Jeremy in Memphis writes, “You wouldn’t believe me but at a bar the other night, I was hit on by a married woman in such an obvious manner that not only was I shocked but so were all the other guys I was with. There she was in all her glory of being a married lady with her big diamond ring right and conversations about husband and kids, but still she took my phone number and promised to call me. I have flirted with her on the phone when she called later but my friends and family members are warning me to be careful, that there is nothing here, that I should not be pursuing a married woman, that she is simply a player, and all kinds of other discouraging comments. On the other hand, I feel a connection and I think she did too. Around here women and couples I grew up with, went to school with, well, they got married early, maybe as high school sweethearts, or before 25, and soon had families/children. And though one would have thought they are so happy but I can name so many and have seen so many women around this area who bickered about their marriages and lives whenever I ran into them. It didn’t matter whether they had kids or not — somewhere between 33 or 37 years of age — things just changed. They left their husbands, some the kids too, some situations were very shocking if you knew them before. Some of these women just weren’t happy and some pretty much went wild but what I am getting at is that there is a very high percentage of women between these ages around this area that have left their husbands and families. Some got married again, some are simply party girls now, and some completely left their whole families and moved to New York or Los Angeles. There is something about that age range. I see a lot around here where couples split. I believe this woman from the bar could be part of that segment. At that age she realizes she is just not happy, wants something different whatever. Now honestly I don’t believe she is the type to leave her children, she looks like a good mother to me, and I have no problem being a father figure to another man’s kids, if she were to divorce him, and get custody of kids. What do you think?”
Your theory is so correct. Depending on which survey you look at, the numbers are shocking about the number of couples in sexless marriages and people unhappy with their marriages in general. That is what explains the 50% divorce rate and you and I know this well that divorce is the last step. Prior to that there are so many couples who simply drag their marriages for kids or for some other reason and some women simply have nowhere to go because they never held a job and can’t make a living if they leave their marriages. There is another piece of data that shows that the earlier you marry, the higher the rate of divorce. People who marry after high school and do not go to college are the most miserable in their marriages because they marry young without thinking too much, often have lower incomes, and get burned out by the time they reach their late 30s and 40s that they often want to undo the mistakes of the past and get another shot at marriage and life. Contrary to what many people would have expected, these trends are much more common in Bible Belt than in the richer and more educated states in Northeast. In summary, what you are seeing is not one man’s opinion, but there is solid Census data behind to support it.