The Trouble with Statistics

Sometimes statistics can be wrong, or at least misleading. That is, if we compare them to people we know. For example I read recently the ten important research findings from a national marriage project conducted by David Popenoe, Ph.D.

The very first one says ‘Marrying as a teenager is the highest known risk factor for divorce.’ Maybe these days when children are at school longer and are not out in the work force as some of us, our parents or grandparents were early on, this would be the case. But if you look at a lot of people who have been married 50—60 years or more, many of them actually met and married while still in their teens, albeit late teens.

Yet I know there are others who have met, married as teenagers and then divorced some years later. It can go both ways. So what makes the difference? Perhaps the problem is not so much with the physical and mental age in years but the maturity of the couple involved. Some people are quite mature young. Others could get to 40 or 50 even and still not be really matured in their attitudes and outlook.

The other comment I heard recently was, ‘Most couples these days are not prepared to try hard enough.’ The person went on to suggest that people find it easier to walk away and start again with a new relationship, rather than stick it out. Rather than trying to work on what they did have. Is it true? I don’t know. What do you think? Sometimes it certainly seems that way though.

I guess it depends on how much each person in the couple is committed to the marriage and the person they married. It also depends on how much value they put on marriage and whether to them it is something sacred, to be taken seriously or something to be taken lightly and if it doesn’t work, move on.

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