U.S. divorce dip excludes Utah

Recession has no effect on filings, despite national trend

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  • ReRe: Professor | 12:14 p.m. Ju
    June 28, 2009 10:59 p.m.

    "I know of no leader who is telling anyone get married ASAP."

    Like its been said, it backfired, that's why it's not said anymore.

    And like its been said, this is a pretty cut and dry knowledge, so much so that it's actually pretty elementary.

  • Divorce and the Single LDS Adult
    June 27, 2009 10:39 a.m.

    No one knows for sure what the divorce rate is for LDS marriages. You can look at Utah stats and deduce that it is not that much different than everywhere else in the country. I know a busy Utah County divorce attorney who claims that longer term temple marriages do not divorce at nearly the rate of young LDS couples - hence the reasonable argument that marrying too young and too fast in our LDS culture is not always a good thing.

    But the fact is that there are thousands of older single divorced members of the Church and that has created an incredibly interesting sub-culture in the Church. Anyone living in that culture can testify to that. The single adult dances, activities, internet sites, etc etc are so unique and interesting. Go to a single adult dance some day - it can be like stepping on to another planet. I love being LDS and find great humor in our unique LDS culture. But the single adult LDS culture takes uniqueness, quarkiness, and LDS humor to a whole new level.

  • Re: Re: Professor
    June 26, 2009 12:14 p.m.

    Individual advice between a leader and a young person is not the same as church policy. As a leader myself and the father of a girl who is 20 years old (and not married/engaged), my advice has always been the same - be prepared for when you find the right person, make sure you take the time to know them well and pray about it. And keep in mind, there never really is a "perfect" time to get married. If you wait until you can afford it, you'll always be waiting.

    I know of no leader who is telling anyone get married ASAP. I do think it should be a priority for young people, though. I think people living with their parents at 28, 30, 32 years old are going to have it rough getting along with someone else and being out on their own.

  • Re: Re: Re: Professor
    June 26, 2009 12:22 a.m.

    Many bishops, mission presidents and seminary/institute teachers have told or recommended RM's to get married within a year.

    Its pretty cut and dry to get married ASAP.

    You need to take off your religious rose colored glasses!

  • Re: Re Professor
    June 25, 2009 7:56 p.m.

    This is not the Professor you were addressing, although I do happen to be a professor (not at BYU).

    Although the Church may not release statistics on divorce, these are available through other sources and all of the studies I have seen have shown that the LDS divorce rate is lower than the average.

    It is also not true that the Church ever told RM's to marry within a year of returning home or that the Church does not now continue to counsel young people not to postpone marriage for reasons of convenience.

    Sounds to me like you have more of a bone to pick with the Church and don't want the facts to get in the way.

  • Me
    June 25, 2009 3:03 p.m.

    Met my wife in a BYU class. Dated our junior year. Married our senior year. Got a job. Have 3 kids now. Finishing a graduate program. Working hard. Very happy because we're following the principles of the gospel.

    Mosiah 2:40...Consider the blessed and happy state of those who keep the commandments of God. For they are blessed in all things, both temporally and spiritually.

    Good stuff.

  • To More to it than Age
    June 25, 2009 10:47 a.m.

    I married a much older man when I was 23 and he was definitely "set in his ways." As much as we love eachother, I was the peacemaker who had to go along with the old grump because he was set in his ways. Because of his commitment to me and to marriage itself, he gradually met me somewhere in the middle so that we could find a balance between our two very different personalities and backgrounds. We've got a great marriage, but it took WORK. We didn't buy into the "honeymoon phase" and seeing the world through religious rose-colored glasses mumbo jumbo. Being religious, we actually paid attention to the things we were taught at a young age, not interpret them so that we could find justification for our immoral actions (marrying someone you barely know to get you-know-what and divorce afterwards).

    Side note: Many many of my friends lived together with bf/gfs before getting married. None of them are married now or even together. I'm not talking just 1 or 2 people, this is like 10 or 11 different couples. Living together gives them an out, which is hardly commitment.

  • To Re: Wondering | 9:24 a.m. Jun
    June 25, 2009 10:44 a.m.

    "It's not the LDS temple marriages that are causing the majority of the problem. LDS temple marriages only have a 6% divorce rate (proven by several different studies, including one by the Barna Research Group), compared to double digits in the state and the national averages."

    Here we go again, false reporting.

    You think that if an institution manages to succeed 94% retention won't be studied by the entire psychological and relationship experts????

    Since that's not happening, that means it's pretty obvious that it's not true, and not even close to being true.

    A BYU professor has stated much differently than your quote of some sort of research group.

    Denial is the typical form for LDS people, since they never wanted to acknowledge truth that this church is not as perfect as one might be led to believe.

    Utah, number one for fraud in the country. Number one for teen suicide, and number one for anti-depressants.

