Advertising
Advertising

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

Advertising

marriage-stability-household-income

    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.

      Advertising

      Religious Attendance

      marriage-stability-religious

        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

        Advertising

        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.

            Advertising

            Cost of Wedding

            marriage-stability-wedding-expenses

              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

                More by this author

                Alicia Prince

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

                25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education 10 Things You Should Do If You’re Unemployed When You Start to Enjoy Being Single, These 12 Things Will Happen common words 18 Common Words That You Should Replace in Your Writing Wondering Why K Pop is So Popular? Here are 10 Reasons

                Trending in Communication

                1 5 Things to Do If You Don’t Want to Get Back to Work 2 Take Back Control of your Life with Positive Emotions 3 Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again 4 I Don’t Know What to Do With My Life! 5 Steps to Get Unstuck 5 This Is How Mentally Strong People Deal With Guilt

                Read Next

                Advertising
                Advertising
                Advertising

                Last Updated on October 14, 2020

                Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

                Had a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Rebound From It and Feel Good Again

                Today didn’t turn out as you planned, but it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It simply means that you’re human, and you’re not bad just because you had a bad day.

                “Not everyday is a good day but there is something good in every day.” -Alice Morse Earle

                It’s not the end of the world when you find yourself thinking “I had a bad day,” but it can feel like it. You may have had plans that fell apart, experiences that set you back, and interactions that only did harm.

                You may have started the day thinking you could take on it all, only to find you could hardly get out of bed. When you have a bad day, you can forget to look at the good.

                Sometimes, self-care helps us to remember why we are worth it. It helps us to recharge and reset our mindset. It helps us to know that there are still options and that the day isn’t over yet.

                Love yourself today, no matter how hard it’s been. That’s the way to find yourself amidst the hardships you have. That’s how you center yourself and regain focus and live a more meaningful life. Give yourself some credit and compassion.

                Here are 7 ways to rebound from a bad day using self-compassion as a tool. If you had a bad day, these are for you!

                1. Make a Gratitude List

                In a study on gratitude, psychologists Dr. Robert A Emmons and Dr. Michael E. McCullough conducted an experiment where one group of people wrote out gratitude lists for ten weeks while another group wrote about irritations. The study found that the group that wrote about gratitude reported more optimistic mindsets in their lives[1].

                Overall, having a gratitude list improved well-being and made one truly grateful by counting the blessings in their lives.

                Write a list of what you are grateful for if you had a bad day. Make it as long as you like, but also remember to note why you’re grateful for each thing you write.

                What has given you the most joy? What has set you up for better days? Keep a tally of triumphs in mind, especially when you do have the bad days.

                Advertising

                The day doesn’t define you, and you still have things of value that surround you. These could be material things, spiritual connections and experiences, relationships, basic needs, emotional and mental well-being, physical health, progress towards hopes and dreams, or simply being alive.

                Here are some other simple ways to practice gratitude.

                2. Write in a Journal

                Journaling affects your overall mental health, which also affects physical health and aids in the management of stress, depression, anxiety, and more[2].

                All you need is a pen and paper, or you could do an online, password-protected journal such as Penzu. The key is to get started and not pressure yourself on how polished or perfect it is. You don’t need to have prior experience to start journal writing. Just start.

                Write out everything that is bothering you for 15 minutes. This helps with rumination, processing problems, and can even aid with brainstorming solutions.

                However you approach it, you can find patterns of thinking that no longer serve you and start to transform your overall mental state. This will impact all areas of your life and is a great coping skill.

                3. Meditate

                Meditation can help you overcome negative thought patterns, worrying about the future, dwelling on the past, or struggling to overcome a bad day[3]. It shifts your mentality and helps you focus on the present or any one thing you truly want to focus on.

                Here is an example of a meditation you can do:

                Get into a comfortable position. Close your eyes. Rest your body, release tension, and unclench your jaw. Tighten and release each muscle group in a body scan for progressive muscle relaxation.

                Focus on your breath, taking a few deep breaths. Let your belly expand when you breathe in for diaphragmatic breathing. Empty yourself completely of air, then return to normal breathing.

