Tag Archives: lifelong marriages

The Longer We’re Married, The Better It Gets

It’s been a while since I have read an article as positive about marraige as this one by Jeanine Earnhart at Huffington Post. The article is called “Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.” It began with Earnhart admiring an older married couple, picturing her own marriage at that stage. Earnhart makes her point by sharing her marital experience:

“The longer we’re married, the better it gets and I’d like to think that is a pattern that will continue. Whether you have been married a few years, 25 years or in the planning stages of your wedding, know that there is a future filled with rewards from the work you are putting into your relationship now. The “gold watch” or the “bonus” from years of marriage cannot be seen or worn or spent, but felt by an invisible connection between you and your partner.”

It’s great to hear such a positive sentiment about aging and about staying with the same person. Rather than being stifling, it’s nourishing and fulfilling.

“It is a good feeling to know that your partner will be with you through the best and the worst parts of your life. Here is a friend who is offering unconditional love, appreciating you for who you are and for who you have become. To be able to sit in a room with another person, not saying a word, and not feeling like you should be talking, yet knowing there is an invisible bond between you, is like the safety you feel when coming home.”

I know there are many single readers here, and it’s not my intent to say married life is a better choice for everyone. However, for those who choose married life, I think it’s great to share the positive experiences and comfort you experience.

Read the entire post, and then share with your partner what you think your future will look like together. Spend 10 minutes together and talk about what you imagine growing old together to be like.

Unfortunately, for an increasing number of older adults, marriage isn’t lasting to old age. This article from the U.K. states that a growing number of over 60s are seeking divorce. Divorce rates in England are up 4 percent in two years for this age group, but down for other age groups. “Experts claim that many older couples are drifting apart out of disillusionment in their marriages once their children have flown the nest.”

It’s a good reminder that we can’t expect a close, loving relationship to last for decades without investing time and energy to maintain it, and without keeping it a priority over our kids and our careers.

Read my post at About.com called 7 Lessons for a Stronger Marriage with lessons from my book. Thanks to Cathy Meyer for sharing.

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Photo by Ambro courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net.

Census: Divorce rates fall; long-lasting marriages rise

It may seem that divorce is all around us, and I think that influences the number of people who consider marrying or staying married. The reality is the U.S. Census Bureau just reported that the divorce rate has dropped and the number of long-lasting marriages has risen. Most Americans marry once and remain married.

With headlines questioning whether marriage has lost its relevance, and with spotlights on the high-profile marriages that fail, it’s not surprising that we as Americans have an inaccurate picture of reality. Here are some of the recently reported census facts:

  • Seventy-seven percent of couples who have been married since 1990 reached their 10-year anniversaries.
  • Fifty-five percent of all married couples have been married for at least 15 years.
  • Thirty-five percent of all married couples have celebrated their 25th anniversaries.
  • Six percent of married couples have been married more than 50 years.

Census data also tells us people are waiting longer to get married and that fewer people are choosing to marry. So it would make sense that people who do marry are more certain of their decision. “Couples that get married in their mid-twenties or later than that are more likely to avoid divorce court,” said Bradford Wilcox, Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. He added that marriage is coming more stable, while divorce is becoming less common in the U.S.

Unfortunately, certain segments of the population are seeing increases in divorce and in childbearing. These include Americans without a college degree who are less affluent, working class or poor. Wilcox calls it the marriage divide and says 41 percent of kids today are born outside of marriage, are likely to be exposed to a “carousel of romantic partners and to suffer as a consequence.”

As a country, we still have significant improvements to make. This recent divorce decline comes after decades of increases in divorce rates. Those who are financially struggling have more difficulties staying married. In addition, certain races face higher divorce rates. The Associated Press reports the percent of first marriages that end in divorce are as follows: Black women: 49 percent; white women: 41 percent; Hispanic women: 34 percent; and Asian women: 22 percent.

See: ABC News story on the Census Report

In addition, rather than simply reduce the divorce rate, we hope to improve marital quality. That’s the goal of this and many other blogs and marriage professionals. Please share with me (either via email or by commenting) what topics you would like to see that relate most to improving your own marital quality.

Related Links:
Do we have too much of a fix-it mentality toward marriage? I think so. Read “What’s wrong and how do I fix it?” I’ve agreed with Corey’s philosophy in past posts, that what we focus on gets larger. So focusing on a small problem on your marriage can potentially grow into a serious one. Corey spells out very clearly the better strategy to focus on where you want to go and on how you can be a better spouse.

What causes divorce? I tend to agree with Paul that many times it’s death of a marriage by 1,000 cuts rather than one specific item.

Men who seek to improve marital quality may enjoy these two men-only Christian marriage blogs:
Better Husbands and Fathers –shares a list of date ideas for you and your wife.

I like the post “Be there for her” at the web site Romantic Act of the Day.

Photo courtesy of PhotoXpress.com