    These are the voyages of the Starship LDS, and like Dr.Phil counsels often, you can't change what you don't acknowledge. And few here are acknowledging it, so we know where that goes.

  • TO: Professor 7:31 a.m. June 2
    June 25, 2009 10:22 a.m.

    "In regard to the LDS divorce rate - it is important to distinguish between a temple and non-temple marriage. The divorce rate for a temple marriage is between 7 and 15% - meaning that of all temple marriages, about 7 to 15% eventually divorce and the rest remain married. For non-temple marriages, the divorce rate is over 50%."

    I hope you're not a real professor, because your license would need to be revoked to report such an alarmingly false statement.

    Back in 2005, my wife and I attended lectures at BYU, and one family counsel professor said that the LDS church does NOT release divorce statistics, and the big reasons why is that, from evidence collected elsewhere, the LDS church has no better marriage retention amongst its members than non-mormons.

    Furthermore, policies have changed dramatically when it comes to encouraging and admonishing marriage. In the past, there were a great deal of talks and articles by general authorities to persuade members to marry, and marry quickly, not delaying due to reasons of school, work, etc.

    Returned missionaries were instructed to be married within 1 year.

    All these policies changed because it back fired.

  • Lyndon Sullivan @lindano
    June 24, 2009 12:10 p.m.

    Very interesting article on Utah,divorce is no longer a world phenomenon has it used to be 50yrs or so ago,what does it really tell us, the same as it always did,reseccion?location?adultery,all things, but it all echos the same as it always did so well done Utah,& good luck the rest!Yours,Lyndon Sullivan @lindano

  • To: Chris
    June 24, 2009 9:30 a.m.

    "The divorce statistics are skewed since more couples cohabit in others states than in Utah."

    Two points:

    1 - Divorce rate statistics don't include people who live together, just people who are married.

    2 - Multiple studies have proven that couples who live together before marriage are nearly twice as likely to get a divorce than couples who don't, so by your logic, Utah should have one of the lowest divorce rates in the country.

  • Re: Wondering
    June 24, 2009 9:24 a.m.

    It's not the LDS temple marriages that are causing the majority of the problem. LDS temple marriages only have a 6% divorce rate (proven by several different studies, including one by the Barna Research Group), compared to double digits in the state and the national averages.

    Any group that can sustain a 94% retainal rate is one to promote, not tear down with false accusations.

  • The Article's point was good.
    June 24, 2009 6:28 a.m.

    Utah has not been hit as hard as most states by the recession. (Yet.)

    Ask any sociologist. Unlike suggestions by most of the commenters bringing up age or religious values in decline, the predominant cause of most divorces center on money.

    When you live in a time of financial excess and you're having financial struggles, divorce looks like a plausible solution to solving all your financial troubles. Just cut your spouse loose from all your bank accounts and you'll be free, right? In fact, when jobs are plentiful you figure your deadweight spouse can simply find a job, and the consequences will be minimal. Justification for divorce is very high.

    When you live in a recession, all those justifications are thrown out. You are forced to consider the harsh reality that divorce will not help, and you take different measures to manage your financial struggles. The failing financial world can actually help couples come together because they share a common sense of being embattled.

    I think money has more to do with this than anything. Go out to eat sometime. There are still crowds. Utah is not suffering nearly as bad as other states. Lucky Utah...

  • Cohabitate? Part Deux
    June 24, 2009 1:52 a.m.

    You learn many things about someone when you live with them that you can learn no other way. I lived with a girl I considered marrying for the better part of a year (after dating 1.5 years) and discovered that we would not be good partners in marriage. I lived with another girl for a year (again after dating 1.5 years), and everything was great, we got engaged, and there have been no unpleasent surprises after getting married in '07. We knew what to expect.

    I've had a few (religious) people that went into marriage without cohabitating first tell me that after their marriage experience they "can see why it might be a good idea to live together first."

    In any case, don't get married just because your hormones are raging. You'll later discover that that part will take up about 1% of your marriage and majority of time will spent on other (less fun) issues.

  • Cohabitate?
    June 24, 2009 1:51 a.m.

    Good comments and discussion all around. I just want to add that I think that the issue is skewed on couples that cohabitate before marriage divorcing more.

    I think some of the reason for this coorelation is that couples that are ok with living together before marriage tend to be less religious. On the other hand, many religious people tend to be against living together before marraige.

    Religious people have more of a stigma against divorce than non-religious people do. (In some religions divorce itself is a sin and will only be granted in Extreme cases).

    So I believe some of the "statistics" about those who don't cohabitate before marriage (more religious) getting divorced at a lower rate may be somewhat (not entirely) attributed to their stigma against divorce and not completely attributed to the health of the marriage itself.

  • Huh?
    June 24, 2009 12:08 a.m.

