Divorce rates in European countries like France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the UK range from 19% to 28% while in Japan divorce is at 27%.
Other demographic factors impact these numbers. For instance there is a greater chance for those who marry between below 20 years old to 24 years old in the US to divorce than those who are older.
Sociologists have also found that, in the US, couples with children have a slightly lower rate of divorce than childless couples. Moreover, the more times married an individual is, the higher the risk for divorce.
Divorce rates in India are surprisingly low at 1%. In Thailand and other Asian countries, divorce rates range from 7% to 11% with conservative cultural norms perhaps dictating much of the beliefs about marriage in those areas.
Divorce is not an option!
However, there are also studies that claim that divorces or separations in many Asian or conservative countries remain unreported, especially in places where there are no legal provisions for them.
Interestingly, a study conducted by the Barna Study Group in the US reveals that religion has little impact on divorce rates in the US.
In fact, they noted that divorce rates are higher among Non-Denominational Christians than other religious groups, even for those who categorize themselves as atheists or agnostics.
Whatever the reasons for these divorce rates, they indicate that there are severe problems facing marriage unions today – regardless of race, culture or religion.
While culture and religion impart upon us positive values and norms that teach us to be decent human beings, counselors agree that it is not clinging to beliefs and norms that will save a marriage but the equal accountability of both partners – to themselves, each other and, yes, to their beliefs.
Married couples need not become a statistic. Intervention to lower the chances of divorce can come at different periods of the marriage journey.
Couples should be encourages to prepare for marriage through counseling, learning from their experiences, and picking up the life skills necessary for a healthy future.
Divorce is not an option!
Couples in crisis should also be persuaded to accept mediation before considering divorce. Early on, children need to be educated about what makes committed unions, not just ritual marriages.
Professionals who can contribute greatly to helping couples and society in general learn to regard marriage with clarity should be listened to, their help sought if necessary.
Finally, couples who do not want to become statistics must really work at their marriages. Marriage is not easy. It’s not going to make it easier to enter into it with rose-colored glasses and false expectations.
With the right preparation, with love, openness and equal responsibility towards the health of marriage, a couple can find themselves looking towards a long and fruitful future, together.