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brief YouTube video provides perspective on what you'll read in this article:
This is one of a
of articles in self-improvement Lesson 4 - optimize your
relationships. It adds to articles proposing how to make
three wise courtship decisions with
and without kids from prior unions.
and Divorce Statistics
The 11/7/07 online newsletter of Life Innovations, Inc., a nonprofit marital enrichment program,
published these statistics. No sources were given.
Of the 2.3 million marriages in 2006, about
half (53%) took place in a religious setting.
The average cost of a wedding is $27,500.
the U.S. 111 million households, 52% are now made up of married couples
with and without children.
There is less than a 50% chance that couples currently married will
reach their 25th anniversary.
While the average (legal) divorce rate is
50%, it is 40% for first marriage, 60% for second marriages and 73% for
separate on the average seven years after marriage, and divorce after
Over 90% of people get married once. But
those marrying are waiting until they are older and they are less likely
to remarry following a divorce.
million couples now cohabit, a dramatic increase from only 500,000
cohabiting couples in 1970.
The National Center for Health Statistics estimated that in 1993, about
divorces were granted, affecting 1,075,000 children. The numbers
don't tell how many of those were re/divorces. At this rate,
25-year generation there are ~60 million
American men and women and over 27 million
children affected emotionally, spiritually, developmentally, and
financially by marital and biofamily separations and the
stressors that cause them.These
numbers exclude millions of co-parents and kids living in daily misery
because marital separation or legal divorce are not practical options.
For perspective, between
1918 and 1920, the Spanish Flu killed an estimated 50 million people,
dominated worldwide headlines, and was labeled a pandemic. Can
you recall reading an headlines about the American divorce epidemic?
Roughly 70% of divorced American women and men remarry within 10 years. About
70% of them are parents, creating or expanding a
stepfamily. Recently, about nine of ten re/marriages follow the prior divorce
of one or both partners, vs. the death of a
The "/" notes that it may be one mate's first divorce.
Many authors claim that over half of U.S. stepfamilies legally re/divorce within 10 years of
exchanging vows, compared to
~47% of recent first-time marriages. An unknown percentage of stepfamily kids and adults
live in significant misery because couples are psychologically divorced.
In 1996 the government
stopped compiling statistics on national marriage and divorce patterns,
(to my knowledge) meaningful stepfamily re/divorce-rate estimates are not available.
The point: the total number of American adults
and kids seriously afflicted by legal and psychological divorce
and what causes it is surely far greater than those affected by AIDS
- yet the media is silent about this.
Regardless of the
research since 1970 consistently suggests that
typical American stepfamily life is significantly
stressful for most adults and kids. My experience
as a full-time stepfamily therapist and researcher since 1979 suggests that
average adults are unprepared to...
manage complex stepfamily role and
for up to
five reasons. The good
news is -
once mates are aware of these
factors and commit to reducing them together, they can better
fill their and their kids' developmental
and adjustment needs.
Options for reacting to the unremarked U.S. "divorce problem." are to...
wring our hands and ignore it (the current choice);
acknowledge and analyze
its personal and social consequences; or...
act to prevent
this crippling national trauma..
The American "divorce problem"
is stale news. This is in spite of roughly 15% to 20% of typical
U.S. families being stepfamilies, most of which follow one or more
divorces and are significantly troubled.
The current American subculture of
millions of re/divorced adults and kids is largely
invisible and has no voice.
As a therapist, stepson, and stepfather, I've worked full time since
1979 to understand family and relationship
health in general, and stepfamily functioning and health in particular. During those
have never seen or heard...
an informed opinion that America has a socially-significant
a practical, research-based plan on
average communities can reduce or prevent widespread
psychological and legal divorce from depleting their citizens, resources, and
We Americans appear to be in cultural
denial, like a
nation of active addicts.
in this site are based on my
36 years of profession-l study of
low-nurturance ("dysfunctional") families. They reflect over 17,000 hours' consultation with over 1,000 typical Anglo
adults, couples, and some of their kids. My experience as the son of two
alcoholics and a divorced stepfather contributes too. So does my "ACoA"
1986 from the
wounds from a
very dysfunctional childhood.
you may marry or you already have, I urge you to
yourself and those you care about by studying this
Start by assessing what
you don't know you
need to know.
you board a jet with your children if a sign by the entrance said "Note -
there is a 50% chance this aircraft will crash"?
I believe this UCLA research report suggests
the real problem -
the legacy and effects of the lethal [wounds +
cycle. If you
care for one or more kids, you can make a meaningful difference
via education and
action. Please act to Break
Pause, breathe, and recall why you read this article. Did you get
what you needed? If so, what do you need now? If not - what
do you need? Is there anyone you want to
discuss these ideas with? Who's answering these
questions - your wise resident