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Chapter 7: Tomorrow is not Promised You, But...
I have temporarily truncated this article because I have enrolled the ebook versions of Wage Peace Between the Sexes in KDP Select, and therefore cannot have it in another format.
Which of these statements are true, and which are false?
The American divorce rate, though among the highest in the world, varies according to region, religion, and race; therefore, knowledge and culture plays a role in the divorce rate.
The American divorce rate hovers around 50%.
The highest divorce rate is in the Bible Belt South; the lowest is in the Northeast.
Divorce is harmless if the couple has no children.
Each other’s families should be of prime consideration when deciding to marry.
Answers: 1, 3, and 5 are true; 2 and 4 are false.
So you finally meet the love of your life, and want to spend
eternity with him or her. Now what?
With the divorce rate at an all-time high, people have good reason to fear marriage. While breaking up is better than being trapped in a negative, even dangerous, situation, the bottom line is, it is an aberration; a crime against nature. Divorce destroys the home of the children involved, and shreds the fabric of society. Even if there are no children, the newly single adults are almost always worse off than if they'd never wed in the first place.
In the past, society could not support single parents, so once you married, that was IT - even in cases of abuse. So both parties were carefully coached and counseled; in some societies, marriages were even arranged by the parents or village matchmaker! In America today, family is often not even considered; yet, ultimately, it is really them you are marrying, not just your spouse. Even if they’re not around, they made your partner what he or she is today, so they still have influence.
However, there is good news on the subject. Divorce is not nearly as prevalent as people have been led to believe. The American 50% rate is based on the number of marriages and divorces in any given year. A more accurate calculation is to count how many people have ever been divorced; in this case, it ranks closer to 25%. This statistic also varies according to region (highest in the South, lowest in the Northeast), race (highest African American, lowest Asian), and religion (highest among non-denominational Christians, lowest among atheists. The statistics regarding religion may come as a surprise to some; the explanation is, conservative Christian groups are often reluctant to discuss sexual matters, maintaining a strict abstinence policy among singles while pressuring them to marry, whereas atheists don’t exert such pressure, and are more hard-core realistic about situations, openly addressing and discussing them). Evidently, education and culture play major roles in determining the strength and quality of a union.
Let’s face it; matrimony is best when it’s done right the first time. So how can you avoid divorce? Bear in mind not everyone is suitable for nuptial ties; to succeed, you need certain traits that make you easy to live with. Being a good partner is every bit as important as finding one. Write a letter to your future spouse, describing yourself and the sort of life you want to give him or her. Good marriages don't just happen; they take much knowledge and careful planning.
Wage Peace Between the Sexes (Sugar Version), available in paperback.
This book is also available in ebook format.
Wage Peace Between the Sexes (Spice Version), available in paperback. This version includes an additional chapter on sex.
This book is also available in ebook format.
Some Final Factors to Consider
How long should you court before marrying? Since anyone can hide faults and fool someone over the short term, it is important to do so long enough to truly know each other. A good time frame is 2- 3 years; you should be able to see your future spouse in a wide variety of situations in that period. People from dysfunctional backgrounds should date longer, to make sure they have resolved their issues rather than repeating them.
How old should you be when you marry? Most Americans state the ideal age around 25, give or take a couple years, since at that age they’ll most likely be finished with their education, fairly well established in their careers, and know what they want out of life. However, the most important factors are the couple’s maturity. They should be self-sufficient and able to conduct themselves, reason, and problem solve as adults. Some people can do that at 18; others still have not achieved it at 40.
Can you accept your lover exactly as he or she is? So often, people try to change their spouse, but it rarely works – even when it does, the results are often even more disastrous. After all, why are you trying to revise your mate? If your partner is an addict, perhaps you are co-dependent, in which case the relationship would fall apart if the addiction were overcome. Or perhaps you are the sort of character who is always trying to transform others, and thus is never satisfied. As for the one you are trying to “rehabilitate”, realize that their particular neurosis has worked for them all their lives, and therefore it is highly unlikely they will give it up for anyone, including you. They may pretend to do so until marriage, but afterwards they’ll most likely revert right back to their old habits. The best bet is to decide whether or not you can live with their faults; if you can’t, move on.
As you can see, making a marriage work takes much careful planning, and there's a lot to consider. You can fall in love with all types of people, but quality of character - yours as well as the other person's - is what determines whether or not it will succeed. In summary, remember:
Marriage is a partnership, not a solo venture. Every decision you make, every habit you have, affects your spouse. Being the right person is every bit as important as choosing the ideal partner. Always consider that!
A generous, forgiving nature is vital. Focus on your partner’s positive traits, compliment regularly, and make them feel important. Don’t sweat the petty things (pet the sweaty things). Also, a sense of humor goes a long way in soothing rough situations.
Most important of all, remember the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When you marry, you give up some of the benefits of singlehood; however, you gain the advantages marriage offers. Whether or not one state is better than the other depends on what the couple makes of it. Before marrying, be sure you can agree on your differences, because you’re guaranteed to have some; seek therapy if you need it. Ultimately, success depends on the determination of both partners; “Divorce” is a word that should never be part of your vocabulary
Following these precepts may not guarantee eternal bliss – after all, life itself is a gamble – but careful thinking and planning will do much to help you avoid pitfalls, and deal with whatever curve balls are thrown your way. A successful marriage is not a stroke of luck – it is an achievement.
Best Wishes on Your Journey!
1) Write a letter to your future spouse; this template can give you some ideas.
What does marriage mean to you?
What do you want out of life and marriage?
Why, out of all your options, did you choose that person?
What do you have to offer your future spouse? How will you treat them? How do you want them to treat you?
Explain why that person should want you for a spouse.
Explain, in detail, your plans for your future together (where you will live, how many kids, unglamorous financial arrangements, etc.).
End the letter by saying you look forward to meeting this person (or marrying them, if you’ve already met them).
2) If you have someone in mind you want to marry, fill out this highly detailed character profile worksheet about the person, and have him or her do the same about you. Compare and discuss your answers. Here is the link:
Though it is for developing characters for novels, you two will be creating your own story together. Who knows – perhaps it will turn into the Great American Novel!
Character template © Holly Haveron 2011–2013. Her website: http://imaginingsofacreativewriter.blogspot.com/
© 2015 Ana Kolomeka