A century ago, divorce was nearly non-existent due to the cultural and religious pressures placed upon married couples. Though over time Canadians have generally become more tolerate of what was once considered ‘mortal sin’, marital separation and divorce still remain very taboo topics in society. Political leaders are frowned upon when their marriages’ crumble, religions isolate and shun those who break their martial vows and people continue to look down on those who proceed to legally separate their households. With that being said, couples do not just decide to get a divorce for no particular reason. There must be something driving them towards marital dissatisfaction and further, driving them towards divorce.
The correlation of divorce and unemployment rates or the relationship between marital satisfaction and employment status have relevance to anyone interested or affected by a marriage. This includes married couples, children, relatives, family friends, psychologists, councillors, lawyers, judges, employers, realtors, tax payers, etc. In other words, practically everyone in Canadian society is affected by divorce; and though divorce has also been seen more commonly throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century than any other point in history, are Canadian divorce rates really on the rise? According to the statistics, the divorce rate of Canadian marriages has been more or less decreasing for the past twenty years. In fact, the number of divorces in Canada for every 100,000 people has decreased from a high of 362.3 in 1987 to 220.7 in 2005 (Wyman 1). Yet when we exclude the large and sudden jump of the
divorce rate in the 1980’s, we can see the overall national divorce rate is still gradually increasing from those of an earlier time period which is to be expected due to the continued changes in societal norms. As well, there were extraneous variables we had to consider that could have produced a statistical bias by having a direct effect on the results of the data. When we initially began looking at possible influences, the first issue we found that could have had a negative effect on the national number of divorces annually was the increasing amount of common-law, or cohabitating, couples. Due to the changes in social acceptance that has occurred throughout the past century, many couples are deciding to delay or simply refuse marriage and instead live as partners under one household. However, because one would not need to go through a divorce or any legality to end a common-law relationship, there would be no court records or documentation of the separation of household (Common Law Relationships 1). Therefore, cohabitation is lowering the overall annual national number of marriages, and by association, the annual national number of divorces. In addition to cohabitation, economic downturns and recessions may have acted as an extraneous variable to the unemployment rate in the years...