I remember when my now ex-husband and I were getting married at the ripe old age of 19 years old. We certainly had our nay sayers. Family and friends were concerned about our decision to marry so young. I asked them their reasons for their concerns and all they kept saying is ‘you are both so young’ or ‘what about school’. I was in school at the time and he had no intentions of going so I didn’t understand their reasoning. I never got any real reasons to not proceed from anyone.
When we met with the Pastor who was to marry us he gave us one “counselling session”. He asked us a few questions then he basically sat back and said “well 50% of marriages end in divorce anyways. So what you are young. Even if you were 50 years old, you still have a 50% chance of divorce”. LOL
Being a 19 year optimist I loved his reasoning. Never once did I look at the cup as half empty. I like most people getting married didn’t concern myself with the reasons why 50% of marriages didn’t work.
My people perish because of lack of knowledge.
Turns out the Pastor was actually wrong. The odds of getting divorced is actually higher than 50% if you marry before your 21st birthday and if you marry before finishing college or university. This was 18 years ago, so he didn’t have access to good ole Google like I do now. Seeing as he is Pastor he probably should have mentioned the fact that I was saved and my ex wasn’t and I was Pentecostal and he wasn’t. Different religious beliefs can also affect a marriage. That I did know, just didn’t know how that plays out in reality (that’s another blog).
So would knowing that my odds were actually higher than the average persons change my mind? Probably not, I was 19, independent and stubborn.
But really 50/50 odds of divorce! Well actually for us we actually had maybe a 65% chance of not making it to our 20th anniversary. That’s huge. Think about it, should someone ask you if you will spend thousands of dollars on something that is supposed to last the rest of your life. You have to invest more time and energy into it for the rest of your life. It is supposed to bring you happiness and satisfaction so you do desire to have it. But then you realize you are only guaranteed 50% chance it will actually last the rest of your life! And when it breaks it will cost you more money, more time plus heart ache and just plain discomfort possibly for the rest of your life! Wouldn’t you think twice?!
So, I’m investing the time now that I am older and wiser in finding how to increase those odds of staying together for myself, (second marriages have an even higher odds of divorce), for my children and for you!
1. Wait till about 24 years old or older.
2. Spouses should have a commitment to God.
3. Spouses should have a commitment to family of origin. Or at least develop one with your spouse’s family.
4. Get a post secondary education this can increase the reasoning abilities. (Ok so my opinion is not necessarily go to college or university but just educate your self on marriage and different life issues.)
5. People with higher family incomes divorce more – not sure how to remedy that. I wouldn’t say earn less.
6. Spend time with married couples more than single or divorced people.
7. Remember the effects of divorce on children is pretty much life long. So if your spouse is from a family of divorce you already have the odds increased against your marriage. You will have more issues to work through due to that history. So should you have children of your own you save them the hassle and stay together.
8. Men – do housework. Not helping around the house puts a huge strain on a marriage.
9. If only one person smokes then that one should quit.
10. Just simply knowing that you can choose to solve and resolve any any issues that will come up in your marriage. Truly see it as a life long commitment that you want to work at because you deserve happiness and your spouse does to.