We’ve all heard the figure that 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce — a stat that alternately scares the newly engaged while also helping us sympathize with those ending their relationships. While that was true in the ’70s and ’80s, it’s actually been on the decline ever since. A recent National Health Statistics Report detailing the findings from the National Survey of Family Growth on marriage trends over the past 15 years supports that trend.

Flirting young African American woman

The survey results show that 38 percent of women and 39.3 percent of men surveyed agree with the statement that “divorce is usually the best solution when a couple can’t seem to work out their marriage problems,” which is down from 46.7 and 44.3 percent agreement in 2002. This decline is concurrent with an increase in the number of men and women who agree that cohabitating before marriage is acceptable and even preferable to marrying first.

Researchers believe the reason for people’s reluctance to divorce and keenness to cohabitate comes from the fact that so many of us come from families of divorce. In fact, a 2014 General Social Survey found that 41% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 50 were raised in “non-intact” homes. It follows that this first-hand experience with how divorce affects a family would inform our own choices in adulthood.

Basically, since so many of us went through our own parents’ divorces as kids, we all are now much more thoughtful and cautious when it comes to choosing our own long-term partners and how we go through life with them. It’s a silver lining that we can be proud of and can only hope continues to progress in the positive direction.

We’d love to know your thoughts on the matter! Let us know if you agree or disagree with the survey results by tweeting us BritandCo!

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