Friday, August 14, 2009
Six Ways to Make Your Marriage Last
By Therese J Borchard
Your often hear that half of all marriages end in divorce. But marriage is actually doing much better than that these days, say Benedict Carey and Tara Parker-Pope. They collaborated on a piece for the New York Times called “Marriage Stands Up for Itself”. They write:
“A compaision of 10-year divorce rates among college-educated men married in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s shows that divorce is becoming less common,” said Dr.Stevenson, the Wharton researcher. Among men who married in the 1970s for example,about 23 % hand divorced by the 10th year. Men married in the 1990s are doing even better – with a 10-year divorce rate of 16%”.
Christian writer Steven Wickstrom and others say the divorce rate for a Christian couple who actively pray together is less than 1 %.
I kid you not: less than 1 %. What else can you do to improve your odds?
In hi blog post called “5 Secrets to a Succesful Long0Term Relationship or Marriage”, John Grohol, CEO and founder of PsychoCentrel.com, lists five core ingredients to a good marriage or long0term relationship: Compromise. Communicate. Choose your battles carefully. Don’t hide your needs. Don’t underestimate the importance of trust and honesty.
No relationships are perfectly 50-50 arrangements. Usually one person does an extra load of laundry. But for a marriage to thrive, there must be compromise, some give and take. Not just take.
Says Grohol in stressing the importance of communication: “Relationships live and die not by the sword, but by the amount of discussion. If two people can’t find a way to openly and honestly communicate their meeds and feelings to one another, the relationship doesn’t stand much of a chance long-term. Couples must find a way to communicate regularly, openly and directly”.
Choosing your battles carefully eliminates half the fights right there, and it adds value to the disagreements that can’t be avoided.
Many of the psychologists I’ve interviewed for my Beliefnet.com blog “Beyong Blue” say that hiding needs, for example, is precisely why so many marriages fall apart. One or both partners weren’t getting needs net and were afraid or unable to communicate that with the other.
Don’t underestimate the importance of trust and honesty. Writes Grohol, “Different people have different areas of concern, but almost everyone values trust and honesty from their partner above all”.