Sure, the divorce rate is about 40%. But if you’re about to get married, don’t let those statistics bum you out, because the odds aren’t stacked against you.

  • The divorce numbers include so-called “habitual marriers.” These are people who tie the knot over and over again.
  • Living together before you get married makes you 10% more likely to end up in divorce court. Experts say it’s because a lot of cohabitating couples get married when they start having trouble, because they hope it’ll save their relationship. Or they get married simply because they’ve been together so long, and figure they “might as well.” But that’s not a great attitude for marital bliss.
  • When it comes to second and third marriages: you’ve got a 75% chance of getting divorced again. Why? Dr. Wendy Walsh is the author of The 30-Day Love Detox. And she says that very few people who get divorced learn from their mistakes. And your chances of having a solid marriage won’t go up unless you work to improve your relationship skills. Also, when you do something scary or unthinkable once – whether it’s divorcing, or shoplifting, or cheating – it becomes less psychologically daunting. So, you’re more open to doing it again and you don’t have as many mental barriers.
  • The longer you wait to walk down the aisle, the better. Statistics show that couples who marry after finishing college cut their risk of divorce by 25%. And, waiting until your career’s established lowers the chances of a split by another 30%.
  • Guys, working on your relationship will pay big dividends. According to the National Marriage Project, the wives initiate 66% of divorces. One big reason is that their husbands refuse to change what their wives consider to be bad behavior. So, if you keep getting complaints about one particular thing, like not being romantic, you might want to work on improving that.