My Parents Got Divorced; Is My Marriage Doomed?

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My Parents Got Divorced; Is My Marriage Doomed? [EXPERT]
The stats are stacked against adult kids of divorced parents. Good thing you're not a statistic!

The divorce statistics have fluctuated some but basically, they haven't moved much in years. The rate of divorce for first marriages is close to 50%; for second marriages, it is close to 66%. So, it probably doesn't come as a surprise that you, or someone you are close to, has experience with divorce.

In my family, the divorce tally is: my parents, two aunts, an uncle, a sister (twice, and a stepbrother. My parents both remarried to spouses who were also divorced. All told, total divorces: 9. Total number of children impacted: 16.

The National Opinion Research Council conducted a survey of adult children of divorce that spanned more than 20 years. Here's what they found: In 1973, adult children of divorce were 172% more likely to get divorced than adult children from intact homes. In 1999, adult children of divorce were only 50% more likely to get divorced than adult children from intact homes ... which sounds like good news. 

However, the bad news is that the survey also found a 26% lower rate of marrying in the first place among adult children of divorced parents.

So, does this mean that if your parents divorced, you either will never marry or, if you do, it will fail? Not at all. I have been married for 26 years. My other sister just celebrated her 28th anniversary. Several of the second marriages in my family lasted until the death of one partner—often over 30 years.

The reality is that your parents' divorce will have an impact on your marriage. We first learn about love and marriage from our parents. We learn what it means to be a man, woman, husband, wife, mother and father from them. We learn about trust. We learn how to handle conflict and difficult times ... or, not. Continue reading.

Want to learn more? Check out Divorce Survival Guide!

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Article contributed by

Lesli Doares

Relationship Coach

Lesli Doares, MFT

Lesli writes about issues related to marriage and relationships at afearlessmarriage.com.  She is the author of Blueprint for a Lasting Marriage:  How to Create Your Happily Ever After with More Intention, Less Work, a manual for couples on how to have a long and successful marriage.  Lesli also speaks passionately on many relationship-related topics.

Location: Cary, NC
Credentials: LMFT
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