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Aibu to wonder if divorce statistics don't really apply where I live?

(84 Posts)
Aliceinbogna Thu 07-Jan-16 08:13:58

I'm separated from my eldest DC's father and moved to a tiny seaside village.

I was having lunch with a group of mums and they were discussing a recent separation of someone they knew which they felt was slurping when they all began saying, 'my husband would never cheat' or 'i cant see us getting divorced.'

They are all in long, stable marriages, some married to their high school sweet hearts. I cant see any of them divorcing or any strange stuff happening. Am I being unreasonable in believing this?

I grew up in a city where divorce rates are high and this place feels like a bubble!

Am I being naive and idealistic?

cleaty Thu 07-Jan-16 08:16:07

I think sometimes people socialise with people who are like them. Most of my friends are in long term relationships and few have divorced. But I know in the City I live the divorce statistics are high.

Savagebeauty Thu 07-Jan-16 08:16:39

A lot more women are divorcing in their fifties these days. I bet those women are younger.

LidikaLikes Thu 07-Jan-16 08:22:45

Sounds like a case of rose-tinted glasses to me.


Aliceinbogna Thu 07-Jan-16 08:22:51

They are mid thirties

BrieAndChilli Thu 07-Jan-16 08:23:10

The area and cost of houses also has something to do with it.
Our village is full of families but house prices are slightly higher ham the nearby town. Hence the couple of divorced women I know love in the cheaper houses in the town as yet couldn't afford a house here on a single salary (we rent but rarely do houses come up to rent either)

Hassled Thu 07-Jan-16 08:30:28

I suppose if it's a small village where you marry your high school sweetheart because you don't have the opportunity to meet people from "outside", and then you carry on not having those opportunities, marriages will last. They won't be thinking that the grass is greener on the other side because they're not even seeing the grass on the other side, if that makes any sense at all.

Mind you, I would have said there was no way my first H would ever cheat on me right up until the very moment he told me he'd cheated on me. So when I see complacency like that I shudder a bit.

Asskicker Thu 07-Jan-16 08:33:40

Divorce rates are a stat and are average.

Looking deeper some area will have far higher divorces and some far lower than the national average.

Why that is I don't know. May be you do live in an area that is below average.

I would say most people in a decent marriages can't see their partner cheating or see themselves getting divorced. Who in a good relationship (good from their point of view maybe not their partners) see it ending.

When someone cheats or leaves it's often a shock for the other.

Because they can't see it doesn't mean it won't happen or that they won't feel differently in 10 years.

Not wishing this on them but them saying they can't see it, isn't unusual and doesn't mean it won't happen.

Newyearnewme2016 Thu 07-Jan-16 08:36:17

It could be an age thing. All my friends were married in their thirties. By 40 the separations and divorces started and some are on to second marriages now. I only know two couples still together and one of them is wobbly.

senua Thu 07-Jan-16 08:46:13

I live in a market town. The people I know are a mixture of home-grown and escapees-from-the-city. Most are in stable LTR (mostly marriage).
Maybe racy people live in the city and dull-but-dependable live in the country?

Saltysnack Thu 07-Jan-16 08:46:28

None of my friends are divorced. Or separated. (London/burbs). I only know one person in my large office who's been divorced though that may be explained by it being a law firm and people naturally being more conservative.
DS is in a y2 class of 18 kids. One set of parents not together.

My sister and her husband split up a couple of years ago but got back together. I put it down to support from friends and both families to get them through difficult issues. Sometimes being married is what keeps you married and if your social group are strongly supportive of your marriage continuing, that can help.
Perhaps I live in an unrealistic bubble. It was awful when my sister has her troubles though. I would have missed BIL a lot and it was so hard on their kids. They are all happy now (no relationship is perfect obviously).

redhat Thu 07-Jan-16 08:54:03

Some of it will be an age thing. It will also depend on the age they married. Couples who marry later are less likely to divorce. So if you've come from an area with a high proportion of very young people in their early twenties getting married then the chances of divorce by mid thirties is much higher. If they've not married until early thirties then they are less likely to divorce but if they do it is more likely to be in their forties.

Out of all of our close friends (a group of 7 families) we are the only couple where one (DH) has been married previously. We are all mid forties. We were all married in our early thirties. DH is divorced but his first marriage (which only lasted 2 years) was when he was 23 so way too young.

I'm sure by the time we are in our 50s there will be a breakup somewhere in the group.

MadamCroquette Thu 07-Jan-16 08:57:08

I used to wonder how all the people I knew were still married when divorce statistics said 50% of them would split up. (Especially as there were a few I had my doubts about at the weddings! blush)

Now we're mid-40s, and three couples we know have split up in the past couple of years.

I do think when you see on here someone posting in shock that their DH/DP has had an affair and/or left them, they often say "He was my rock" or "I never would have thought my lovely man could do this" etc. So I'd always take with a pinch of salt someone being sure it would never happen to them. I know I'm an old cynic but the stats bear it out.

