Although it’s commonly stated that over half of first marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, a study of Census records for 1985 has shown that it is even higher for more recent marriages – as many as 67% marriages collapse. That’s two out of every three marriages – yikes!
I’ve been happily married for over twenty years but if I was getting married today full of hope for a long and blissful future with my new husband, I wouldn’t like those odds one bit.
How can you make sure that your marriage is one of the good ones?
Is it even possible to have a great marriage with all the pressures we face today?
Yes, it’s totally doable!
You can have one of the millions of marriages that work – one of the happy third with a lasting marriage. There’s no reason why not. It takes a bit of effort but it’s worth it to avoid the heartbreak.
Of course, what makes one marriage work and another fail is a complicated subject and volumes have been written about such things. Some marriages are destined never to work (think abuse or addiction for example). But in most marriages, it also seems you can break the lasting/non-lasting issue down into simple math according to Psychology Today.
Just answer this question.
Do the happy moments, good thoughts and interactions in your marriage outnumber the arguments, stresses, strains and unhappy thoughts by a factor of at least five to one?
If they do, then you have a healthy marriage destined to go the distance, as long as you keep that balance and never sway too far to the unhappy side without getting back in alignment.
It doesn’t seem to matter how many rows you have, how much bickering there is between a couple as long as you have happy moments that more than make up for it (in spades). That’s the balance that keeps couples together.
You may have wondered about a couple you know who have always fought like cat and dog and been amazed how they survived to celebrate their silver wedding. This equation is the reason – they are having plenty of happy moments to make up for the blazing rows.
If the balance is not right in your marriage (or any relationship for that matter) start making up for it right away by putting some good stuff in the mix. Be kind rather than critical. Organize some fun things to do rather than nagging him to take you out. Have sex (often). And start thinking positively about what you have together. Find the good in him, in your life and your relationship and get the positive balance back – it will save your marriage.
The more heated your arguments, the more you have to do to redress the balance, but even in good marriages, one where you feel no doubt about making it for the long haul, it’s worth piling on the positive as a kind of safety net. There’s no reason not to do it as you’ll feel much better for it too.
Over to you: Do the good times in your marriage make up for any conflict? Could you do more to redress the balance? Please share in the comments below.