50% (Utah State University, 50). The third main reason leading to divorce is due to a couple marrying too young. According to an article in the Huffington Post in June 2012, those who marry in their teens and early twenties go into marriage very optimistic. The Clark Poll of Emerging Adults surveyed married and singles aged 18 to 29 and found that 86% of them expected their marriages to last their lifetime, despite divorces being at a national average of about 50%. Although this optimism is refreshing, the fact remains according to the United States Census Bureau this demographic has one of the highest percentage rates of divorce coming in above 50%. There are several reasons why this age group has a high