Almost 73 percent of divorces are among men under the age of 30 and over 80 percent are among women under the age of 30 and while the average length of a first marriage is around seven years, that is an average. Among this age group, the upper limit is probably around 12 years and the lower limit could be just months.
Gregory Smith was 26 years old when he got divorced. His marriage lasted a short two years and that’s absolutely not what he expected. Here’s Gregory:
I was the first of my friends to get married, I was the first of my friends to experience marital infidelity, and I was the first of my friends to be divorced.
I was a good Catholic individual throughout my early years. I went through the whole Catholic premarital experience where you go through counseling with a parish couple. You go on a religious retreat – a lot of the parishes in the Catholic Church will put people through that to ensure that the marriage will be a solid one, and that there are no surprises and to, obviously, reduce the rate of marriage that fail. However, that process failed.
It seemed like it was helpful at the time. It made sure that everybody was thinking about all the right stuff, understanding the commitments, full disclosure. They just wanted to make sure that everyone was thinking about all the possible issues that could come up, incompatibilities, that kind of stuff all within a Catholic framework. So I’d say it was a good process. I did it with my fiancée and I thought she loved me at that time, too.
We got married just two months after I graduated from college; myself with an engineering degree and her with a psychology degree. And she went into law enforcement, and I went into the electronics industry.
When we were in college together we had a lot of things in common. I was in a fraternity, she was in a sorority. We had all the same friends and things and same interests, and spent a lot of time together in school and in school-related activities. After college and after the marriage, we went into different fields of employment, and in retrospect, I think that we started to grow apart.
Sometimes people in law enforcement can be somewhat of a different breed. Quite honestly they tend to bond with one another perhaps a little bit more strongly than people in other professions. And in a nutshell she wound up binding a little too tightly with a particular attorney, and she wound up cheating on me with that individual.
That’s the short version. And, yes, I discovered it, kicked her out. She came back. Then maybe three weeks later, she wound up doing it again. I kicked her out for the final time.
The Divorce Coach Says
Being the first in your social circle to get divorced makes an already difficult situation even harder. Without the experience, it’s hard for your friends to offer meaningful support. And if most of your friends are married then your newly-single status can be doubly isolating.
I suspect that short-marriages also carry more stigma to them – marriage is hard work and takes commitment and if you’re splitting up so soon then that must mean you haven’t tried very hard.
I’ve interviewed a couple of ladies whose marriages were very short. In Emma’s case it became clear very quickly that the man she’d married wasn’t someone she wanted to be friends with let alone married to. DE was married for just 20 months and on reflection said she felt she couldn’t back out of the wedding but she wasn’t disappointed when they got divorced because it was the healthiest option for her.
My best advice to someone in this situation is to listen to your gut, trust your instincts and get help. Whether that means opening up to your family members about what’s truly going on or seeking counseling for yourself, it’s critical to confront these issues. That may well result in the end of your marriage but I can also tell you that avoiding the issues isn’t what is going to make the marriage work long term.
Find out more about Gregory Smith at MidLifeBachelor. Visit Amazon for an electronic version of How To Successfully Recover From Having Been Cheated On or here, for a printed version.
*Center for Disease Control, National Survey of Family Growth. Verified 7/11/2012 – StatisticBrain.com
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