Does thinking about divorce lead to divorce? (pt.2)

In our last post, we were looking at a study that examined how people think about divorce and the implications of those thoughts.

Thoughts of divorce were evenly split between men and women, and it interesting that it was not merely “young” marriages that were at risk, a portion of long-term couples thinking on the topic. The percent of those thinking of divorce changed relatively little over time, after 16 years, it was at 14 percent, which only dropped to 12 percent after 20 years.

Other demographic factors did not show large differences. The amount of education only accounted for a 5 percent difference, at 28 percent with college verses 23 percent with no college. There was even less difference between those who claimed they felt religion was important (24 percent) verses those who stated it was unimportant (25 percent).

One of the notable findings is that most people do not take the end of their marriage lightly. Even among those with serious problems like abuse or adultery, 90 percent had not given up. Most had mixed feelings, either indicating they were willing to work on their marriage or remaining ambivalent towards the prospect of divorce.

Divorce is life changing, so it is well that most see it as a very serious step. The authors point out that in a culture of individualism, a marriage that fails to satisfy the emotional needs of one or both members of the couple can quickly lead to disillusionment and disappointment.

Only you and your spouse know where your marriage is in the continuum that ranges from “fantastic” to “filing divorce papers today.” A Missouri divorce attorney can help you with the details of the actual process. There will be plenty of details, from property division to child custody and visitation schedules.

Simply thinking about divorce on occasion is unlikely to mean your marriage is doomed. But serious problems within your marriage are likely to force a greater focus in your thoughts on divorce. And should that occur, you will know the difference.

Source:, “What are they thinking?” Alan J. Hawkins, 2015

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