GraceKellysLeftArm Thu 07-Jan-16 09:00:11

I live in a village where many people are married to people they went to school with. Not many divorces- but a lot of extra-marital!

Gottagetmoving Thu 07-Jan-16 09:00:42

I wish I had a pound for every time someone who said 'My husband would never cheat' and then he did precisely that.

I remember saying to friends that my ex and I would never divorce...and we divorced a few years later. I have no idea if he ever cheated but I divorced him for other reasons.

pinkdelight Thu 07-Jan-16 09:01:37

Check out the Relationships page, very few on there thought they'd ever get divorced either. Who does? Agree with the rose tinted/naive comments.

Intrigued by this: "which they felt was slurping"

Asskicker Thu 07-Jan-16 09:01:40

I have just been thinking about this.

I have been with dh and it's not been perfect. We split 6 years ago for 6 months and we're starting divorce proceedings then got back together.

If you asked me, I can't see us getting divorced. I can't imagine dh cheating on me and am sure he is happy in the marriage. Tbh I wouldn't be with him if I thought he was miserable with me or if I could see him cheating on me.

But that's doesn't mean I am naive enough to think it could never happen. Our marriage has been the best it ever has been since we got back together. He is my best friend, we don't even argue. We disagree but handle problems so much better now. My marriage is as strong as ever.


People change. I may decide I don't want to be married, dh might. We both may change so much we aren't compatible anymore.

Saying you can't see it happening isn't the same as 'it would never happen'

senua Thu 07-Jan-16 09:03:28

Maybe racy people live in the city and dull-but-dependable live in the country?

I will refine that comment. Just as classes are divided into upper/lower (who don't give a fig) and middle (who care desperately what other people think), maybe divorce is divided into city/country and town. I have friends who live in villages and the tales they tell are straight out of Jilly Cooper. <clutches pearls>

MoMoTy Thu 07-Jan-16 09:05:02

I have a similar situation to you Saltysnack
Just a distance relative, but other than that no one I know is divorced. We have a large but very supportive group of friends and family and I think that influences things as well. I also think people just tend to socialize with others close to them.

tiggerkid Thu 07-Jan-16 09:05:37

Divorce rates and, in fact, many similar stats are taken as some sort of average across all general population, so, yes, it's possible that they don't apply in the area where you live now and may have been much higher where you lived before.

DeoGratias Thu 07-Jan-16 09:07:00

Certain suburbus have fewer divorces. Eg 25% of my boroughj are hindu and I am not saying they never divorce but it is less common, just as it was much much less common in our Catholic family. We were the first couple ever 10 years on both sides of the family to divorce ( and that would be so low for religious and cultural reasons). I agree with the comment above too about house prices and also areas where women tend not to work and need male income to live and know if they had to keep two houses on a husband's salary everyone would be in poverty after a divorce. Lots of things keep people together not always love. Also there is a huge increase in the divorce rate of older people now we don't all die at 60 so those people might do it in due course. However I think it's wonderful when people stay together for 50 years +. Lots of marriages are very happy.

i was the only divorced or single mother in both classes at my sons' first school until one of the fathers died and we were only there because I earned enough to take out a £1.3m mortgage on the divorce to pay out their father and keep our home.

fakenamefornow Thu 07-Jan-16 09:09:17

I think I live in a bubble as well. Very middle class village, friends now in 40s with long term marriage's (none unmarried living together). In my children's class I can only think of a very small number of children who don't live with both bio parents who are married to each other. All seem happy but maybe look again in ten years.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Thu 07-Jan-16 09:09:32

It does vary by area - abuse and heating apart there are different attitudes to splitting "just" because you've grown apart, and those attitudes are influenced by those around you as well as by practicalities like house prices, incomes etc. as well as cultural and religious stuff, which can be a commonality in small communities.

That said when we first moved to where we live now and I had a pfb small toddler pretty much every single parent I met was married, and in their first marriage too - no step families, no single parents etc. The only exception to the 1950s Stepford norm were a couple of unrelated children being brought up by grandparents, with very/ fairly young mothers who were working/ studying elsewhere. Now my eldest is at secondary school several of her original nursery/ primary school classmates (basically the same kids as its a small community) parents have split.

We are in a culturally/ traditionally Catholic area and it does make a difference to "norms" on separation and divorce which spread beyond the actual religious / churchgoing section of the populace I think. People locally also seem to marry/ have children older, on average.

It is starting to look though as if this might not mean people don't divorce/ split, but rather people sticking it out longer... but still getting divorced/ separated in the end, just in their 40s/ 50s instead of 20s/ 30s! I suppose that does mean a below average divorce rate because there is less time to marry and divorce 2 or 3 times per adult! But it doesn't mean immunity! grin

fakenamefornow Thu 07-Jan-16 09:10:04

Just about all are home owners as well.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Thu 07-Jan-16 09:10:37

*cheating not heating... although I suppose there could be a tiny number of people who factor heating into their decisions! grin

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