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Old 09-24-2007, 08:16 AM   #31
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25th Anniversary Mark Elusive for Many Couples

Don’t stock up on silver anniversary cards. More than half the Americans who might have celebrated their 25th wedding anniversaries since 2000 were divorced, separated or widowed before reaching that milestone, according to the latest census survey, released yesterday.

For the first time at least since World War II, women and men who married in the late 1970s had a less than even chance of still being married 25 years later.

“We know that somewhere between 40 percent and 50 percent of marriages dissolve,” said Barbara Risman, executive officer of the Council on Contemporary Families, a research group. “Now, when people marry, everyone wonders, is this one of those marriages that will be around for awhile.”

But David Blankenhorn, president of the Institute for American Values, a marriage research and advocacy group, said he was struck that the percentage of people who celebrated their 15th anniversary had declined. “This seems to be saying more recent marriages are more fragile,” Mr. Blankenhorn said.

About 80 percent of first marriages that took place in the late 1950s lasted at least 15 years. Among people who married in the late 1980s for the first time, however, only 61 percent of the men and 57 percent of the women were married 15 years later.

Among currently married women, non-Hispanic whites were the only group in which a majority had marked their 15th anniversary.

The survey by the Census Bureau, in 2004, confirmed that most Americans eventually marry, but they are marrying later and are slightly more likely to marry more than once.

Those trends continued, although the latest numbers suggest an uptick in the divorce rate among people married in the most recent 20 years covered in the report, 1975-1994. The proportion of all Americans who have been divorced, about one in five, remained constant, however.

“Basically, it looks like we’re pretty much holding steady,” said Rose Kreieder, a Census Bureau demographer. “There are not radical differences.”

The survey of the civilian, non-institutionalized population found a number of disparities on the basis of race and ethnicity.

Among men over 15, the percentage who have never been married was 45 percent for blacks, 39 percent for Hispanics, 33 percent for Asians and 28 percent for whites.

Among women over 15, it was 44 percent for blacks, 30 percent for Hispanics, 23 percent for Asians and 22 percent for whites.

Among Americans married in the 1950s, about 70 percent were still married by their 25th anniversary. Only 49.5 percent of men and 46.4 percent of women who married in the late 1970s were married 25 years later.

In 2004, among people in their late 20s, a majority of men — 54 percent — had never married, and 41 percent of women had not. In 1996, the comparable figures were 49 percent among men and 35 percent among women.

In the latest analysis of people age 15 and older, 58 percent of women and 54 percent of men had married only once. In 1996, the figures were about 60 percent for women and 54 percent for men.

One statistical constant has been the so-called seven-year itch, as popularized in the 1950s play and film about errant husbands. Couples who separate do so, on average, after seven years and divorce after eight. The duration of first marriages that end in divorce appears to have increased slightly among men.

Among adults 25 and older who had been divorced, 52 percent of men and 44 percent of women were currently married.

On average, people who marry again typically do so in about three-and-a-half years. Second marriages that end in divorce last about 8.6 years for men and 7.2 years for women.

In 2004, 12 percent of men and 13 percent of women had married twice. Three percent each had married three or more times.

The oldest baby boomers recorded the highest divorce rates. Among people in their 50s, 38 percent of men and 41 percent of women had been divorced. In 1996, the comparable figures were 36 percent and 35 percent.

One factor that also affects the marriage trends is that people are living longer. As a result, the median age at which women in a first marriage were widowed rose from 57.8 in 1996 to 60.3 in 2004. Among men, the median age increased from 59.6 to 61.3.

Census results released last week also confirmed the finding by demographers earlier this year that more American women were living without a husband than with one. Among women 20 and older, 51.2 percent said that they were divorced, separated or their spouse was temporarily absent or that they had never been married when the American Community Survey was taken in 2006.

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Old 09-24-2007, 09:08 AM   #32
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i think marriage becomes a much more tenuous thing when you marry for love, and not for money/stability. and this isn't a selfish thing. i know it's easy to say that people are more selfish than they used to be, but i don't think it's at all that simple and has much to do with economics. or, at least, the reason why marriages lasted longer years ago was because of economics. women had no options. if you were miserable, you popped a valium and slugged back some vodka and you dealt with it. if he hit you, you dealt with it. women don't put up with this any more. and i'm sure we all know some people who, when they finally did divorce, everyone say, "thank god, it's about time."

simply, women don't "need" men in the way that they did 30 years ago. and this isn't a bad thing. necessarily. i just think it's crap for people to look at marriages of 50, 60, 70 years ago and think that love was so much stronger then.

