By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

Let’s face it – the economy of the USA is in turmoil. And the truth is, the unemployment rate is approaching 10%, and will probably exceed that rate in the coming months. The times are tough in America today.

Not good news, for sure. Tough times put a strain on marriages; there is no doubt about that.

So what does all this mean for marriage in the USA? Our review of the evidence suggests that the tough economic times we face may be, in reality, a positive development when it comes to marriage. Say what, you say!

Here’s the scoop!

When tough economic times come along, many married couples are suddenly thrust into a situation they have never experienced before. One of them loses a job. A bill comes due that they can’t pay. Worse yet, they wonder how the home mortgage will get paid.

And sometimes, couples who are having problems in their marital relationship – who are planning on getting a divorce – find themselves in a position where other options suddenly become appealing.

We have said for years, based on the results of the 26+ years of our research project on successful marriage, that most marriages are worth saving and can be saved (but not all!). And in these tough times, we see many estranged couples rethinking their decision to get divorced.

When you own your own home together – when you have reached your comfort zone in your own home – when your children have established a real connection with their neighborhood and school, it is, perhaps, time to rethink the reasons behind why you decided to go your own way – to get divorced.

The simple truth is this – couples who have been thinking about divorce suddenly rethink that position in tough economic times. Why, you say?

Here’s the reality. In tough times it is hard to find another home, hard to maintain a new home, condo, or apartment. It is hard to shuttle the kids back and forth between two domiciles. It is, without a doubt, nearly impossible in tough economic times to maintain the same standard of living when that standard is divided between two places! Not the least of the issues are the overwhelming legal fees required to secure a divorce.

Often times, one of the results of tough economic times is that the couples who were contemplating divorce are suddenly faced with another choice – let’s try to stay together – let’s try to make it work. And that’s actually very good news.

The sad fact of the matter is this – we live in a “disposable society.” We live in a world where it is so easy to throw something away – to dispose of something that has limited value to us.

In many ways, society does, by actions and words, encourage challenged marriages to do the same. Society encourages many of those who are married and struggling, to throw their marriage away like some commodity that has grown stale – like something that has outlived its usefulness. Why do we do that? Isn’t a marriage worth preserving?

In tough economic times, a marriage that is fighting for salvation – fighting to make their marriage work – suddenly and with purpose, decides to pick up the pieces and make their marriage work. Their spirit is again renewed. They try to salvage their marriage. They have come to discover that the alternatives are not so pleasant – divorce is messy. Failed marriages hurt everyone – each other, their children, grandparents, relatives, friends and work associates. Divorce is not pretty!

So what does one do when your marriage is failing but the economic times prevent you from ending the marriage?

Here is what others are doing – they are moving beyond the idea of divorce. They are trying to find ways to make their marriage work in tough economic times. Sometimes, the most significant challenges we face lead us to a new view of the world. Sometimes, they lead us to rethink our position in life. Sometimes, we choose to try again to make our marriages work. And who knows, the extra efforts just might lead to success.

The simple truth is this – our extra efforts to save our marriages in tough economic times just might lead to happiness, contentment, and long-lasting love. Isn’t it time to give it one more try? Think about it!

Simple things matter in love and marriage. Love well!

Look for our next article on entitled – Making Marriage Work in Tough Economic Times.

Read our new book, Building a Love that Lasts: The Seven Surprising Secrets of Successful Marriage, due out for Valentine’s Day 2010 (Jossey-Bass/Wiley 2010).

By Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz

Authors of Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage
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

Author's Bio: 

Now you can order the Doctors' multiple award winning marriage book, Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage at, or, the 2009 Mom’s Choice Awards Gold Medal Winner for Most Outstanding Relationships and Marriage Book. With 26 years of research experience on successful marriage and their own 42-year marriage, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz know what makes marriage work. From their hundreds of interviews with happily married couples, representing 15,000 years of marriage, they've discovered the seven pervasive characteristics present in all successful marriages. Their book exposes the secrets for success through these poignant, real life stories.

Get started with America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts by taking their Marriage Quiz or asking them a question at Marriage Advice or downloading their FREE eBook at Salad Recipes For Love and Health.

During their distinguished careers the Doctors have received some 65 local, state, and national awards; published nearly 350 articles and manuscripts; delivered over 1000 speeches, workshops and public presentations; traveled throughout the world; and appeared on radio and television and in the print media. Dr. Charles D. Schmitz is Dean and Professor of Family and Counseling Therapy at the University of Missouri in St. Louis and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz is President of Successful Marriage Reflections, LLC.

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