Unhappy marriage statistics

While almost a half of marriages in Australia end in divorce the half that don’t are apparently not much happier according to a recent study.

The British firm Seddons surveyed 2000 married couples and found that the majority are dissatisfied and only stay together for pragmatic reasons. The survey found that:

  • 59% of the married women would leave if they could find financial security elsewhere.
  • 51% of the men thought their marriages were ‘loveless’.
  • Over 50% of the couples had thought seriously about divorce.
  • 10% wished they had married someone else.
  • 37% said they stayed together for the sake of the children.
  • 30% stayed because they could not deal with the ‘massive upheaval’ of separation.
  • 35% thought their marriage was about to ‘turn stale’.

It seems likely that with divorce rates similar to Australia, the survey statistics would be mirrored in Britain, the US and other Western countries.

It seems that relationship success and married ‘bliss’ are rare. Divorce and marriage satisfaction rates say a lot for being single. Yet marriage (and sumptuous, extravagant weddings) are more popular than ever.

Are men and women really so incompatible, do the pressures of modern life undermine relationships,  or do we expect too much? Perhaps we need to give up on romantic fairytales, wishful thinking, and imagined scenarios and work harder at caring for and getting along with each other better.

Source: Survey statistics from the Melbourne Age, 3 February 2008.

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