7 Major Wedding Mistakes That Can Lead to Divorce


There is a terrifying statistic almost every newlywed or newly engaged person hears from someone soon after they deliver their happy news: One in two marriages end in divorce. Yikes. But it's not the whole truth.

A new study has looked at recently married and divorced Americans (married 2008 or later) to get the "other" factors leading to divorce. These include things like how long the couple dated before getting engaged, how much money they made, and other tidbits. The fact is so many other pieces are at play when it comes to divorce, one cannot simply say that ALL marriages are doomed. Some, it seems, are just more doomed than others.

For instance, spending too much on a diamond ring or on your wedding could lead to a divorce down the line. Who knew? Here are seven factors they examined:


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1.) Time spent dating. Couples who dated three or more years before getting engaged were, according to this study, about 40 percent less likely to divorce than those who were together for less time, with those dating a year or less the most likely to split up later. Yikes. I dated my husband only two years! Are we destined for divorce court? After nearly 12 years, I am guessing no -- especially since couples together for between a year and two years before the proposal were still 20 percent percent less likely to divorce. 

2.) Going to church. We're failing on this one. Couples who go to church regularly together are 46 percent less likely to divorce than couples who never go. I assume the same is true no matter what your religious affiliation; I am Jewish and my husband is Christian, but we don't go to regular services on either side. I also tend to think this is skewed. Religious people may be less likely to end their marriages because of how their community might feel about them or stigmas about divorce dictated by their religious beliefs. So just because they're less likely to divorce doesn't necessarily mean that they're happily married either.

3.) How much money you make. Couples who make over $125,000 combined are more than 50 percent less likely to divorce than those who together earn under $25,000. This one is painfully obvious. Money is a big stressor and a major cause of marital strife. If you can stop worrying about money because you make enough of it, you can greatly improve your marriage. And marriage counseling costs a lot of dough. Just sayin'.

4.) Your reasons for marrying your spouse. If you married your partner for looks, you are 40 percent more likely to get divorced. Money? Eighteen percent more likely. Either way, it isn't a rosy picture. And quite frankly, it shouldn't be. Isn't long-term love about more than looks and cash? If you are getting married primarily for either of those reasons, you have a shaky foundation to begin with. Period. Marry for love. It's the only reason you should walk down that aisle.

5.) The number of people at your wedding. If 200 or more people attended your wedding, you are 92 percent LESS likely to divorce than if you eloped or just had a wedding with the two of you present. Yowza. I had 100 people at my wedding, thus making me 69 percent less likely to divorce than if it had just been my husband and me at the ceremony. I'll take it!

6.) Whether you had a honeymoon. Couples who had a honeymoon are 41 percent less likely to divorce than couples who didn't. See, that $5,000 is money well spent, people! Travel. It cures all.

7.) How much you spent on the wedding. Couples who spent more than $20,000 on their wedding are 46 percent MORE likely to divorce than couples who spent little to none. This makes perfect sense. If you are footing your own bill, that shite gets expensive and adds up fast. And if you can't afford it? It's even worse. Keep it simple. Keep it loving. And try to get someone else to pay if you can't do those other things.

So what do all these stats mean? Maybe not a lot. Every marriage is as unique as the two people in it. But when we look at all these pieces, one fact stands out: Marrying for the wrong reasons -- expensive weddings, high salaries, looks, or status -- gets you a whole lot of misery.

Marry for love. Do what you can afford. Keep your eye on the prize. Make time for being alone together. The rest is cake. Wedding, or other.

Do you worry about this study?


Image © iStock.com/YinYang

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