Myth: People can't be expected to stay in a marriage for a lifetime as they did in the past because we live so much longer today.
Fact: Unless our comparison goes back a hundred years, there is no basis for this belief. The enormous increase in longevity is due mainly to a steep reduction in infant mortality. And while adults today can expect to live a little longer than their grandparents, they also marry at a later age. The life span of a typical, divorce-free marriage, therefore, has not changed much in the past 50 years. Also, many couples call it quits long before they get to a significant anniversary: Half of all divorces take place by the seventh year of a marriage.