                Next, focus on the idea of self-love and let it erase negative thoughts. Think about the ways you’ve been judging yourself, with the narratives coming up that your mind may create.

                Advertising

                Give yourself unconditional love and release judgment. Take your time meditating on this because you matter. This is particularly important if you had a bad day.

                Check out this article for more on how to get started with a meditation practice.

                4. Do Child’s Pose

                Yoga Outlet says:

                “Child’s Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day. Practicing in the morning can you help transition from sleeping to waking.”[4]

                When you do Child’s Pose, it can be between difficult positions in yoga, or it can be anytime you feel you need a rest. It helps you recover from difficulties and relax the mind.

                It also has the physical health benefits of elongating your back, opening your hips, and helping with digestion[5].

                To do Child’s Pose, rest your buttocks back on your feet, knees on the floor. Elongate your body over your knees with both arms extended or tucked back, with head and neck resting on the floor[6].

                Had a bad day? Try Child's Pose.

                   

                  Do this pose as a gift to yourself. You are allowing yourself to heal, rest, get time for yourself, recover, and recharge. When you’ve had a bad day, it’s there waiting for you.

                  5. Try Positive Self-Talk

                  Engage in positive self-talk. This is essentially choosing your thoughts.

                  Advertising

                  When you have a negative thought, such as “I can’t do this,” replace it consciously with the thought “I can do this.” Give yourself positive affirmations to help with this.

                  Negative self-talk fits into four general categories: personalizing or blaming yourself, magnifying or only focusing on the negative, catastrophizing or expecting the worst to happen, and polarizing or only seeing back and white[7].

                  When you stop blaming yourself for everything and start focusing on the positive, expecting things to work out, and seeing the areas of grey in life, you reverse these negative mindsets and engage in positive self-talk.

                  When you speak words of kindness to yourself, your brain responds with a more positive attitude. That attitude will affect everything you do. It’s how you take care of yourself if you had a bad day.

                  Check in with yourself to know when you are having negative self-talk. Are you seeing patterns? When did they start to become a problem? Are you able to turn these thoughts around?

                  6. Use Coping Skills and Take a Break

                  Use your coping skills. This means not letting your thoughts take control of yourself.

                  You can distract yourself and escape a bit. Do things you love. You can exercise, listen to music, dance, volunteer or help someone, be in nature, or read a book.

                  It isn’t about repression. It’s about redirection. You can’t stay in thoughts that are no longer working for you.

                  Sometimes, it’s okay to get out of your own way. Give yourself a break from the things going on in your head. You can always come back to a problem later. This may even help you figure out the best course of action as sometimes stepping away is the only way to see the solution.

                  If you had a bad day, you may not feel like addressing what went wrong. You may need a break, so take one.

                  7. If a Bad Day Turns Into Bad Days

                  “I believe depression is legitimate. But I also believe that if you don’t exercise, eat nutritious food, get sunlight, get enough sleep, consume positive material, surround yourself with support, then you aren’t giving yourself a fighting chance.” –Jim Carrey

                  If you’ve been feeling out of control, depressed, or unstable for more than a few weeks, it’s time to call a mental health professional. This is not because you have failed in any way. It’s because you are human, and you simply need help.

                  You may not be able to quickly rebound from a bad day, and that’s fine. Feel what you feel, but don’t let it consume you.

                  When you talk to a professional, share the techniques that you have already tried here and whether they were helpful. They may tell you additional ideas or gain insights from your struggles of not being able to rebound from a series of bad days.

                  If you’re having more than just a bad day, they will want to know. If you don’t have the answers, that’s okay, too. You just need to try these tools and figure out how you’re feeling. That’s all that’s required of you.

                  Keep taking care of yourself. Any progress is progress, no matter how small. Give yourself a chance to get better by reaching out.

                  Final Thoughts

                  If you had a bad day, don’t let it stop you.

                  Know this: It’s okay not to be okay. You have a right to feel what you feel. But there is something you can do about it.

                  You can invest in yourself via self-care.

                  You are not alone in this. Everyone has bad days from time to time. You just need to know that you are the positive things you tell yourself.

                  More Things You Can Do If You Had a Bad Day

                  Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  Read Next