Royal wedding: People who marry in mid-thirties at greater risk of divorce, professor claims

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Getting married is undoubtedly a huge step to take in a relationship, one that requires a great deal of assuredness and self-awareness.

Some would argue that it would make more sense to marry later rather than sooner, as having a better grasp of your individual identity could prove beneficial for matrimony in the long run. 

However, one professor claims that the optimum age for tying the knot lies between your late twenties and early thirties, with those who marry in their mid-thirties at greater risk of inevitably separating.

Nicholas Wolfinger, a professor of family and consumer studies and adjunct professor of sociology at the University of Utah, has carried out extensive research on the connection between the age individuals are when they marry and the likelihood that they will divorce.

In 2015, Professor Wolfinger analysed data collated by the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) from 2006 to 2010, coming to the conclusion that the odds of divorcing declines for newlyweds in the late twenties and early thirties but then rise as the age of newlyweds increases to mid-to-late thirties.

The NSFG gathers data from across the US, with the ages from the 2006-2010 survey ranging from 15 to 44 years old.

While confident with his findings, Professor Wolfinger decided to explore the correlation between age when getting married and divorce once again by examining the findings from the 2011-2013 NSFG survey.

He subsequently came to the same conclusion, noting that those aged between 28 and 32 when they marry have the lowest risk of eventually divorcing. 

Sheela Mackintosh Stewart, a relationship guru and matrimonial consultant, explained to The Independent why the correlation between older newlyweds and eventual divorce may exist.

“Getting married in mid-thirties can be more challenging than getting married earlier on, due to the difficulty of adjusting to the challenges of being a ‘we-some’ rather than just looking after and catering for the needs of only ‘me’,” she said. 

“First, career-wise, one is more likely to be in a mid-senior management position with increased job responsibilities, staff and some travelling, all requiring time, effort, energy and added stress impinging on important spousal and family time.

“Second, the added pressure and stress of having to simultaneously pack in marriage, career, and kids if you want them, into a few short years.

“By mid-thirties, most people have grown into being one’s ‘own person’, more self-assured and confident and set in certain ways and behaviour.

“The drawback can result in selfish, self-absorbed behaviour and being less flexible and less willing to compromise, which is fundamental to marital success.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will both be older than average when they marry on May 19, at 33 and 36 years old respectively. 

The average age for an individual getting married in the UK as of 2017 was 30.8 years old for a woman and 32.7 years old for a man, as stated by wedding planning website

While the royal bride- and groom-to-be may have both surpassed the ideal age for newlyweds least at risk of divorce, experts have previously pointed out the strength of their relationship by analysing aspects of their relationships such as their body language and the common interests that they share.

The Independent’s Millennial Love group is the best place to discuss to the highs and lows of modern dating and relationships. Join the conversation here.​

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