But it's not true.
"I don't know where the 50-percent myth came from," says Amanda Miller, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Central Oklahoma. "But the divorce rate isn't that high and it never has been."
It peaked around 40 percent in the 1980s and has declined since - meaning that, when couples get married, "the odds are on their side," she says.
... The Pew study has received a lot of national press in recent weeks, with most of the analysis concluding that the institution of marriage is in deep trouble.
Miller, however, takes a more nuanced view.
"Most people still believe in marriage and want to be married," she says. "They want to get it right the first time and avoid divorce, but they aren't sure they can do it."