Rate of divorce after 20 years of marriage doubles
MARRIED couples are being urged to spend more time on 'date nights' without the kids to avoid becoming part of the growing number of divorces once kids leave home.
According to new data released today by the Australian Institute of Family Studies on Monday, more Australians are divorcing after twenty years or more of marriage,
The AIFS' report Working Out Relationships reveals an increase in the number of couples divorcing after long periods of marriage.
AIFS' Director, Professor Alan Hayes said that the proportion of divorces ending after twenty years had increased from 13% in 1990 to 28% in 2011.
"Divorce trends have been heavily influenced by changing social norms about remaining in unhappy marriages.
"There is far less social stigma today about ending a marriage and women are less reliant on men for their financial stability," Professor Hayes said.
"The increased proportion of all divorces that entail longer term marriages also suggests that increasing numbers of parents will delay divorce until all of their children are at least 18 years old.
"It is not surprising that the proportion of divorces involving children under 18 years has declined over the last few decades."
AIFS' Senior Research Fellow, Lixia Qu said divorce after fewer than ten years of marriage remained the most common time for separation.
"We are also seeing partnership rates falling among middle aged people, reflecting both the decline in the marriage rate and the increase in divorce rates for middle age men and women.
"The fall in partnership rates was particularly evident among men aged in their late 40s to early 60s and for women in their early 40s through to their late 50s."
DIVORCE BY THE AGE GROUPS
For women, the divorce rate was highest for the under-25 age group, whereas for men, it was highest for those aged 25-29 years - a gender difference that reflects the fact that women tend to marry at a younger age than men.
Divorce was experienced by 18.2 in every 1,000 married men aged 25-29, and by 17.6 and 16.5 in every 1,000 married men aged under 25 years and 30-34 years respectively
The number of women experiencing divorce in every 1,000 married women of the same ages was 20.8 at under 25 years, 18.8 at 25-29 years, and 16.9 at 30-34 years.
The divorce rate was similar for those aged in their 30s and early 40s, and also for men and women in these age groups (men: 16.5-17.4; women 16.9-17.0).
Beyond the early 40s, the rate declined progressively with increasing age; however, gender differences started to emerge again, with higher rates for men than women in the 50+ age categories.
At least two factors contribute to this gender difference: the greater tendency for men than women of this age to re-marry (ABS, 2001b), and the greater instability of re-marriages than first marriages
Some good advice for saving relationships
- greet each other at the end of the day and talk about your day
- spend time alone together
- develop common interests
- really listen, and try to understand each other
- tell your partner when you are happy and unhappy about something - honestly and respectfully and encourage your partner to do the same
- celebrate with your partner
- try to find solutions that are suitable for both of you
- express affection
- notice the small attempts by your partner for connection and show appreciation for them.
- What can I do to improve my relationship?
Here are some additional ideas for improving your relationship:
- be supportive; try not to make judgements when your partner makes mistakes, or does things differently from how you would do them
- be there for each other, in the good and the challenging times
- ask for help when you cannot cope with a situation
- share the load - agree on who will do what in the household and to what standard
- allow yourself and your partner the right to put up your feet and relax
- make time specifically for yourself - soak in a bath, read, listen to music, talk on the phone to friends, exercise - and encourage your partner to do the same
- respect and accept your differences and your similarities
- take responsibility for your actions.