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You often hear that 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. While technically correct, that number does not tell the whole story. Let's take a deeper look at this phenomenon and try to determine a number that is probably more accurate – one that more honestly reflects the real truth about marriage for most people.
The divorce rate in the USA impacts far fewer individuals that you have probably been led to believe by the popular media. For example, if a certain group of individuals get married multiple times the number of divorces gets skewed upward. It is hard to miss the logic here. It seems clear that the oft quoted divorce rate of 50% in the USA includes individuals who have been divorced more that once; hence, the actual number of people effected by divorce is probably much lower than 50% if you remove from the equation those who have been divorced more than once.
Now, let's get back to the main point of this article. We have established the fact that divorce in the USA impacts far fewer actual people than many have been led to believe. Further, there does appear to be a downward trend in the divorce rate over the past several years. But what is up with the high number of people getting married and divorced multiple times? They skew the numbers and give an impression of marriage that is misleading.
We believe that many folks are afraid of marriage and relationships because they read the headlines in the newspapers and magazines, and because they watch way too much television where the focus is, more often than not, on glorifying divorce and separation, on belittling the value and sanctity of marriage. It's a shame really and it has caused people desperate for love to look for love in all the wrong places. Here's what we mean.
There is science involved with understanding why so many marriages beyond the first one fail. People desperate for love go to singles bars, nightclubs, use dating services, log on to e-Harmony.com and Match.com, to name a few. Now ask yourself this very honest and forthright question – do you really expect to find Mr. Right or Ms. Right through one of these venues? That is not to say that it doesn't happen from time to time, but we suspect that people looking for true and lasting love in these places rarely find it. This is not meant as a criticism of these venues so much as our attempt to open your eyes to the chances of finding someone to spend your life with in places like this.
Frankly, the high multiple divorce rate phenomenon is a sad reality. Most people we know and have interviewed over the years really want to find true and lasting love. But our advice to them is go to places where they are more likely to find another person looking for true and lasting love – at church or the synagogue, Thanksgiving Dinner at a friend's house, over a cup of coffee while you study in the dining area at the university, at volunteer opportunities, by belonging to social organizations like dance clubs, at interest oriented meetings such as book clubs or community action groups, and at work (this gets a little complicated at times!), to name a few.
In our judgment the principle cause for multiple divorce is because people in search of love look for it in all the wrong places. Start looking for love in the right places and we are confident you will find the one you want to celebrate your Golden Anniversary with. If more people used this approach to finding their true love, the divorce rate would go down dramatically and people would give marriage the chance it deserves instead of being scared away by the fear of failure.
by Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz
Award Winning Authors of the NEW hardback book
Golden Anniversaries: The Seven Secrets of Successful Marriage
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