Saturday, January 20, 2018

Marriage and Divorce

Marriage is awesome.

Did you know that married couples are wealthier than those who have never married, those who cohabitate, and those who divorce (Marquardt et al, 2012, p 79)? Those who stay married are happier than those who never married, and their mental health is better… studies have even said that their overall physical health is better.

Unfortunately for humans today, marriage is not doing so well in the media and socially. Marriage is portrayed as grim and imprisoning. Kids are afraid to repeat their parent’s marriage mistakes and are deciding not to marry or they are getting married much later. 40 – 50% of all first marriages are likely to end in divorce and the more times someone marries the higher their chance of divorce is. More children are being born out of wedlock than every before. More than 26% of kids lived in single-parent families in 2011. The media supports doing one’s “own thing” and not rushing into marriage to early… or at all. More than 60% of first marriages are started with a trial run in cohabitation compared to almost none fifty years ag). Cohabitation, despite the purpose of “testing marriage out” actually leads to higher cases of abuse and separation than marriage does. The odds seem to be piling up against marriage (Marquardt et al, 2012.)

I grew up in a mostly Mormon town. When I was in high school 17 years ago it was a big deal for someone to get divorced. It seemed uncommon and kids were embarrassed to tell their friends if their parents split up. It was also uncommon for high school pregnancies to take place. Today that trend has changed, marriage is more common and certainly more talked about. High school pregnancies are more common, even in Mormon communities. 

An article I recently read provided a list of people who may be at less of a risk for divorce. Here’s what they say:
  •         Those with an annual income of over %50,000 as apposed to those under $25,000 decrease their risk of divorce by 30%.
  •         Waiting at least seven months to have a baby after marriage as apposed to a baby before marriage gives a decrease of 24%.
  •         Getting married after turning 25 as apposed to under the age of 18 decreases the risk by 24%.
  •         Having parents who stayed married decreases the risk by 14%.
  •         Being religious reduces the risk by 14%, and
  •         Having some college schooling as apposed to being a high school drop out reduces the risk by 25%. (Marquardt et al, 2012, p 74).
President Spencer W Kimball said, "Many of the social restraints which in the past have helped to reinforce and to shore up the family are dissolving and disappearing. The time will come when only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evil around us."

It is my goal to be one of the people that President Kimball talks about. I believe deeply and actively in the family. I plan to take some marriage training that will help me to train couples on how to deepen their relationships and make them stronger.

 I also think that “marriage training” and “family training” start in the home. If we teach our kids to respect each other and others they will have more respect for their own marriages. If we respect our own spouses and show our kids that we are striving to create heaven on earth they might strive to do the same.

Of course, there are always reasons that a marriage should end. Elder James E. Faust said “In my opinion, “just cause” should be nothing less serious than a prolonged and apparently irredeemable relationship which is destructive of a person’s dignity as a human being.” We need to weigh the options and lean on the Lord when we make such decisions. Your Bishop can recommend counselors to aid and support you in your decisions.


Faust, J. (1993). Father, Come Home. Ensign, May. 1993.

Kimball, S. (1980). Families Can Be Eternal. Ensign, Nov. 1980.

Marquardt, E., Blankenhorn, D., Lerman, R., Malone-Col√≥n, L., and Wilcox, W. (2012). “The President’s Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent,” The State of Our Unions (Charlottesville, VA: National Marriage Project and Institute for American Values, 2012).

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