New Survey Data Shows The State Of Marriage Counseling In 2017

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The widely popular myth that over half of marriages end in divorce has been debunked with the actual number being closer to 30% according to recent data from the U.S. census.  That being said people still are getting divorced at a very high rate.  One way that people deal with problems in their marriage is through marriage counseling.

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MidAmerica Nazarene University recently surveyed 1,000 engaged, married and divorced couples to understand the exact nature of marriage counseling in 2017.  Below is what they found from their survey data.

It might surprise you to know that young people under the age of 30 are attending more marriage counseling than any other age group.  Their survey data found that 49% of people go to marriage counseling before the age of 30.  The survey data also showed that of the three different generations surveyed, Millennials have attended marriage counseling the most (51%). They were followed closely by Baby Boomers (48%) and Gen Xer’s at (46%). They also found that 49% of respondents stated that they have attended some form of counseling with their spouse.

According to the survey data, Females (55%) are more likely than Males (46%) to be interested in attending marriage counseling.  Couples married 1-5 years were also most likely to continue attending marriage counseling after their initial session. Couples married 15+ years were least likely to continue attending counseling together.  Of the people who haven’t attending counseling with a spouse, 52% are interested in at least giving marriage counseling a shot to see if it will help their relationship. Only 1 in 4 respondents who said they’ve attended marriage counseling, say they still attend on a regular basis.

One really cool thing this surveyed looked at is the perceived reasons for attending marriage counseling vs the actual reasons for attending marriage counseling.  You might be surprised to see how the lists differ.  Below is the top seven reasons that people perceive people go for marriage counseling and the top seven reasons couples actually attend marriage counseling.

Perceived reasons:

  1. Children
  2. Work
  3. Communication
  4. Money/Debt
  5. Affair
  6. In-Laws
  7. Parenting Style

Actual reasons:

  1. Communication
  2. Affair
  3. Money/Debt
  4. Children
  5. Parenting Style
  6. In-laws
  7. Work

It is interesting to see that work is a big reason that people think they go to counseling, but in reality it is pretty far down the list of reasons on why people attending counseling with their partner.  To see the full results of the survey, check out the infographic below.


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