    I didn't see anywhere in this article where it mentioned that most of those getting divorced (or any) were LDS. No doubt, there were some, but why some people who are posting on here claiming a connection with the church just comes down to that never-ending hate for the church. They can leave it, they can't leave it alone.

    The real reason was pointed out in the article - the economy is better in Utah than elsewhere.

  • The "Marriage" is broken.
    June 23, 2009 11:48 p.m.

    Isn't interesting when two people get married there are two people, but when they are about to get divorced there arises some third entity called the "marriage." Yes, it is because of the "marriage", this mysterious third entity, that is causing the two original people to call it quits.

  • Statman
    June 23, 2009 8:36 p.m.

    Ok, it is reasonable to accept the Utah divorce stats- if the numbers are reflecting a constant data group reflecting the general population. However, the U.S. stats exclude California, Georgia, Indiana, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Louisiana. That's a pretty big chunk of the U.S. population and excluding numbers from those states calls this comparison into question. Utah may be steady and that's sad, but let it stand on its own if major U.S. states are left out of the comparison group.

  • Anonymous
    June 23, 2009 8:23 p.m.

    Any student of American music has hear:"It's cheaper to keep her." You would need to normalize this date to the changes in our economy.

  • Horton the Elephant
    June 23, 2009 7:55 p.m.

    "I meant what I said and I said what I meant; an elephant's faithful, 100 percent".

    I married "Mazie the Lazy-bird" 26 years ago, and stuck it out because I grew up believing you needed to stay in the marriage no-matter-what.

    I've worked full-time, did all the cooking, cleaning, bills, laundry, etc. all the traditional male and female chores -- because "I'm a full-time Mom, not your housewife".

    I was hen-pecked and verbally abused for decades.
    So, what kind of example did I set?

    My College Grad-Returned Missionary-Eagle Scout son has vowed to NEVER get married after watching how his mother treated his Dad.

    My 18 year old daughter never gets any dates because she treats nice young men like dirt.

    It goes BOTH ways!!!

    Add me to the list.

  • deadface
    June 23, 2009 6:44 p.m.

    I was married to my EX, and she was LDS. That is besides the point, if you are not able to really spend time getting to know each other in the first place. You are not going to have a healthy relationship. I have probably heard many of the same stories of very young couples getting married at age 18 and 19. Those are the exception. Many couples who wind up getting married really fast, have a really fast divorce, because they are not able to get to know each other and spend quality time together.

  • Anonymous
    June 23, 2009 5:43 p.m.

    Getting married young can cause major issues. I'm 32 and was ready for marriage in many areas. I married a younger girl and her lack of life experience has caused our marriage some pitfalls that we have worked through gratefully. Waiting to get more established in life can be a major benefit.

  • Jann
    June 23, 2009 4:41 p.m.

    I married when I was 34 which was later in life, but the wait was worth it. I couldnt have found a better husband. Yes we have been through alot eg unemployment, financial reverses, death of loved ones and infertility. Due to marrying at a later age, we both were very independent in so many ways but I would not change it for the world. I think divorice happens alot when ppl are to young and it doesnt matter if you are lds or not; i think alot of it depends on maturity. I married civilly first because my husband had just become a member and a year later we were sealed in the temple. But I think alot of it has to do with commitment to each other and being very giving in the relationship. Just my 2 cents worth.

  • Please
    June 23, 2009 4:03 p.m.

    Make up your minds.
    Either Utah has 100% Mormons, so you can blame all the mental, spiritual, and divorce problems on the Mormons, and temple, marriages.
    Or you can re-read the article, and figure out that it does not identify the divorces as LDS, or any specific group.
    I'm amazed at the critics who can analyze all the failed marriages as only caused by young, LDS, temple marriages, children of parents with failed temple marriages. (Which article are you reading?)
    And then continue on with their comments as factual.
    Try speculating about tender, personal issues with a less judgemental attitude.

  • Wait a minute...
    June 23, 2009 3:39 p.m.

    So I shouldn't have proposed to the girl I met at the Church hay ride last week? Maybe I'll re-think that.

  • Crack up
    June 23, 2009 3:10 p.m.

    It always amuses me when people quote the divorce rate from long ago and equate that with happy marriages. Just because people didn't divorce as much in the "good old days" doesn't mean that marriages were happy. Since time immemorial,there have been those who would treat their spouses horribly. In many cultures this was even socially acceptable. But in yester-year, you had to grin and bear it.

    Now-a-days people don't have to put up with all of the above. Since they now have options, they get out. It wasn't always so.

  • Semteacher
    June 23, 2009 2:21 p.m.

    The message of the Good Book...Keep commandments and you prosper.. temporally and spiritually.. We need to listen more to Prophets and less to toxic bloggers.They have the advice that works for a happy life and solid marriages.

