Couples are waiting longer than ever to get married — the average age of first marriage in the U.S. is 27 for women and 29 for men — and in some ways, waiting is a good thing. Older couples usually have more financial security, maturity, and communication skills, all factors that contribute to a lasting union.
But! If you wait too long to get married, you may end up divorced. In fact, the odds of divorce for couples who marry after the age of 32 increase by 5 percent annually. That’s the result of a new study conducted by University of Utah sociologist Nicholas Wolfinger, who analyzed data from the National Survey of Family Growth from 2006 to 2010.
“My data analysis shows that prior to age 32 or so, each additional year of age at marriage reduces the odds of divorce by 11 percent,” he writes in his study. “However, after that the odds of divorce increase by 5 percent per year.” In other words, don’t get married when you’re superyoung, but don’t wait too long either. That leaves couples with a short window of time — late 20s to early 30s — to either find a mate or tie the knot.
Wolfinger is surprised by his own findings, in light of previous research that showed the divorce risk for 30-somethings had flatlined, not declined. He chalks it up to a theory called self-selection, telling Slate that people who wait a long time to wed might not be the marrying types. As he writes in his study, “Such people naturally have trouble with interpersonal relationships. Consequently they delay marriage, often because they can’t find anyone willing to marry them.”
Ouch. However, this news doesn’t mean that single women in their late 30s or married women in their early 20s will become cat ladies or divorcées. “There are always exceptions to this rule,” Wolfinger tells Yahoo Parenting.
How children play into this marital tipping point is unclear. We know that fertility declines with age — it’s possible that the stress of trying to conceive in one’s 30s can negatively impact a marriage, but Wolfinger’s study didn’t examine this directly. He notes in his study, though, that children born in a past relationship could create conflict in a new one.
The professor does have some advice for singles. “Don’t get married too young and don’t get married too old,” he says. “And find someone college-educated and religious.” Good looks and a sense of humor don’t hurt either.
Culled from: https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/if-you-marry-after-this-age-youre-more-likely-to-124349176597.html