by Aaron Earls, Facts & Trends, 3/21/16.
For couples looking to increase their chances of a lasting marriage, research offers some advice: don’t live together before marriage, but do attend church together.
Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics examined marital history data from the National Survey of Family Growth to determine what factors into the probability of a lasting first marriage.
Couples who live together before getting married have a lower chance of having a long-term marriage than those who don’t live together, according to analysis by researchers at the Pew Research Center.
A woman who refrained from living with her husband prior to their wedding has a 57 percent probability her marriage will last at least two decades. Those who cohabitate decrease their probability to 46 percent.
For men, the more commitment is made prior to living together the more likely their marriages are to last. Those who live with their future spouse before even being engaged have the lowest chance of a long-term marriage at 49 percent. For those who wait until after marriage, they have a 60 percent chance of celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary.
Another factor to help solidify a marriage may be church attendance, as opposed to religious identification, according to sociologist Brad Wright. “Six in 10 evangelicals who never attend church had been divorced or separated, compared to just 38 percent of weekly attendees,” he says…