H-SANTA MARIA

Mar 22, 2012 10:07 PM by Nikki Ibarra

Locals react to new study about marriage

A new government study that came out Thursday said only half of first marriages last 20 years.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, there is a 52% chance that a first marriage for a woman will survive 20 years. For men, the number is a little higher at 56%.

The study also found that more people are putting marriage off until later in life.

"I never intended to go through a divorce," said Rebecca Rengel of Santa Maria.

For Rebecca, this study hits close to home. She was married for just a year and a half, when her marriage ended.

"You have to work at it. That's what marriage is all about. [And], you know, my soon to be ex-husband didn't want to work," said Rengel.

She isn't the only one who said it takes work.

Diane Perez got married at 18, and she's been married for 47 years. "There's a lot of pressure on any marriage. You have to work at it, you have to really love each other and you have to, when you take that covenant, you know, when you get married, you have to remember it," said Perez of Santa Maria.

Unlike Diane, more people are waiting until they are much older to walk down the aisle. The study said, on average, women get married for the first time at 26; for men, 28.

"They really don't realize what they're getting into when they make that commitment," said Eddie Guevarra of Santa Maria.

For Veralynn Parker, she and her husband just celebrated their two year anniversary. She was a little surprised with what the study found.

"It is unfortunate because I think a lot of marriages will last longer if people can work on it but, you know, not everybody feels that way," said Parker of Orcutt.

But for Rebecca, she's not giving up. I still believe in love. I want to get married again and have a family," she added.

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