While experts say that the risk of divorce is 50 percent higher when one spouse comes from a divorced home, and 200 percent higher risk when both of them do, adults don’t have to let their parents’ divorce dictate their futures.
While the numbers may appear against them, research shows that adult children of divorce can learn skills that help them to be great marriage partners. In fact, some even argue that children of divorce have happier marriages, based on the findings from a 2011 PEW Research Center report.
So while a parents’ divorce can increase an adult child’s rate of divorce, what may decrease it?
The age you marry. Research shows the older you marry, the less likely you are to get a divorce. Couples who wait until they are 25 and older increase their chances of staying married to 65%, compared to 57%, according to Professor Jeff Rosenthal, for the Science Channel. To decrease your chances of divorce, wait until you’re in your mid-twenties before tying the knot.If your parents remarried. According to Sue Shellenbarger on her Wall Street Journal blog, children of divorce whose parents remarry may have happier step-families. The PEW Research Center study goes on to speculate that children of divorce can benefit from the second, happier marriage. If you’ve had the opportunity to experience your parents having a second, happier marriage, take note on what was more successful.
If you’ve relearned relationship skills. According to PsychCentral, good communication, mutual respect and investing time and energy into the relationship, in addition to love, help form a solid marriage foundation. For adult children of divorce who can master solid communication skills and couples who can master mutual respect, they are well on their way to happier, healthier marriages.
Learning from mistakes and vowing not to repeat them. Even if all the numbers are against you, nothing can stand in your way if you’re committed to and passionate about breaking the cycle of divorce.