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Old 09-24-2007, 09:39 AM   #33
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^I basically agree with that. Longevity of a marriage is not automatically an indication of some sort of happiness. My mother looked into finally divorcing about 7 or 8 years ago, she decided that financially it would be to her detriment. She is retired but she feels she couldn't make it on her own and realistically she can't. So that was her decision.

In so many instances for a myriad of reasons divorce is the best thing.
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Old 09-24-2007, 02:19 PM   #34
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Originally posted by deep
I have thought of something like this too.

I never fleshed it all out.

and I still haven't

not everything we think about
has workable solution
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Old 09-22-2008, 09:07 AM   #35
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Read this yesterday, thought it was interesting



The Truth About American Marriage
Nobody really knows what goes on behind closed doors

By Leslie Bennetts
Published: September 21, 2008

Judging by recent headlines, it's been a very bad year for American marriages. John Edwards admitted to cheating on his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, and lying about his affair to the public. Because of his use of a high-priced call-girl service, Eliot Spitzer lost his job as New York's governor. His successor, David Paterson, then announced that both he and his wife had had affairs while they were separated. Comedian Bill Murray and his wife, Jennifer, divorced amid allegations of his infidelity and sexual addiction. Model Christie Brinkley battled her husband in court over his affair with a teenager and his online porn habit. Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez's wife, Cynthia, accused him of running around with everyone from strippers to Madonna.

The obvious conclusion to draw from these stories is that marriage in the U.S. is a toxic mess. But are deception and betrayal really more common today than marital love and respect?

Not according to the findings of a new national poll commissioned by PARADE. In fact, marriage seems to be working quite well for most of the people we surveyed: About 88% said they were happy or reasonably content in their marriages. Only 12% ranked their marriages at the bottom of the scale, in the range between "It's miserable" and "I wish I could get out."

PARADE's respondents also gave positive explanations for why they've stayed married, with 71% choosing "deep love" as a reason and 73% citing "companionship." On the negative side, close to 30% of our respondents admitted that they remain married either because of financial reasons or because "it's too much trouble to get out."

Overall, however, our married couples said they were basically happy. Fully half of them described their marriages as "loving and joyful," and nearly a third characterized them as "peaceful coexistence." Only 7% complained that their marriages are unhappy or hostile. But our survey did reveal a dramatic gender gap in marital satisfaction. Despite the common stereotype that women want commitment while men don't, in reality men are happier with their marriages than women are. Nearly 70% of the men surveyed said they "never" think about leaving their wives, whereas nearly half of the women said they think about leaving their husbands at least occasionally--and sometimes daily.

Of course, not even love can prevent disagreements from occurring. Many other surveys have shown money and sex to be the most common issues that couples fight about, and finances topped the list for our respondents as well, with 43% reporting that they squabble about money. Household chores and sex ranked second and third, respectively, as causes of contention. The men consider chores to be less of an issue than women do, which may be because almost all studies indicate that men still do considerably less housework. In our survey, less than a quarter of the men named household chores as a source of friction, compared with 31% of the women.
As for sex, plenty of our respondents seemed to be enjoying it. Three-quarters reported that their sex lives were reasonably fulfilling, although that means 25% put their sex lives on the "tolerable" to "terrible" end of the spectrum.
When it comes to frequency, the largest group--31%--said they are having sex less than once a month, but 27% answered "at least a few times a week." In a famous scene in the 1977 movie Annie Hall, a couple are asked how often they have sex. The man complains, "Hardly ever! Three times a week," while the woman rolls her eyes and replies, "Constantly! I'd say three times a week." Like Woody Allen's characters, many of PARADE's respondents were displeased with how much sex they're having. More than half think they're not doing it enough--another figure that shifts along gender lines. Fully 60% of the men said they don't have sex enough, a feeling shared by 51% of the women.
The gender gap was even wider when people were asked why they do not have sex more often. Nearly half of the men said it was because their spouse wasn't interested, compared with 21% of the women. A quarter of the women said they had lost sexual interest in their husbands or often were angry with them--or both.

Despite such complaints, most respondents reported being faithful to their spouses. But men did admit to straying more than women. Nearly a quarter of the men said they'd had sex outside of marriage or refused to answer the question, while only 11% of the women said they had cheated, and 4% avoided the question. As for the faithful, 69% said the reason was because "I'm committed to my spouse."

Of the respondents who admitted to cheating, the men did so with more partners. Sixty-one percent said they'd had sex with two or more people other than their spouse, and 14% reported having sex with five or more other partners. Most of the unfaithful wives--55%--had sex with only one person outside their marriage.

