After a couple secures me to officiate at their ceremony, my custom is to post a congratulatory message on my wedding Facebook page. In response to a recent announcement, a commentator posted that the couple’s friends should warn them of a life of a misery and unhappiness. The warning’s clear: Don’t get married.
While certainly some marriages end in divorce and are often preceded by years of unhappiness and pain, there is great reason to hope. I’d like to mention two of these reasons.
As current marriage research testifies, we are getting better at building healthy relationsips. The divorce rate is steadily declining from the high-water mark of the late 1980s (a 50% rate) to about 38%. In general, married couples report greater happiness and are even healthier than the unmarried.
From my own experience, the vast majority of couples whose marriages I witness have dated for a long time and often lived together (sometimes for many years) before they decided to marry. These folks have already figured out the balancing act of love, commitment, and life. I find a lot of maturity among these couples and great reason for hope.
And for those couples whose first marriages end in divorce, second marriages are vastly more successful. Experience seems to be the wisest of teachers. We learn and we grow.
So I’m a fan of love – yes, and the commitment of marriage.