  • John
    June 23, 2009 2:09 p.m.

    I used to try and correlate age with marriage, but life experiences have taught me that it really boils down to the individual. I know plenty of people who married young and it worked out great. I also know plenty who married young, and it ended horribly, sometimes within a few years, and sometimes not until 20+ years later.

    I also know plenty of people that married late that did great, and plenty that did not.

    No statistics can account for it, because each individual approaches marriage differently. And because people change over time, so do their committments to marriage. It's all about the couple and their committment, and has very little to do with anything else, including age, religion, etc.

  • More to it then age
    June 23, 2009 1:20 p.m.

    I heard in my sociology class that marrying too young can lead to difficult marriages, but so does marrying too old. I apologize for not having my class notes on me so I can give you references, but the "ideal" marriage age is somewhere between 23 and 28. That way you're old enough to know about life but young enough not to be set in your ways. Obviously these numbers are general trends and don't take into account maturity and other life factors. Some people are more then able to marry at 22, and some people aren't ready until they're 30. Long courtships are good, but only to a point. A year is generally a good minimum, but 3 years is too long. Studies also show that couple that live together prior to marriage have a lower satisfaction/higher divorce rate that those who don't.
    This article only tells a small piece of a large story. We need more data and information before being able to really understand what's going on in Utah.

  • Bob
    June 23, 2009 1:06 p.m.

    Just a couple of thoughts. Utah has been one of the fastest growing states for the past few years. Yet the number of divorce filings has been roughly the same year after year. So it seems to me that the divorce rate ie percentage is falling. As for the age debate. The idea of marriage later in life is a relatively new concept. For as long as records show most people got married in their late teens to early twenties and divorces were rare. Now people want to tell us that the divorces are because of the marriage age. Some marriages fail because of a horrible spouse. I have seen it and don't disagree with divorce in those circumstances. Most divorces I have seen however are because of a lack of commitment! Not because of age or education or lack of money. Those are all excuses. I really don't care what age people are when they marry. If they are committed the marriage can and will succeed. Hundreds of years of successful marriages prove it.

  • Mormon Okie
    June 23, 2009 12:59 p.m.

    To The Real Problem:

    BRAVO!! YOU HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD!! There is a world of difference between 'revelation' and raging hormones. Unfortunately, some of these kids get married only so they can get laid without punishment. On the other hand, the ones who take time to get to know each other in a variety of places and situations come through with a clearer sense of unity and a greater chance for long-term success.

    As a friend of mine in Canada once said: The first six months youre together, youre so ga-ga about seeing someone regularly, you blind yourself to any weaknesses or character lapses your partner may have. After six months, these qualities begin to surface. If youre still together after eight months, then you have probably found a good match for you and should then marry and get on with the rest of your life.

    I couldnt have put it any better myself!

    Tim Rollins
    Oklahoma City

  • Hatuletoh
    June 23, 2009 12:50 p.m.

    Once again, I read posts from people on this site see correlation and call it causality. One is not the other, my friends.

    Divorce and unhappy marriages come from people doing something that is wrong for them. Marriage is hard work and most people aren't up to it when they are young, but some are and can be successful despite their callowness. Many people will mature and become ready for marriage, though at different times; some people never will.

    In other words, some people should wait until they are older to get married, some are capable of marrying young, and a number probably never should marry. It's a bell-curve, like most aspects of human behavior, and those who say the problem is "marrying young" or conversely "being selfish" have correctly identified the problem in some cases, but not most and certainly not all. Every person and marriage is unique. I think it was Tolstoy who said that happy families are all the same, but unhappy families are each unhappy in their own way. In any case, all theories on marriage are bunk at least 50% of the time if you only have one theory.

  • Mormon Okie
    June 23, 2009 12:37 p.m.

    Utahs divorce rate bucks the national downward trend because many in the current generation who DO marry within the LDS culture are children of parents whose temple marriages failed! Combine that with the most self-absorbed 'me-first' crowd ever produced, and a pathetic entitlement mentality, and you have a generation viewing temple marriage as merely an agreed-to religious ceremony designed to placate parents and conform with cultural expectations.

    Regarding the temple, Elder George Q. Cannon said 100+ years ago: "How is it now? There is a complete indifference, it may be said, in relation to it. Young people go there stupid, with no particular desire only to get married, without realizing the character of the obligations that they take upon themselves, or the covenants that they make, and the promises involved in the taking of these covenants."

    Simply put, parents and priesthood leaders need to better educate and prepare these kids regarding the sacred nature of both marriage and temple covenants. Perhaps in doing so, these young people will be more selective in whom they marry, and not become a casualty like so many of their parents were.

    Tim Rollins
    Oklahoma City

  • @ Me and re:Me
    June 23, 2009 12:14 p.m.

    What proof do you have that the divorce rate in Utah is higher because people in other states live together instead of getting married?

