Statistics also show nearly one third of American women report being exposed to some type of abuse at the hands of the significant other in their committed relationships. In reality, one out of every three is a grossly conservative figure, since the vast majority of abuse is never reported. These harsh statistics tell us that men (and women) are abusing the very people they say they love, which makes no rational or relational sense at all.

As if divorce and abuse were not enough, individuals are descending farther and farther into addictive behaviors. We're not only divorcing ourselves from others; through these addictive behaviors we are also divorcing ourselves from ourselves. We're not only abusing and being abused by others, we're also abusing ourselves.

Research indicates approximately ten percent of the population is addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that the total economic cost of drug and alcohol abuse in the United States in the 90s was over $250 billion per year.

The impact of the "lesser" addictions of gambling, excessive spending, over-eating, compulsive sex, and cyber-based addictions (internet, video games, and others) and their cost to society are too vast to even measure at this time. We've developed some extremely poor habits and we obviously lack appropriate coping mechanisms.

Will you change for the better or be changed by this negative cycle?

Furthermore (Yes...there's more bad news!) about 10% of our population suffers from depression. Depression is the epitome of people being disconnected from themselves. People experiencing depression, many of whom don't even know or acknowledge this ailment, live in negative energy which simply and inevitably creates more negativity. Without proper intervention depressed people spiral further away from themselves and others.

The inherent nature of depression is such that those afflicted are often so focused on the negative aspects of themselves, on how bad they feel and how bad their life is, that they often miss the good when it does arrive in their lives. Depressed people don't notice the beauty of a sunset, the humor of a joke or the warm smile of another. Depression completely disconnects one from one's true self.

It is long overdue; it's time to deliver the message: It's time to first get married to your SELF!

Today's educational system emphasizes, to the exclusion of almost everything else, the three Rs of reading, writing and arithmetic. Will these three Rs stop divorce, abuse, addiction or depression? No, of course not. We need a far greater emphasis on the fourth R - Relationships - to make a difference in the quality of young people's lives and futures. Through relationship education we can and will create happy individuals equipped for successful lives.

The point is: Men and women today have not been relationally educated. Many come from broken families, and even those who come from intact families may not have had the best role models. Today, many people unconsciously default to the media (TV, books and movies) as their primary relationship role models. You and I both know this is often the farthest thing from reality. People just don't know where else to turn for help.

Tune in to my next article to learn how you can improve your relational intelligence and it all starts when you take the time to first to get married to your SELF.

Author's Bio: 

I provide mental health counseling, marriage counseling and relationship counseling to help professionals and their families eliminate stress, maximize success and create extraordinary relationships at home, at work and in the community. As a mental health counselor, marriage counselor and relationship counselor my number one goal is to help people live their lives and relationships fully and completely. I've been offering counseling, coaching, and educational programs since 1987. My programs are focused on empowering people to have more successful lives, businesses and relationships. You'll always find FREE Life and Relationship Success Special Reports at http://kendonaldson.com/. I'm also the author of Marry YourSelf First! Say "I DO" to a Life of Passion, Power, Purpose and Prosperity http://www.marryyourselffirstbook.com/