If you got married at this age, research suggests you're less likely to get divorced - but it turns out age isn't one of the top reasons marriages end

It might be younger than you think...

A bridal couple running along a beach
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Research has shown the best age to get married for the lowest chance of divorce - but we've shared the 10 most common reasons why marriages end (and the age you tie the knot isn't one of them).

Raising children while trying to keep the spark alive in a marriage isn't always easy. Between kids' tantrums and tummy aches, and alongside the school run and bathtime, there's not much time left to work on your relationship. It's no wonder that divorce after a baby is not uncommon and some new parents might feel they're in a sexless marriage.

Knowing how to fix your marriage is not easy, but with the right help and support and by working on your communication, it is possible. But while there are so many factors that contribute to the end of a relationship, research has suggested that the age you tie the knot could have something to do with it.

Psychotherapist and author Lori Gottlieb recently appeared on The Diary of a CEO podcast, where she revealed the best age to get married if you want to avoid divorce.

Citing research by The Institute for Family Studies, podcast host Steven Bartlett said: "Someone who marries at 25 is over 50 per cent less likely to get divorced than someone who weds at age 20."

He added: "Some of the studies I was looking at show that if you get married after 30, each additional year of age [before marriage] increases your chance of divorce by 5%."

Explaining the findings of the study, Lori said that while marrying too young might mean "you don’t have the skills and you’re not established in your own life" and that you might not have the necessary maturity to be married, when you get older "you are more set in your ways, you are more rigid, you have different expectations". She added, "When you are younger you are more flexible."

Lori continued: "We get less open-minded as we get older around relationships. We also have a history as we get older, we have more negative experiences of maybe being broken up with. Relationships that didn’t work out then inform the way that we behave in other relationships."

A newly wed couple posing for a photo in the countryside

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Instead, Lori said that mid to late 20s are the 'optimal time' to tie the knot. She explained: "You have a better sense of who you are, you know more of what you want and you can grow together as a couple.

"You are going to have more shared experiences and you are going to know more about each other. Your parents are probably still alive on each side, you can get to know siblings, [you can be] more integrated into each other’s lives."

The study cited in the podcast analysed data collected by the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), and found that prior to age 32, each additional year of age at marriage reduces the odds of divorce by 11 per cent. However, after 32 the odds of divorce increase by five per cent per year.

Of course, there are so many other factors that contribute to the end of a relationship. Forbes Advisor commissioned a survey of 1,000 divorcees to find out why marriages fail and found that lack of family support, infidelity and lack of compatibility were the top three factors that contributed to the decision.

10 leading causes of divorce

  1. Lack of family support
  2. Infidelity or extramarital affairs
  3. Lack of compatibility
  4. Lack of intimacy
  5. Too much conflict/arguing
  6. Financial stress
  7. Lack of commitment
  8. Parenting differences
  9. Marrying too young
  10. Opposing values or morals

If Lori and Steven's conversation has got you worried about the age you reached the altar, don't panic - nobody knows when you're ready to get married better than you. If you're in a healthy relationship with shared goals, there's no reason why your marriage shouldn't last as long as someone who tied the knot at a different age.

In related news, we've revealed four early signs of divorce and asked the experts how to talk to kids about divorce. Meanwhile, our Deputy Editor has shared 10 things she's learned about love after 25 years of marriage.

Ellie Hutchings
Family News Editor

Ellie is GoodtoKnow’s Family News Editor and covers all the latest trends in the parenting world - from relationship advice and baby names to wellbeing and self-care ideas for busy mums. Ellie is also an NCTJ-qualified journalist and has a distinction in MA Magazine Journalism from Nottingham Trent University and a first-class degree in Journalism from Cardiff University. Previously, Ellie has worked with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue, and the Nottingham Post, as well as freelancing as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. When she’s not got her nose in a book, you’ll probably find Ellie jogging around her local park, indulging in an insta-worthy restaurant, or watching Netflix’s newest true crime documentary.