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Random Thoughts About Divorce

April 9th, 2010 at 01:29 pm

I was reading the forums the other day and there was talk of divorce. Thinking about it, I had a startling revelation.

In my family, there is a predictor for divorce - a predictor with a 100% success rate. What is it? Being uneducated.

I thought about it because there was talk in the forums of not divorcing because of coming from good/solid families, happily married parents, etc. I chuckled. Then what's my family's problem? Divorce is more common than not. Though both dh and I's parents and grandparents are happily married "'til death do us part" types.

So, I was just thinking about it, and a light bulb went off in my head. Most of my blood relatives are women. Dh and I have sisters. Our parents only have sisters (we have no blood uncles). Sisters, sisters, sisters. My family is really large, too.

All of the women who got a college education, are HAPPILY married.

It doesn't matter if they got their education before they married (my parents married in college). It doesn't matter how young or old they married (though my family I think was all married by age 25-ish - I do admit we marry young). It doesn't matter if they ever used their degree. My mom never did - most of the women in my family are homemakers, first and foremost. Oh - doesn't matter if they had kids or not, either.

Nothing really matters but the education itself.

I think it is somewhat generational. Like, our grandmothers were not particularly educated (though I know a couple of them did work). Then again, my little sister is uneducated, and already divorced. Hmmmm... But the rest of us are all educated (my generation). Will be interesting to see how that pans out.

They may be educated, but the rest of them (my generation) choose to live in an extreme high cost area and the females are all the main breadwinners. I would presume that puts a strain on their marriages (they all would prefer to stay home - and admit they are somewhat bitter they have to work so much. I can't imagine that is great for marriage). Maybe the key is to be educated, but not too educated. Wink

I told this theory to dh. He asked if I meant that the college educated had more "follow through." Not really, but I suppose there could be something to it. The patience to stick something out through thick and thin? I don't know.

I honestly thought it just meant the educated women were more well rounded and make for more interesting mates. But he does have a point.

Could be a little of both, or maybe I totally miss the point. But I think it's kind of fascinating.

Is there any pattern for divorce that you've ever noticed? I presume my family is a bit of an anomally. Clearly I have a lot of divorced and educated friends, etc.

Other interesting tidbit? But for one nun, all of the females over age 18, are married. Yes. My family likes marriage, apparently. (The men? Not so much. Dh does have an unmarried male cousin. Dh on the other hand? VERY marriage minded).

10 Responses to “Random Thoughts About Divorce”

  1. ambitioussaver Says:

    I agree with you... I think college (or just education in general) provides a person with a basis for exploring alternative methods of problem solving. You learn things and can take that with you to succeed in other areas of your life... marriage can be one area. I've used my negotiations class to help me there.

    I think a trend I have noticed is the difference in education of spouses. This is why I'm beyond thrilled my DH is getting his associates because at least its SOMETHING in comparison to my master's. But my SIL never got an education beyond high school while my brother has a J.D - they are now pursuing a divorce.

  2. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    ewww, I applied your theory to my family and it works. Four kids: 3 marriages sticking (3 college degrees), 1 marriage didn't work (no college degree).

    But my first instinct is that the childhood environment is the ABSOLUTE BIGGEST influence on future marriage results.

    anyway, interesting.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    Oooh - that could be even more to the point - educational differences - I will have to chew on that.

    Interestingly, my mom's family has a lot of DIFFICULT personalities - the types who didn't have the patience for college (or for working through a marriage). My dad's family was more the, "I have no ambition, but to be a mom," type. Which is politically correct to say is fine, but it means a fair amount of poverty on that side of the family. If nothing else, it's good to have a Plan B. I think of someone like my MIL who lived, ate, breathed children, but also taught to fill in some of that void, when her kids didn't need her so much. Now she is retired and obsessed with grandchildren. Sometimes I swear, she thinks they are her kids. Some of my aunts were completely lost when their kids grew up, and divorced late in life, in comparison. My MIL still tutors and seems to have plenty of other outlets.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    PCJ - everyone I am thinking of came from very stable homes with happily married parents. I suppose I should say with that being the main factor, then education is second.

  5. frugaltexan75 Says:

    Doesn't work in my family.

    Mom's side -- Parent' both with less than an 8th grade education, both died still married to each other (although, not exactly *happy*) Brother and sister both married since young - neither one has more than a high-school diploma. Mom - master's degree, married 4 times to 3 men.

    Dad's side -- Mother - Master's degree; 1st husband Master's of Divinity (died); 2nd husband - Ph. D Psychology (died). Brother 1 - Master's of Divinity, married since college (wife has Master's in something). Sister - Master's Nursing - divorced once, married 20 years to self-educated very successful businessman. Brother 2 - Doctor of Mathematics/Business - Divorced twice - not sure of educational level of the first wife, but second wife was college educated.

    Me - working on Master's, never married.
    Brother - Married once, divorced. Has BA Marketing.

  6. PauletteGoddard Says:

    Oooh, that may explain my high school drop-out mama having three marriages and my husband's parents, with three degrees between them (what must coitus look like? har har) married for 43 years. He came from a stable home... I came from, well, not a home and not a stable either. I look to him and his parents to show me what a good marriage is and apparently friendship, shared values and mental/emotional compatibility matter much.

    I've been married for umm... more than a dozen years but less than twenty, and I guess our marriage is happy.

  7. gamecock43 Says:

    I wonder if it isnt also income related...uneducated means either: earning less or working physically harder...both are stressful situations and might lead to tensions. Especially when a wife wants to stay home with kid but they cant afford it off husbands blue collar job..or when they compare themselves to others around them and have a keeping up with the jones pressure. I dont knoiw if it works for me...BBs whole family is never divorced...come to think of it they are all very well educated too! My family is all together too...except my sister who divorced AND dropped out of college!

  8. MonkeyMama Says:

    Gamecock - good points.

    Sort of applies to my family. Lower class, more divorces. BUT the class level has more to do with the husband's income than the wives. Most of the women in my family did not work most of their marriage, even with degrees. But the degreed women married men with higher incomes. (Not that they had high incomes when they married! I should say, they married men with more ambition.) Hmmmm, interesting.

  9. SavingBucks Says:

    All interesting comments. In my case, ex-DH only an AA degree. We divorced as I seriously pursued my BS (turns out he did not like me going to school). Met DH (#2) in school while working on BS degree. Both of us have Master's in Engineering. Married 15 years this year. But other family members patterns are inconclusive. Both sets of parents with no college (my folks less than 8th grade education) but long marriages. SIL, now a widow, was happily married to a man with no degree. BIL and his wife, married over 20 years (no college) rather unhappily. On my side, the 2 brothers with degrees are not married (if you know any single gals over 30 in So CA, let me know). Smile The other 2 are both married (over 20 years each) and neither they nor their spouses have degrees.

  10. dmontngrey Says:

    Interesting that you should mention this. My brother is just starting on his divorce. He graduated high school (then went military), but the STBX wife was a dropout who got her GED. My brother is going back to school soon and has made it clear that any future love interests must be college educated or in the process of doing so.

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