By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.
The fact of the matter is this -- marriage is alive and well in the United States and around the world! It is the single greatest contributor to social order on planet Earth. And the fact of the matter is this -- marriage is the most profound commitment to lasting love that exists. Those who question its importance ignore the facts.
Statistically, there is substantial support for our point of view. According to the best estimates we can find, there were some 43,500,000 marriages worldwide in 2007. There were 8,750,000 divorces in the same year. If you do the math you can see that worldwide, marriages outnumber divorces by a ratio of 5 to 1. Stated clearly and succinctly, there were five marriages for every one divorce in the world last year. Hardly sounds like the death of marriage to us.
When you discount for the number of divorcees in America who get divorced multiple times, the “divorce rate” and its impact is much less than that reported by the popular media. The “real” divorce rate in the USA in terms of its true societal impact is far less than the 50% rate reported. When discounted for those who have multiple divorces, the “true” impact divorce rate is closer to 35% or 40%.
In fact, the national per capita divorce rate has declined steadily since its peak in 1981 and is now at its lowest level since 1970. The fact that the per capita divorce has declined should be cause for celebration.
Over the years we have seen a positive trend developing and it is highly encouraging to us. The good news – more and more couples are committed to making their marriage work! In a society that is often characterized as “a disposable society,” marriage has too many benefits to be routinely disposed of.
After a lengthy review of the current research on the benefits of marriage including the comprehensive study by Linda Gallagher and Maggie Waite, we have selected what we think are the top 10 reasons marriage is the greatest contributor to society order:
1. You will live longer. The preponderance of evidence from research shows a relationship between longer life and being married.
2. You will be healthier. The links between marriage and good physical health are overwhelming.
3. You will be happier. . Married people report being happier than unmarried people.
4. You will experience higher levels of psychological health. Married people have lower rates of depression and schizophrenia than unmarried people.
5. You will have a built-in support system. Research indicates that individuals in a marriage feel supported, saying that they have someone to share their feelings and thoughts with.
6. You will be less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol. . Numerous studies indicate that married individuals are less likely than unmarried persons to engage in risky behaviors including the use of drugs or alcohol because of their feelings of responsibility.
7. Your earnings will be greater. . Numerous studies found that married individuals have a significantly greater earnings than unmarried individuals even when all of the various possible factors are taken into consideration.
8. You will save more money. . In the United States married individuals in their 50s and 60s have a net worth per person roughly twice that of other unmarried individuals.
9. You will have sex more often and enjoy it more. . Married couples also have sexual intimacy more often than unmarried couples and enjoy it more.
10. Your children will be healthier, do better academically and have less emotional problems. . Children living in families with married parents are more likely to have proper health care, better nutrition, less serious illnesses, better grades, better tests scores and less stress to deal with at home.
When you consider what social science research tells us about the benefits of being married and what our research reveals about the importance of the seven characteristics of successful marriages, you have many powerful reasons to work hard building a love that lasts with your spouse.
It is our profound belief that the value of marriage to the world will not change over the next 50 years. Marriage is here to stay.
Simple Things Matter in love and marriage. Love well!
By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
Authors of the best-selling book and multiple-award winning book Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage (Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010) Available wherever books are sold.
Winner of the INDIE Book Awards GOLD Medal for Best Relationship Book
Winner of the 2009 Mom’s Choice Awards GOLD Medal for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book
2009 Nautilus Book Awards Winner for Relationships
As America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts and award-winning authors, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz help international audiences answer questions about love, marriage and relationships. With 26 years of research on love and successful marriage across six continents of the world and their own 43-year marriage, the Doctors know what makes relationships work.
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