If you find yourself in a situation where you feel like your marriage is no longer healthy or happy, you may wonder how common divorces are. You probably know several people who have gotten divorced, ranging from your parents or siblings to your coworkers and friends.

When people talk about divorce rates, many are quick to cite research that indicated that roughly half of all marriages in the country will eventually end in divorce. However, is that even still true? Do you have a 50% chance of your marriage ending in divorce?

Research indicates that both marriage and divorce are on the decline

The media has lavished much attention on research that indicates marriage rates have begun to drop in the United States. What they have not paid enough attention to is the fact that divorce rates have dropped even more precipitously than marriage rates have.

According to an analysis of recent data performed by USA Today, the current divorce rate hovers around 39%. That means that a little more than one in three marriages end in divorce. In other words, the institution of marriage isn’t dead, but people in unhappy or unhealthy marriages don’t have to worry about social stigma as much if they choose to divorce.

Social trends don’t matter when making decisions about your own life

Some people might look at the declining rate of marriage as people previously looked at the rising rate of divorce and use that as a reason to avoid the institution of marriage altogether. Others might look at the decline in divorce rates and feel pressure to try to keep an unhealthy relationship going because divorces have slowly become less common.

Social statistics help provide ideas about what happens in general in our society, but those trends have no real bearing on your needs and situation. Whether you choose to divorce or not should be a decision based on your happiness, your ability to work with your spouse and many other factors.

Instead of judging yourself or comparing your marriage to other people’s, you should focus on what you need, what has made you unhappy and what, if any, options you have to fix things. If fixing your marriage isn’t an option, divorce can be a healthy and even positive experience for both of you.