A recent study found that couples who marry due to family or social pressures are 50 percent more likely to divorce.
The “Attitudes towards marriage and commitment” study from the Marriage Foundation in England and Wales surveyed 2,000 adults and asked about reasons behind marriage. Nearly half of the couples were married after 2000 when online dating became more prevalent.
“What this research shows conclusively is that the reasons why people get married has a significant material impact to whether they stay together. While this might seem obvious, this has never been quantified,” said Harry Benson, Marriage Foundation’s research director, in a statement about the study shared with The Christian Post. “But the message is clear. Get married for love and your future together and not because it is either expected of you or because of family pressure.”
Survey participants who said they married “due to family pressure” had a higher probability of divorce at 34 percent, compared to about 23 percent of couples who did not.
“Put another way, couples who tied the knot due to family pressure were 50% more likely to split up,” the foundation noted.
Meanwhile, couples who said their marriage “just kind of happened” had a 29 percent chance of divorce, compared to just 22 percent who didn’t say the same.
Other factors that led to a higher probability of divorce included having a wedding costing more than $22,000, having met online or at work, and having fewer than 10 guests at the wedding.
“The difference in probabilities is non-trivial. Again, taking into account all of the other reasons and factors, [couples who married to build a life together] were more likely to stay together. The probability of divorce for the average marriage in our sample was 23% if they agreed, compared to 33% if they disagreed,” Benson wrote.
Couples who married to “declare their commitment to each other” also seemed to have lower divorce rates.
“The main point, however, stands,” Benson said. “Couples who are intentional about their marriage do better. Couples who slide into their marriage do not.”
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Foto Pettine
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.