Marriage and divorce are readily recordable legal events with most countries and the United Nations Organization (UNO), posting divorce statistics online. Consequently, marriage and divorce are the most quoted indicators of changing patterns in relationships. Graphs for Eurocentric countries typically show a gradual rise in divorce rates from the mid-1800s, then a steep rise from the 1960s, and followed by a leveling trend in recent years, with spikes occurring during economic downturns. Low socioeconomic status and second and third marriages are high risk factors for divorce, while educated couples are the most resilient.
The contemporary relationship field is complex as increasing diversity in heterosexual partnerships is recognized globally, and the possibility and reality of legal marriage for homosexual couples gain political momentum in the West. Therefore, marriage and divorce need to be considered in conjunction with statistics showing increases in cohabiting and...
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