Build a great marriage by Phil Bonasso

The Four Central Truths about Marriage

I came across an article the other day while doing my usual marriage research. The article contained some statistics from the U.S. census bureau updating the trends of the divorce rate for marriages. According to the census, more than 70% of those who married since 1970 celebrated a tenth anniversary. The statistic suggests that the divorce rate itself has stabilized over the last decade, neither rising nor falling. Experts warn however, that the threat of divorce persists throughout marriage with the average year of divorce being the eighth year. (Please see my article on the 5-10 year marriage challenge.)

I realize that these kinds of stats are sometimes the subject of rigorous debate. It seems to be a lot like the election polls, which try to show which candidate is leading. The major criticism that attacks their validity has to do with the pool of people that were surveyed. Was the survey given to a broad enough group to be accurate? In other words “whom did you talk to?”

I am not sure of the complete accuracy of the census bureau’s statistic nor whether the divorce rate has stabilized or not. I guess if it has that should be good news, but somehow it doesn’t make me feel any better about the state of matrimony in our culture. Stabilized or not, most marriage experts put the divorce rate at around 50%! That’s across the board, in the secular world as well as in the church. To me, that’s horribly depressing.

A 50% divorce rate affects us all in many ways. You cannot escape its ugly influence. It’s everywhere. That means that one out of two of your married friends will divorce. I’m sure like me, you have watched other married couples that were close to you fall apart and walk away from each other.

This statistic also means 50% of all children in our society are growing up in divorced homes! Half of your children’s friends like mine live with single parents. The ramification of this is staggering to say the least. Without some significant transformation in the lives of these kids, they seem doomed to repeat the same broken pattern of divorce.

I think marriages would have a better chance of surviving if couples entered into the union with a better understanding of these central truths:

1. Every successful marriage does not just happen.

2. Every successful marriage is built with dedication.

3. Every marriage is a dynamic work in progress.

4. Every marriage has the potential to fail!

No matter the sad statistics about divorce, you marriage does not have to fail. Keep these truths in mind and you can build a great marriage.

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