Marriage Stands Up for Itself

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The speculation over the future of the marriage of Mark Sanford, the South Carolina governor, after his recently disclosed affair is likely to die off well before the family’s pain. So, too, will the unsolicited lectures — about his hypocrisy, about her obligations, about the dire state of marriage in general.

Yet if recent research is any guide, the marriage itself has a chance to outlast all of it, the public leer and the private sting, by many years....

A comparison of 10-year divorce rates among college-educated men married in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s shows that divorce is becoming less common, said Dr. Stevenson, the Wharton researcher. Among men who married in the 1970s, for example, about 23 percent had divorced by the 10th year of marriage. Among similar men married in the 1980s, about 20 percent had divorced by the 10th year. Men married in the 1990s are doing even better — with a 10-year divorce rate of 16 percent.

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