I've been reading quite a lot of articles on marriage as of late as Nate put me on to a website he was given in school that is really helpful. It's called www.smartmarriages.com. Every day they send out articles to read and ponder concerning marriage, especially in today's world. It is all about teaching couples how to increase the behaviors that predict success and extinquish the behaviors that predict failure. I write this, because of pondering a statement, that endurance to the end is false and if your marriage is based on that then get out now. Well, since hearing that therre have been articles stating quite the opposite and I'm so glad I read them. I have been married now for 35 years. And I can tell you firsthand, successful marriages takes lots of hard work, takes time, and it takes encouragement of this very sacred endeavor.
(Now, those of you who are reading this, if you think for one minute this is directed towards anyone, then you must be feeling guilty, so my advice, don't!! Because this is facts and truth being presented and much of it I have been contemplating as to the comment I overheard up above.)
Marriage is in trouble, among all groups of Americans. The divorce rate is down slightly-about 1/3rd of all first marriages will end in divorce after 10 years of marriage-but it's not time to pop the champagne bottles. Marriage rates are down even more sharply. Fewer Americans are marrying today than anytime in the past, and cohabitation is on a sharp increase. If you look at the factors that predict who will marry and who will divorce, then Mike and I didn't have a very good chance. I was 19 and he was 21 when we got married. Basically still teenagers, whose divorce rates are sky-high (nearly half of all teenage brides divorce within 10 years). His father was a construction man and my father a Pharmeceutical Rep and enterpreneur. His family was always struggling to make it through the week on their paycheck and lived in the hard, rough areas of L.A. and mine was in the middle class, living in beautiful La Jolla. We both went to college, but after marriage I went to work and he kept going and then Lara came along.
So according to the statistics just those few mentioned issues cause a lot of problems. So why are we still here? I'll tell you right now, by refusing to give up on the relationship, when when thing were tough. And I'm not saying, that we didn't feel like it, because at times we did. But I must say, EVERY marriage goes through patchy periods. Ups and Downs. EVERY ONE!!!
I remember one of our Church leaders saying, if someone says they don't disagree, then they are either not talking or they are dead!! I had to laugh, because it is important to keep perspective. But then we have 4 kids. They said that if you have kids, we owe it to them to do everything in your power to work it out. (of course, physical abuse, drug addition or severe alcohol abuse can't be tolerated. but most marriages that end in divorce don't do so because of these factors.)
Marriage is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs there is. But according to this article promoting marriage is an uphill battle today. Especially in a disposable society.
Don't like washing dishes or diapers? Replace them with paper, which can be thrown away. Last year's car isn't as shiny or cutting edge as the new ones? Trade it in. Debt here we come. The wife is getting a little fat or the hubby is losing his hair? There's always someone younger, better looking or more successful out there.
In the past there was social stigma attached to divorce. Now, the pressure on married couples is not to settle for anything less than perfect spouses and uninterrupted bliss. Marriage isn't like that. It's hard work.
Traditional marriages vows recognized this. Spouses pledged to honor each other in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death. The Catholic Church still used this pledge.
But the trend today is to write hip, even funny, vows, which aren't really vows at all, like these suggested on a popular wedding Web site: "I promise to always make your favorite banana milkshake," Or "I promise to split the difference on the thermostat, as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston did when they married. And look how long that union lasted.
Marriage is a serious-dare I say, sacred-endeavor, It is also the foundation of our society. If children are to thrive, we must do more to encourage and celebrate marriage. I'll be doing my share this week.