On this show we discuss marriage. The “grim statistic” that 50 percent of marriages are destined to end in divorce has been repeated for years, “but that bleak prognosis doesn’t apply to most couples getting married today or even most of those who married in the last few decades,” according to Parker-Pope. The problem, she adds, lies at least partly in how divorce rates tend to be calculated. Her book holds that “because so many variables in the marriage-and-divorce equation are changing, a simple calculation comparing marriages and divorces in a given year ends up distorting the result and suggesting that the divorce rate is higher than it really is.” One factor in the overall divorce-rate picture is that couples today tend to marry at an older age than was the case in 1970, for example. Studies indicate that the “risk for divorce drops significantly when couples wait to wed until after the age of twenty-five,” Parker-Pope writes. She says an added benefit of marrying at a later age may be that “many of the weakest relationships are ending before a couple ever heads to the altar.”
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