By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts.

We have said it before and we now say it again – the divorce rate in the United States of America is NOT 50%! It is more likely, closer to 40%, perhaps, slightly less, according to some estimates. Here are the facts.

According to Brad Wilcox in “The Evolution of Divorce” in the Fall 2009 issue of National Affairs, “The divorce rate fell from a historic high of 22.6 divorces per 1,000 married women in 1980 to 17.5 in 2007. In real terms, this means that slightly more than 40% of contemporary first marriages are likely to end in divorce, down from approximately 50% in 1980. Perhaps even more important, recent declines in divorce suggest that a clear majority of children who are now born to married couples will grow up with their married mothers and fathers.”

This number clearly approximates what we have been espousing for several years. The clear fact of the matter is this – the divorce rate in America has been going DOWN for nearly 30 years!

What is worse is that many use the inaccurate 50% divorce rate notion to push for pre-nuptial agreements. They argue that “since so many people get divorced,” signing a pre-nuptial agreement is only prudent and sensible. It is insurance against a failed relationship according to them.

To us, this is like saying, “Let’s never get married because our chances of failure are 40% out of 100%.” Or, “Let’s not fall in love at all because we might fall out of love in the future.” Pretty silly, huh?

We believe that Pre-Nuptial Agreements are a bad idea for the most part! Just imagine, telling someone that you love him or her, but you don't trust them! To us, this is analogous to having two separate checking accounts in a marriage -- one for him and one for her. In both cases it becomes a case of yours and mine. Or, how about this, “I love you with the following conditions.” Whatever happened to US? We? Love without conditions?

Frankly, we don't believe that the true meaning of "marriage" allows for this sort of duplicitous relationship between two people who say they love each other. True love means true love. You can't have a bonifide loving and successful marriage or relationship when you have a Pre-Nuptial Agreement! People who invented this concept don't know anything about real love and real relationships. Only people with an agenda would encourage something so anti-love, so anti-relationship, and so anti-marriage.

The sad news -- in the United States, prenuptial agreements are recognized in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. This is a sad commentary on the state of love, marriage, and relationships in America. Why do we need them? What ever happened to pure, unconditional love! We believe it still exists! It is still the norm, thank goodness!

According to Wikipedia, “There are two types of prenuptial agreements: a marriage contract for people who are married or about to be married, and a cohabitation agreement for unmarried couples. A variation for people who are already married is a postnuptial agreement.” We think all three are bad for love, bad for relationships, and bad for marriage. Here’s why.

In our research with successfully married couples for over 26 years on six of the world’s seven continents, we have found a number of recurring and pervasive themes. Foremost among them is an abiding trust in and for each other. They trust each other completely and without conditions. People who truly love each other do so without conditions. They have unconditional love – as it should be.

Like most things in successful relationships, the little things matter. Caring deeply for someone – loving someone – is only as real as the honesty of the relationship between the two people who profess to love and care for each other.

We ask you these questions – Do you truly and deeply love someone else? Do you care for another human being more that you care for yourself? Is there someone in your life that you would die for? Is there someone you would like to spend the rest of your life on Earth with? Is there someone you share your deepest and darkest secrets with? Is there someone that you cannot imagine life without?

If the answers to all of the above are the same for both of you, then you are completely and wonderfully in love. People like you do not need a pre-nuptial agreement. What you do need to do is spend your lives together. What you do need to do is cement your relationship with each other. What you do need to do is all of the simple things required to make your marriage or relationship work. What you don’t need to do is sign a pre-nuptial agreement! Let love reign!

In love and life, the simple things matter! Love well.

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

Author's Bio: 

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.

Get started with America's #1 Love and Marriage Experts by taking their Marriage Quiz or sending your questions to Ask the Doctors for Marriage Advice.

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