    To the author of the article: What proof do you have that divorce rates are not declining?

    The only accurate way to calculate divorce rates is as a percentage of marriages. The only way to accurately calculate the marriage rate is per capita.

    If there are 100 couples of marrying age, and there are 50 marriages, that is a 50% marriage rate. If the number of couples increases to 200, and there are 100 marriages, that is still a 50% rate. If, however, there are only 75 marriages, that is a decline in marriages.

    Same thing with divorces: 100 married couples, 50 divorce, 50% divorce rate. 200 married couples, 50 divorce - same number of divorces but a definite decline in divorces.

    Let's get some real facts....

  • re: Me
    June 23, 2009 11:54 a.m.

    it is a fact that more people in other states will live together instead of get married. In Utah, more people will marry. Thus when the other young couples who only live together leave each other it's called a "break-up" whereas the other is called a "divorce". Let's include anyone who has ever lived with each other for more than a year and see where the totals are. Then what religion will you condemn?

  • It's about money.
    June 23, 2009 11:46 a.m.

    I agree with the article. Utah has not felt the brunt of this depression. Money matters are a huge factor in marital stability, and when there is a perception that there's prosperity to be had out there if only one's spouse was contributing more... well... in a depression that perception is wiped out. Because of sensible social norms, lower debt, and fiscal wisdom that's much more ingrained in this culture than those areas harder hit, many materialistic couples are insulated from the financial realities outside of the state.

    I agree Divorce is a horrible choice if you want to have any sort of a retirement/financial future. It's too bad Utahn's can't take that a bit more to heart and on their own eliminate divorce altogether...

  • Gays Causing Utah Divorce Rate
    June 23, 2009 11:45 a.m.

    The relative rise in the Utah divorce corresponds with the recent rise in gay marriage around the nation. As Mormon leaders have predicted, gay marriages are undermining traditional marriage for Mormons. If the trend toward legalizing gay marriage continues, we may see skyrocketing divorce rates among Mormons, whose traditional marriages are crumbling in the fact of the gay-marriage onslaught.

  • A dad in Kearns
    June 23, 2009 11:40 a.m.

    If you love one another despite the challenges and can be unselfish to one another, the couple blossoms. When one becomes a little selfish, problems can become more apparent. I married in my 20s and my wife was 19 almost 20 and we're happy with 3 kids, one of which was born with a disability.

    Love life, don't sweat the small stuff and argue only on those things 'worth' arguing about. (which shouldn't be too much as I can't think of very many things that are big enough or worth enough to argue about).

  • too funny
    June 23, 2009 11:30 a.m.

    People who simply live together and separate are NOT part of this study....hence....you can't blame marrying too young without a fair comparison across the board. Many many many people in other states jump in and out of live-in relationships. I'm fairly confident those numbers are lower here replaced in part by young marriages.

    Second....these types of articles are very difficult and time consuming to write properly. Facts are readily available but often from entirely different sources and not always reliable...so then...what is a fact? Anymore, it's difficult to say! I once spent close to a month writing a fact specific commentary for a major SLC newspaper. After intense study and a commitment to unbiased facts, one disgruntled reader responded with this, "Oh well, she obviously created those facts."

    Personally, I don't believe this is a pure journalistic piece - without bias. But then again, those are rare anymore.

  • married and happy
    June 23, 2009 11:11 a.m.

    I have to say religious background plays a large factor. SO often people marry thinking that either religion does not matter or that with time there partner will convert. Marriage should be based on love not expectations of spiritual conversion.

    My suggestion be careful who you marry.

    Like the saying goes from fiddler on the roof

    "A fish might love a bird but where would they live."

  • Provo girl
    June 23, 2009 11:01 a.m.

    To Vor
    So you have regrets, you struggled financially. Maybe you should of gotten a job and worked some before getting married or getting your masters. Don't blame the school. You made your own choice. You didn't have to date, or even look at women if you wanted to finish your schooling. It sounds like you just have an issue with "a certain private religious school".... and it's backings? Life isn't meant to be easy...YOU learned YOUR lesson, let others learn theirs in their own time frame. Plenty of couples make it happily through school together and have no regrets. I wouldn't call them "fools!"

  • KF
    June 23, 2009 10:57 a.m.

    I married my wife in the temple when I was very young (19). We were definitely not ready and I think to an extent we both resent each other. It has been a constant struggle but for over 20 years we have held it together through some really tough times (infertility, drugs, unemployment, etc). We have never allowed divorce to be an option even as we have seen family and friends justify (sometimes rightfully so, other times not so much) splitting. It devastates children. I think people give up on each other too soon without giving the marriage a fighting chance.

  • The Real Problem 2
    June 23, 2009 10:52 a.m.

