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63% of Divorcees Say This Could Have Saved Their Marriage

Couple who are fighting and considering divorce
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When bells ring on your wedding day, the last thing on your mind is the possibility that the union someday will end in divorce.

But the sad reality is that many couples don’t stay together over the long haul. Divorce is one of life’s most painful episodes, and it’s not unusual for disappointed people to look back and wonder if they could have done something differently to save their marriage.

Recently, Forbes Advisor surveyed 1,000 Americans who have been divorced or are currently getting a divorce. Somewhat surprisingly, just 5% of divorced folks and divorcees-to-be believe their marriage could not have been saved under any circumstances.

Instead, many believe the marriage could have remained intact if they had just done something differently. Here are the top things people in failing marriages believe could have prevented their divorce.

1. Understanding the commitment of marriage better

Couple considering divorce
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Respondents who said they believe this could have saved their marriage: 63%

Everybody thinks they understand marriage — until they actually say “I do.”

Marriage is one of life’s great mysteries, with a lot of ups and downs and periods of trial. Couples in failing marriages regret not having had a better grasp of exactly what marriage entails before they walked down the aisle.

2. Understanding my partner’s values and morals better

Divorced older couple
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Respondents who said they believe this could have saved their marriage: 56%

Talk to couples who have been married for decades and you will hear a common refrain: When the chips were down, it was sharing the same values that got them through the tough times.

Truly understanding where your partner stands on life’s most important questions can be the difference between a long union and a marriage that ends in divorce court.

3. Waiting longer to start a family

Stressed mother or stressed parent trying to work from home remotely while children cause a ruckus
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Respondents who said they believe this could have saved their marriage: 44%

Having children will turn anyone’s life upside down. For that reason, many couples prefer to wait until a few years into their marriage before having children.

By waiting, you get to enjoy more time as a couple and to hopefully gain a greater sense of financial stability. Couples in failing marriages often rue their decision to rush into full family life.

4. Other steps that might have saved marriages

Couple holding hands
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Here are the last three things that people cited that could have possibly saved their marriages:

  • Seeking professional help from a therapist or couples counselor: 42%
  • Waiting longer to get married: 40%
  • Living together prior to marriage: 29%

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