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How to Avoid Divorce, According to Science

How to Avoid Divorce, According to Science

Many people have heard the statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce. Surprisingly, this figure is only true when comparing a given year’s divorces to that same year’s new marriages. However, when you consider the data in terms of total number of people to ever get married versus the number of total divorces, the figure is actually much lower. When considering the data this way, the divorce rate has actually never been higher than 42%. Surely this comes as a relief to married couples, as well as those looking to get married, but science offers even more insight into this societal tradition. New figures and studies from Randy Olson show us better than ever what factors are important in helping your marriage last. Whether you wish to keep your marriage a happy one, or are just beginning this relationship journey, the following eye-opening statistics offer a glimpse into the best ways to make a marriage last.

Before examining these graphs, it is critical to understand how they are compared. From Randy Olson’s website, the authors state that they “chose one category as the ‘reference point.’ That means that all of the other categories are compared to that category.” This simply indicates that every percentage displayed is relative to the category marked “Reference Point.”

Household Income

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    The first indicator in whether or not you are more likely to have a divorce is your household income. Since money problems are often serious sources of contention in relationships, perhaps this is unsurprising. Compared to those making $0-$25,000 a year, those making more are incrementally less likely to get divorced.

    Concern for Appearance and Earnings

    marriage-stability-attitude

      Another factor in how likely you are to get divorced is how much emphasis you put on your partner’s earning potential and good looks. If how much your partner makes is a concern, you are 18% more likely to divorce than those who don’t care. If you are concerned with your partner’s looks, you are 40% more likely to divorce than those who don’t. More than any other, this category speaks to how vital it is to love your significant other for who they are.

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      Religious Attendance

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        Religious affiliation is also an important role in your likelihood of divorce. Compared to those who do not attend church, those who sometimes attend are 10% more likely to divorce, while those who attend regularly are 46% less likely to divorce.

        Honeymoon

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        marriage-stability-honeymoon

          Having a honeymoon turns out to be much more than just a cultural tradition. Couples who have a honeymoon are 41% less likely to divorce than those who don’t.

          Wedding Attendees

          marriage-stability-wedding-attendance

            Similarly, those who invite large numbers of friends and family to their marriage ceremony are less likely to divorce than those who don’t include family or friends.

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            Cost of Wedding

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              On the other hand, how much money you spend on your wedding has the opposite effect. As larger numbers of people at the wedding might suggest that spending on your ceremony is a good thing, this matrix should not be ignored. Since the more you spend on your wedding actually indicates a higher chance of divorce, these two categories considered together instead suggest that large groups of genuine well wishers are more important than paying for an enormous expensive ceremony.

              Length of Time Dating

              marriage-stability-dating

                Finally, the last indicator of your likelihood of divorce is how long you date your significant other before the marriage. Unsurprisingly, the longer you spend with someone before marrying, the less likely you are to divorce. While these indicators in no way reflect the health of a given relationship, they offer some insights into the best approach to marriage if you’re in a healthy relationship you hope will stand the test of time.

                Featured photo credit: Adrian Dreßler via flickr.com

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                Alicia Prince

                A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                Last Updated on June 24, 2019

                Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

                Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

                A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

                Social Media Could Lead to Depression

                Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

                Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

                If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

                • low self-esteem,

                • negative self-talk,

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                • a low mood,

                • irritability,

                • a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

                • and social withdrawal.

                If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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                Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

                We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

                Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

                Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

                Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

                Why We Need to Take This Seriously

                Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

                Advice on Social Media Use

                Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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                One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

                Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

                Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

                If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

                Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

                Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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                Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

                Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

                The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

                Reference

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