    Statistics show that couples who are from different religious background have a higher risk of divorce. I fully believe the LDS culture of fast courtships does not serve anyone well. But it is also true that only a mixed Jewish/non-Jewish marriage has a higher divorce rate than a mixed LDS/non-LDS marriage. So my guess is that a young couple, who follow the LDS culture of a quick courtship, AND one is LDS and one non-LDS - are probably starting a marriage with the odds stacked against them.

  • The Real Problem
    June 23, 2009 10:45 a.m.

    I think that more than age, the speed of courtship is more of a contributing factor to divorce. LDS culture does result in people marrying at a younger age. But the real problem is that it pressures our youth to marry QUICKLY. If you feel the spirit (is it the spirit or just natural romantic emotions?) or if you have been immoral the answer is just get married and fast. The key to marriage is to enjoy the courtship process and really try to see if you and your partner are a good match. Personalities make a huge difference and mismatches often don't surface until after the butterfly stage has passed. And way too many LDS couples don't give themselves the time to get through that. The key to lowering the LDS divorce rate is to SLOW DOWN, enjoy courtship, and find ways to really get to know your partner in many different situations and allow your partner to equally learn about you. Just because you are both from the same culture and belief system you ARE NOT guaranteed a successful marriage. You must mesh and compliment each other in other ways as well.

  • Chris
    June 23, 2009 10:42 a.m.

    The divorce statistics are skewed since more couples cohabit in others states than in Utah.

  • McKay
    June 23, 2009 10:25 a.m.

    Pile on everybody, it's an article about Utah!!

  • Anonymous
    June 23, 2009 10:13 a.m.

    I know 29-year olds who are still extremely immature and selfish, while I also know a couple of 19-year-olds with one baby who are deeply in love with their husbands and who are able to work through problems and are being patient and faithful despite living in itty-bitty basement apartments and having to pay for diapers.

    Just thought I'd throw that out there.

    It's actually generally 16 and 17 year olds who become the problem marriages. 18-20 year olds often do too - but surprisingly enough, that trend just doesn't hold in the Church. The fact that young Mormon marriages buck the trend has shocked quite a few researchers, but it's a matter of maturity, not age. And there are enough other influences that you can never blame it on one thing (religion in the home makes a difference, so does cohabitation before marriage, so does whether or not the spouses came from broken families themselves ... the list goes on and on.)

  • to VOR
    June 23, 2009 10:08 a.m.

    Are you serious? A certain private religious school should take responsibility? Maybe we should get together a class action suit and teach it a lesson! Who cares about whether any of the divorces actually come from the marriages that occur at the school? Who cares that it's a ludicrous idea to begin with? After all, if it happens in Utah, it's probably the mormons' fault!

  • That's it!
    June 23, 2009 10:07 a.m.

    After reading this article I'm filing for divorce.

  • @ Me
    June 23, 2009 9:57 a.m.

    "The majority of these divorces are mormons. Hmmmmm.....could it possibly be that mormons get married to fast and to young? It's kind of ridiculous."

    If the majority of people in the state are Mormon, it stands to reason that the majority of divorces are Mormon. Also, it should be "too fast and too young." Perhaps you were let out of high school "to fast and to young."

  • TKC
    June 23, 2009 9:33 a.m.

    Oh no not one percent!!! I hate articles like this that cause hype over some lousy statistics that probably have a margin of error of at least one percent anyways.

  • VOR
    June 23, 2009 9:26 a.m.

    Well what do you expect when KIDS are getting married in their late teens and early 20's, they haven't even had the opportunity to grow up and yet they are strongly encouraged to marry at a young age to avoid "temptations"? My wife and I were married in our mid 20's after dating for a year, and although our marriage is very strong 15 years later, we both now admit that even we married too young and without dating each other longer. A certain Private religious school should also take some responsibility for the high divorce rate in Utah and quit encouraging marriage of its students at such a young age... or at least encourage graduation and some semblance of financial stability before marriage. I married my wife before finishing my masters degree, our early struggles did not "strengthen" our relationship, in darn near sunk us! And relying on others for financial support was humiliating, not "humbling". Don't buy into the "Utah lie" kiddies, "don't be a fool, graduate from school" (before getting married)!

  • To Utah in Tacoma
    June 23, 2009 9:23 a.m.

    You must be 80 years old and live in the most uneducated town imaginable. Back when husbands treated their wives with love and protection, instead of using them as slaves. And no, I'm not a feminist. I loved my ex with all my body and soul, but all he wanted was complete domination over me, which actually took AWAY my agency. Some people are so judemental. It makes me wonder how unhappy they are in their own marriages, and maybe they're just plain jealous because they don't have the guts or the faith to leave. Divorce is hard and more painful than death itself, but even still, is better than an abusive marriage. For children, a divorce could mean the difference between growing up with false, evil traditions, or cleansing the family line of wickedness and oppression. GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!!!

  • hang in there
    June 23, 2009 9:08 a.m.

    Don't stay in if there truly is abuse, but otherwise, be humble, be selfless, take the long, long view, and work hard at your marriage. The age of marrying absolutely is NOT the issue. Recession might mean people are acting in more humility, more awareness of what really matters. Who knows? The article doesn't give us much to go on.

  • Grover
    June 23, 2009 9:04 a.m.

    Only in Utah could the well documented assertion that the younger people marry, the higher the divorce rate, get an argument.

  • Utahn in Tacoma
    June 23, 2009 8:50 a.m.

    Marriage age, whether young or old, isn't the problem! SELFISHNESS in one or both partners is the problem!

    Since the baby-boomer age group started, American youth have been taught by their parents to be selfish and spoiled. Spoiled, selfish parents raise even more spoiled, selfish children. Hence, the progressively growing divorce or cohabitation rates since the 60's.

    Religion seems to be the only place where people are consistently taught to be unselfish and committed to their spouses and children. So, of course, their marriages and families tend to be stronger. It naturally happens because of 'cause and effect'.

    However, everyone has free agency to follow-or not follow-their religious upbringings. The temptation to be selfish is a constant temptation for all of us. So, when these kinds of people go selfish 'piglet' on their spouses and children, we are not surprised. We are overwhelmingly heartbroken and disappointed in them because we know they were taught to be better!

  • Tom
    June 23, 2009 8:43 a.m.

    The fact is that a lot of people shouldn't get married at all, and shouldn't be parents. Regardless of societal/family pressures some people just aren't made for it. Sometimes, many times, people look for someone to "complete them", solve their problems, or make them happy, which is an easy way to avoid responsibility for themselves as individuals. Regardless of people's opinions on the matter, divorce rates, child abuse rates, spousal abuse rates, infidelity rates are facts. As for young people getting married, well, most of them have no where near the experience for marriage, and have their own issues to work through before bringing those problems into a marriage and imposing them on children.

  • John Charity Spring
    June 23, 2009 8:41 a.m.

    All of the above comments have ignored the fact that the increasingly divorce rate is largely caused by the increasing influence that the public gives to modern media in their lives. The message promoted by modern media is extremely harmful for marriage. Indeed, this message is that immorality, selfishness, and greed are acceptable qualities and everyone else, including a spouse, must simply "deal with it." There was a time when the media promoted the old fashioned values that made this Country great, such a faithfulness, charity, and respect for others. It is no wonder that the divorce rate in increasing.

  • Jake
    June 23, 2009 8:04 a.m.

    It would be nice if this article gave some semblance of actual data about declining divorces elsewhere. The best it offers is results of a survey of divorce lawyers. Maybe people just aren't hiring a lawyer. There are really no facts in this article aside from the 1% increase in Utah. Sloppy.

  • Happily divorced
    June 23, 2009 8:02 a.m.

    Yes, love can grow even with a rough start in the right circumstances when both are committed. Divorce often happens to quickly.

    I finally divorced after many years. Only after the divorce was I able to be financially stable and sleep at night. Life was so much better; so much more peaceful. There are many reasons for divorce and one can't begin to guess at what it is for everyone. We also must not judge others too harshly as much trouble occurs behind closed doors.

    Divorce is ugly, especially for the children, but marriage can be ugly too. I know much psychological damage (as well as economic) occurred because of my bad marriage. Staying as long as I did taught my daughters lessons I'm ashamed of, like "stay with the guy no matter what - even in terrible emotional abuse" and "continue to work, try to pay the bills for years while he 'finds himself' (or finds a girlfriend)".

    The best lesson I was able to teach them was that a woman can take care of herself, value herself and them, and that it is possible to get out (finally) - not only possible, but maybe much better!

  • Me
    June 23, 2009 8:00 a.m.

    The majority of these divorces are mormons. Hmmmmm.....could it possibly be that mormons get married to fast and to young? It's kind of ridiculous.

  • Been there
    June 23, 2009 7:52 a.m.

    Marriage should be taught. Relationships are hard and nobody teaches this really. So, people with issues (most of us) don't know how to cope in healthy ways. Intimate terrorism results when one partner dominates and tends to control the other. It may take a while for the victim spouse to get the courage and means to get out. By then, much damage is done.

    Does young marriage contribute? - absolutely. Young partners do not yet have the skills and maturity to work out the problems in good ways. They usually don't even have the money to pay for skill building therapy, etc. Insurance (if they are lucky enough to have it) doesn't even pay for couples' counseling.

    And, there is huge economic strain that comes from a young marriage where perhaps they don't finish college for financial or other reasons or where the bad economy causes job loss with few skills or experiences to help them compete in this job market. Money problems contribute heavily to marriage problems. Who is there to help? They can't even afford a date and a babysitter - things that might help them. It's a difficult place to be.

