Given that much of my livelihood depends on couples divorcing, this is very good information, indeed. It’s easy to get a jaundiced view given what I do. Now don’t get me wrong, divorce is bad in many ways. But if someone has to benefit, it might as well be me! (I keed, I keed!).
I think that it’s also easy for people to give up on marriages when they perceive divorce as very common. The truth is that marriage (and ALL family relationships) is hard sometimes. Giving up does not help.
A fairly recent longitudinal study looked at couples who had the very same levels of conflict as many who divorced, but stayed together, often “for the kids.” What was found was that these estranged couples who stayed together (even though they didn’t like each other) often grew together–the marriage got better if they waited it out. They eventually became attached to each other. But it was not immediate gratification.
Other research shows that 2nd marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages, and 3rd marriages have astronomically high divorce rates. The idea of a bad first marriage and a good second one is largely a myth–it happens, just very rarely.
The bottom line is it is most often far better for you to work on the current marriage rather than to “move on” and find another partner (note that I’m NOT talking about abuse, here). It is certainly far better for kids.