Surprisingly, the commitment to marriage remains strong even when one partner is unfaithful. Some people criticized Hillary Rodham Clinton and Silda Spitzer, Eliot's wife, for staying with husbands who had strayed. But most other Americans would do the same. Among both men and women, more than half said that if they suspected their spouse was unfaithful, they would confront him or her and try to save the marriage. Only 9% said they would "leave immediately."

When a spouse is unfaithful, the sexual and emotional betrayal experienced by the partner usually is accompanied by anger about the dishonesty and deception involved. So how common are major marital secrets? The PARADE poll suggests some intriguing gender gaps in marriages. A quarter of all the men admitted to having kept "an important secret" from their spouse, such as debts, gambling, hidden financial assets, alcohol or drug abuse, or hidden sexual practices. An even greater percentage of women--31%--said they had discovered that their spouse kept an important secret from them.

More than a third of the men and women polled told us that they had no secrets, but nearly half of the men and 41% of the women admitted they kept some things to themselves. Many of our respondents said they have suspicions about their spouses: Nearly 60% of the women and around half of the men guessed that their spouse "probably does some things I don't know about."

Despite the divorce statistics and the tabloid headlines, people still seem committed to love. Asked why they got married, more than 80% answered, "For love," although 62% also said, "It was the right time in my life," or, "I didn't want to be alone."

When asked, "Would you still marry the same person if you had it to do over again?" the majority said "yes." But, once again, men were more content: Only 16% said they would not marry the same person again, compared with 22% of the women, who said they'd try to do better.

In only one area did PARADE's survey results reinforce a prevailing stereotype: Women are more likely than men to want better marital communication. While only 10% of the husbands complained that they and their wives "don't talk to each other enough," 15% of the women said they were dissatisfied with the level of verbal intimacy. That difference, however, will probably come as a surprise to nobody.

56% would definitely marry the same person again
44% of women have thought about leaving their husbands
31% of men have thought about leaving their wives

31% have sex less than once a month
48% of men don't have sex more often because their spouse isn't interested
33% of women don't have sex more often because they're tired
25% describe marital sex as either tolerable or terrible

24% have kept an important secret from their spouse
63% would try to save their marriage if a spouse was unfaithful
19% of men have had sex outside of marriage

The Truth About American Marriage | PARADE Magazine
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Old 09-22-2008, 11:01 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by UberBeaver View Post
October 15th will be 7 years for me.
*tick, tick, tick*

Originally Posted by Vincent Vega View Post
Some things: She said she just picked seven years because of the seven year itch and because statsitically most marriages get divorced after seven years.
I read the itch actually occurs after 3 years. Could there be different options? 3 year, 7 year, etc. when you 'sign up'?
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:14 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by maycocksean View Post
I've been married for ten. . .I wouldn't have wanted to mess with the hassle of "renewing." I have enough trouble paying taxes!

I think some people miss the point of marriage. It's the whole idea of sharing a LIFE, your whole life, ideally with someone. There's a level of trust, of knowing your spouse, of planning your future, of knowing someone will always be there for you, that you just won't have with 7 year "terms."
That's beautiful if it works, congrats!

But reality for most married couples looks a bit different.
In the city where I live 50 %, every second marriage, is divorced nowadays.

It's not like marriages were happier in the good old times, people just stayed together, mostly because women weren't independent and social values were different. These things have changed. It's easy to get a divorce today, people mostly don't care what the church has to say. Many people in my generation don't see the point of getting married anymore, that's just the way it is.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:44 AM   #38
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Congradulations, Uber Beaver!

A point of view from the other fifty percent.

My husband and I celebrated our silver wedding aniversary, this past July. And I think the secret of our relationship is that not only are we lovers, but we are best friends. We accept and appreciate each other, exactly as we are. Sure, we had our share of arguments, mostly when we were younger. We rarely argue now. Because, we have both come to realize. Neither one of us is perfect. Far from it.

We have a lot in common. The same ideals.

My advise is.....take your time. Find out who you are first, before you decide to commit to another. And when you marry, do it for love, nothing else. Material things won't matter, if the marriage bed is cold at night.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:58 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by kafrun View Post
*tick, tick, tick*

I read the itch actually occurs after 3 years. Could there be different options? 3 year, 7 year, etc. when you 'sign up'?
Sure, the itch option.
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Old 09-23-2008, 11:05 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Vincent Vega View Post
Sure, the itch option.
lol, that sounds a bit dirty.

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