The Changing Perception of Divorce in Media

The Changing Perception of Divorce in MediaRemember Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage? How about Britney Spears’ marriage of only 55 hours? These days, it seems that people expect this sort of behavior from celebrities, many of whom seem to change spouses as often as they change their socks – the average celebrity divorce rate is 80 percent! The reality is, though, that this isn’t just a celebrity issue – approximately half of first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, and the failure rate only increases with subsequent marriages.

With the media so focused on celebrity divorces, it is no wonder that perceptions of marriage and divorce are changing. In many ways, the public shame previously associated with divorce has been washed away by popular media. This does not mean that the consequences of divorce are any less serious for anyone, famous or not – many families still struggle with the decision to divorce and its emotional, financial, and social aftermath. It does mean, however, that many people feel empowered to end an unhealthy relationship without suffering the social stigma that used to be more strongly associated with divorce.

Young people especially are influenced dramatically by how the media presents marriage. Millennials and Gen-Xers are delaying marriage longer or foregoing it altogether. Cohabitation is becoming a more popular option as marriage rates decline.

Marriage (and even cohabitation) is a deeply personal decision that should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, movies and television (not just celebrities’ personal lives) often make it out to be less serious than what it should be. Relationships, especially lasting ones, are not perfect – there will be disagreements, arguments, and tears. A successful marriage or partnership requires real effort. On the other hand, a marriage shouldn’t leave you feeling drained, or unhappy far more than you are happy.

While marriage is not easy by any means, divorce should not be considered a get-out-of-jail-free card. However, you should know that divorce doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Regardless of what the media says about marriage, only you know what is right for you.

If you are considering a divorce in Oregon, we invite you to contact McKinley Irvin. Our Oregon divorce attorneys are here to provide you with the support and guidance you need to make informed decisions throughout the divorce process.