    June 23, 2009 7:35 a.m.

    People... please stay together, ask anyone who has been divorced if the grass is really greener. I got married at a very young age(which was really stupid) but so far have been able to work things out. Love comes with time and hard work.

  • The Professor
    June 23, 2009 7:31 a.m.

    Just a facts about marriage and divorce rates in Utah and the US.
    Statistically, your odds of divorce increase if you marry before the age of 20 (NSFH study).
    In Utah, the average age at first marriage is approximately 3 years younger than the national average (Utah average 24 men and age 21 women).
    Nationally, the refined divorce rate is projected at 40-50% (depending upon which study you look at).
    The Utah divorce rate is just about at that average, but well below the average of our neighboring western states (e.g., Nevada #1 in the country and many other western states in the top 10).
    In regard to the LDS divorce rate - it is important to distinguish between a temple and non-temple marriage. The divorce rate for a temple marriage is between 7 and 15% - meaning that of all temple marriages, about 7 to 15% eventually divorce and the rest remain married. For non-temple marriages, the divorce rate is over 50%.
    I tend to agree with the sentiments expressed in the article in that the economy in Utah is still healthy.

  • Two times out
    June 23, 2009 7:29 a.m.

    Yes, I'm sure there are many reasons, but from my experience its mostly because of bad choices by one or both parties. You just never know, so don't take anything or granted. It takes constant communication and a solid effort by both to make it work. Even then there are no guarantees. Sometimes you think it will work, but there are unforseen problems that arise. Its easy to judge until it happens to you.

  • Anonymous
    June 23, 2009 7:05 a.m.

    Marriage too young and too fast IS a contributing factor. Utah is NO different, really, than the rest of the country. People just tend to do more in secret because of the church culture.

  • re No commitments | 4:45 a.m. J
    June 23, 2009 6:58 a.m.

    I agree, at least for me, I got married somewhat late at age 28, and I have always felt this was wasted time that I will never get back. What I did really wasn't by choice.

    Wish I could have done things differently.

  • Wondering
    June 23, 2009 6:58 a.m.

    are all these divorces non-Mormon? I doubt it. I suspect that most are LDS temple marriages. Perhaps the church is too lenient in granting temple divorces.

  • Don't Scratch
    June 23, 2009 6:48 a.m.

    I remember stories not that long ago about the declining marriage rates -- I'll bet that has a LOT to do with the (current) decline in divorces. And, again, Utah was not having the decline -- so it stands to reason it wouldn't see this decline, either.

    And, no, it's not "too young," it's "too irresponsible." In my lifetime, divorce has gone from being the ultimate failure you probably could not recover from to an acceptable solution for trivial disagreements.

    When my parents got married, the average age was around 18. Graduate from high school and get married and start your life. Divorce was unheard of. Today the average marriage age is mid-20's, and the divorce rate continues to be quoted at nearly 50%. You cannot blame age on it. If anything, stats would show that the older, the more likely to divorce.

    The real issue isn't age, it's a sense of responsibility and the feeling that you will make the marriage work, no matter what comes along. In today's consumer-driven, victim-hood society, neither of those traits are very popular.

  • No commitments
    June 23, 2009 4:45 a.m.

    I have always felt that the young and over 20 are meant to be married and raise a family. Their youth allows them to be more involved in raising children and keeping up with and involving children in their activities. Middle aged and older people have a harder time sustaining the energy of raising children and usually end up being grandparent aged adults by the time their children graduate from high school. Waiting too long and cohabitation also hampers a united and happy marriage. Committing for life and the vows have no meaning anymore.

    So I don't think that marrying too young is as much the problem as their lack of character and self discipline they should have been developing from an early age. The biggest problems the young face are financial in nature and they don't know how to manage it and education doesn't teach it. They have been inundated with the mindset that credit and spending is their primary goals and purpose. With so much individualism being the focus in schools and society with their peers they don't know how to merge their lives as a united pair.

  • refine the data
    June 23, 2009 3:42 a.m.

    People gettin'married too young is always the cop-out answer. It's probably the same people who say Utah drivers are the worst. Statistics show other-wise. Not only does Utah have one of the best driving rates, it also has one of the few divorce rates all being equal. Take into consideration Those families who choose to marry within their belief systems, i.e Catholic, Protestant,Jew, Mormon, etc.: They tend to keep their promises and have lasting marriages. If you don't like the legal age for marriage, write your legislature.

  • Scratching head
    June 22, 2009 11:53 p.m.

    Is it a 37% decline in divorces nationally, or 37% of lawyers said they have seen a decline in divorces? The sentence in the story is as clear as mud.

  • Anonymous
    June 22, 2009 11:32 p.m.

    people gettin' married too young...