Same-sex marriage has undergone a revolution in recent years, spreading across the United States and redefining what it means to be married in the modern era. Naturally, as this was happening, some people began asking what that would mean for the divorce rate.
Now we know. A recent report came out and showed that the divorce rate for opposite-sex couples is higher than the rate for same-sex couples. They tend to stay married more often.
The reasons for this, of course, differ from one case to the next. Part of it, though, could be that the traditional roles people often feel trapped in with opposite-sex marriages do not apply in same-sex marriages, giving people more freedom to be themselves.
“Within same-sex marriages, many couples do see themselves as challenging the underlying patriarchal nature of marriage: They are not falling into prescribed roles,” said one expert in an interview. “Generally speaking, same-sex couples are more likely to veer from traditional notions of how marriage should work.”
There is also something to be said for how new this is in many places. While some states had standing same-sex marriage laws for years, others did not. In Indiana, for instance, it only became legal as recently as 2014. It will be interesting to see what the divorce rate does moving forward.
What is for certain is that both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples can run into complicated situations during a divorce, and it is rarely easy to navigate this alone. All couples need to make sure they know what rights they have and what steps to take.