"Divorcing in the first couple of years is a common pattern," says David Popenoe, a sociologist at Rutgers University and a founder of the National Marriage Project. But labeling starter marriages as a trend or a phenomenon isn't helpful, he says. "It establishes marriage as a low-commitment relationship, and that is exactly what most people do not want."
But there is an upside if the starter marriage leads to future stability. "Those coming out of starter marriages really learn about themselves, how they function in a relationship, about what marriage really means. And they divorce before there are kids, making a purposeful decision if the marriage is getting worse." And, she says, they do not create problematic stepfamilies when they marry again."