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Are you more likely to divorce if your parents did?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2022 | Divorce

Like it or not, we inherit some things from our parents. Some, such as our nose or skin color, are genetic. Others are learned from spending so much time in their company. 

However hard you try not to be like them, you will inherit some traits, mannerisms, attitudes and behaviors from the people that raised you. Is a propensity to divorce one of them?

The research suggests it is

Various studies have looked at this. They have found that:

  • Children of divorce are more likely to marry other children of divorce
  • Couples whose parents both divorced are more likely to divorce than when only one of their parents divorced

What might explain these findings?

The researchers did not come up with definitive answers as to why, but they suggested several factors could be at play.

All couples have challenging moments, and if you saw your parents stay together and overcome them, you may be more inclined to believe that you too can overcome the difficult moments in your marriage.

You or your spouse may have picked up some of the less favorable personality traits or behaviors that led to your parents divorcing. For example, if your mother found it impossible to live with your father due to his inability to express any emotion, your spouse might find the same problem with you.

That said, the research suggests this is becoming less certain. In the 1970s, children of divorce were twice as likely to divorce as those whose parents stayed married, whereas it is now only 1.2 times as likely. Each couple must make their own decision, regardless of their background.

If you believe it is time to follow in your parents’ footsteps and file for divorce, seek legal help to understand your next steps.