Three Reasons Their Divorce Rate May Be Lower Than Their Parents

Baby Boomers, that group of children born after World War II, were extraordinarily lucky in many ways. They never had to fear the Nazis, war on their own turf, death camps or serious hunger. They were born after atomic bomb explosions so horrific they would and could never take place again. And, in the United States at least, they grew up in an economic boom that went on for decades, giving them a sense of security seldom seen in the world. As icing on the cake, they grew into young adulthood just in time for widespread use of the Pill but before for the onset of AIDS. In other words, a time of sexual freedom and flower power.

But Boomers (about 80 million people born between 1945 and 1964) were not lucky in love. Their divorce rate stayed at 50 percent for years. While casual sex may have been fine during an anti-Viet Nam war demonstration, Boomers were still products of their parents. Getting pregnant before marriage was not an option. For many of them, marriage was still something you did in order to have sex. And certainly women were ‘old maids\’ by their early to mid twenties. So there was a lot of pressure to marry, and marry relatively young.

Not so for Boomer offspring.

Children of Baby Boomers probably have a better chance of staying married than their parents did. Why?

1) They have seen how painful their parents\’ divorce was for them, and they want to spare their children the emotional upheaval they themselves had to suffer. As a result, they are probably more sober and thoughtful about getting into a marriage that might turn sour, and more reluctant to leave it if it does.

2) With little or no pressure to marry young, they are taking plenty of time to get educated, get a foothold in their career, and become more experienced with relationships. They have been in and out of a few love affairs, lived with the opposite sex and become mature enough to gauge what qualities would be best in a partner.

3) Unlike their parents, children of Baby Boomers have come of age in a financially insecure world. Many have graduated from college around the time of the 2009 economic collapse and have seen how hard it can be to get financial traction. This is on top of their first-hand experience with the economic consequences of divorce. Boomer children know marital stability and financial security go hand and hand.

As of this moment, their divorce rate is about 40 percent, which is a lot better than 50 percent, but still not great. Nevertheless, if the rate is going down, that\’s a good thing. Children of Baby Boomers have better odds for remaining married than their parents.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional.  If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch.  You can reach her here: