Is there really an age-limit on love?
Sociologist Nicholas Wolfinger recently released a report analyzing divorce data for the Institute of Family Studies. His conclusion? The longer you wait to get married, the less likely you are to get divorced. After 32, however, your divorce risk starts increasing by 5 percent per year.
I'm Not Buying It
As someone who has been a divorce lawyer for over 20 years (and who personally didn't get married until her 40s), I've analyzed Mr. Wolfinger's "analysis" and can sum up my own conclusions regarding his report about marriage in one word: Garbage!
I'm no numbers nerd, and I'll be the first to admit that analyzing statistics has never been my strong suit (thankfully, law school focused on simpler things like studying the tax code). But let me just say, politely, that I question this study's "conclusions".
Personal Opinions Are NOT Conclusions
Not only did the analysis require some funky mathematical manipulation of the raw data, but the "conclusions" are little more than unfounded, extremely offensive personal opinions.
According to this report, the reason that people who marry aftter 32 have a higher divorce rate is because they are "the kinds of people who are not predisposed toward doing well in their marriages." They're often "congenitally cantankerous" or "have trouble with interpersonal relationships. Consequently they delay marriage, often because they can't find anyone willing to marry them."
There's Something Wrong With You
In short, it seems that the point of this "analysis" is that if you're not married by age 32, there's something wrong with you.
I guess waiting to get married until you graduate college and have a career (capable of supporting you and paying down your student loans) makes you some kind of sociopath.
Waiting to marry the right person — even if that person doesn't show up until "later" in life (after 32, maybe) — must show that you have serious relationship issues.
Similarly, waiting to marry until you're mature enough and have the time to handle marriage is surely an obvious sign that you won't be able to make your marriage last!
Excuse me for being a bit sarcastic, but it's tough enough being a single woman over 30 who is trying NOT to panic about the fact that her biological clock is ticking ... loudly.
Yet Another Thing To Make Us Feel Badly
It's already unnerving to watch your friends get married while you try to put off your relatives' probing questions about why you're not doing the same thing. Do we really need this kind of bull sh*t "analysis" out there to make us feel worse?
In the mid-1980s a Newsweek article boldly declared that a single, college-educated 40-year-old woman was more likely to die in a terrorist attack than ever walk down the aisle.
Even though Newsweek later retracted that article and the "study" on which based their statement was later found false, an entire generation of women still worried they'd aged out of all prospects of finding love or getting married.
It's Time To STOP This Practice
It makes much more sense to encourage people to listen to their own hearts and take the time they need to marry the right person for them ... at the right time.
As for me, I'm proud to say that I've personally proven both studies wrong. I managed to get married in my 40s and stay happily married for longer than the five years that, according to this study, my marriage would supposedly last. And I'm also more than college educated and — thankfully! — have never been involved in a terrorist attack.
While I'd like to think that I'm special, the truth is that what I did isn't really that unusual. I found happiness, love and marriage after 32. If I did it, so can you.
Karen Covy is a divorce lawyer, mediator, and advisor, and the author of 'When Happily Ever After Ends: How to Survive Your Divorce Emotionally, Financially and Legally'. You can find more of her information and insight about divorce at karencovy.com.