Fifty years is a long time to be married. And growing increasingly rare too. Considering that you have to marry young. And live to a relatively significant age. To reach the fifty year marriage mark. So part of it is purely logistical. (The average age of both men and women when they marry for the first time continues to rise. For guys, their average age for first time marriage is 29. For ladies, their average age is 27.)
But there’s another reason why it’s increasingly rare for marriages to last fifty years. And this reason may surprise you. If you’ve been married for twenty years, it no longer means that you’re likely to make it to thirty. Or if you’ve been married thirty years, it no longer necessarily means you’ll make it to forty. Because, according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, those who are over age fifty are now divorcing at an accelerated pace. In fact, the divorce rate for those over fifty doubled between 1990 and 2010. Presently, 1 in 4 divorces involve those age fifty or more whereas in 1990 that number was only 1 in 10.
And so when you come across a couple that has gone the distance in marriage. Especially if they’ve reached their fifty year anniversary. Then you’ve come across a special, and increasingly rare, couple. And they probably have a lot to teach all of us!
With that in mind, a survey of couples that have reached the magic fifty year anniversary mark gives us some important insight into what makes a marriage go the distance.