The divorce rate in the US is about 50%, way more than many other western countries. I don’t have a problem with people getting divorced, and think it’s stupid that you have to jump through so many legal hoops to get one, but I also think that a little common sense could really lower this percentage.
The only reason I’m even thinking about this is that a distant acquaintance of mine was married two years ago, when she was 18, and is now getting divorced. In my opinion, she did many things that most divorcing couples do wrong, and could have saved herself a lot of money and stress if she simply hadn’t done them:
1) Don’t get married before you graduate college and experience the world for a year or more. I’m a different person than I was 2 years ago, and I’ll be different 2 years from now. This is the age when we officially change from teenagers/young adults to full-fledged adults, and that kind of growing up yields much change. Who you love now, you might not love in a year.
2) Realize that love is not like Disney films make it seem. There is no magical happily-ever-after. You’re going to have fights, you’re going to get on each other’s nerves, and there will be times when you just want to walk away and quit. But if those times are few and far between, it’s normal. It’s only when the bad outweighs the good that it’s time to leave.
3) Live together before you get married! Living with someone is way different than not living with them, so why would you agree to spend the rest of your life with someone if you don’t know that you can deal with their quirks, habits, hygeine, etc?
4) Talk about finances and future goals before you tie the knot. if you’re a frugal, debt-free person, do you really want to get hitched to an impulse buyer with mountains of credit card debt? Or, if in 10 years you see yourself in a house near where you grew up, taking care of your own children, and your parner sees the two of you as childless globe-trotters, do you really think it’s gonna work out?
All this stuff seems like common sense to me, but I’m just amazed and completely unsympathetic when people blame one of the above problems for their divorce, because with a little foresight, the whole situation could have been avoided.