When it comes to divorce, often we Australians think we know all the facts. We think we know that divorce is relatively common, and we think we know the causes and reasons behind why they’re a regular occurrence. However, when we sit down and look at the cold, hard statistics, it’s a very different story. Here are the truths behind some common divorce myths that sneak their way into our mid-morning coffee discussions or weekend brunches – these positive statistics are sure to make you breathe a sigh of relief.
Myth 1: Divorce rates are sky high in Australia
A commonly quoted statistic is that half of marriages end in divorce. While it may seem like all we hear about on the news and on the streets is about divorce, divorce, divorce, the statistics actually prove otherwise. Only a third of marriages in Australia end in divorce and not only that, but the divorce rate is actually declining – there’s something far more positive to talk about over your next catch-up session with the girlfriends!
Myth 2: The 7-year itch
The ‘7-year itch’ a phrase that refers to the belief that couples tend to get bored of each other around the seventh year of marriage and end up getting a separation or divorce. In reality, this isn’t the case at all: research has proven that if a marriage ends up breaking down, the average time taken is 12.3 years. While Marilyn Monroe perpetuated the seven year itch in her movie of the same name (the one with that famous white dress), the reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Myth 3: The Baby Bonus causes young and single mums
After the Baby Bonus was announced, there was quite a bit of speculation (particularly in the media) that the fertility rate would go up and there would be an increase in young and single mums. The reality is, however, teenage pregnancy has actually dropped in the past 10 years, and the fertility rate has not risen since the Baby Bonus at all. The speculation about the impact of the government’s new financial support incentive was just that – speculation.
When we’re being bombarded with negative information about divorce, it can be hard to weed out the truth from the rumours. In the end, though, it’s the statistics that really do the speaking…and thankfully, in the case for divorce, the statistics prove the myths are absolutely untrue.
Jenny McRae is a freelance writer. She’s happily married with two kids, and hates reading divorce myths in the newspaper.