Love and Relationships Segment
By Sean Mungin
Marriages and families are the bedrock of most cultures and nearly every society. Millions get married throughout the world on an annual basis. We are often told that within the United States and most Western cultures, most marriages end at an alarming rate of 50% and above within the first seven years. However, the United Nations reported in 2012 that the marital status of men and women in approximately 221 countries were leaning favorably toward married people, while the divorce rate was significantly lower. This suggests that the cultural climate determines the outcomes of the marital relationship.
There are differing variables that affect the marital dynamic. The consensus is that when two individuals recite their wedding vows, this is intended to last forever. No one enters into a marital union with the anticipation of the union heading towards dissolution. How do people reach the point of their marriage ending in divorce? There are numerous reasons provided for the dissolution of marriages, many of which have fallen under the category of irreconcilable differences.
How do we arrive at this point? More often than not, the problem lies in failing to prepare adequately for love and relationships that we hope will eventually lead to a marital union. Many times, we believe that ‘being in love’ or ‘finding Mr. or Ms. Right’ will suffice. However, after the honeymoon period, we realize that what we thought was ‘being in love’ was merely infatuation and ‘Mr. and Ms. Right’ were very considerably wrong.
Noted author Dr. Gary Chapman (2010) stated,
“Most people spend far more time in preparation for their vocation than they do in preparation for marriage. Therefore, it should not be surprising that they are more successful in their vocational pursuits than they are in reaching the goal of marital happiness” (p.10).
In other words, we spend many more hours of planning for the wedding with little or next to no time in planning for what must take place after we say, “I do.” There is a huge imbalance and disparity in the amount of resources that are spent versus the amount of resources that are being accumulated, especially when considering the noticeable increase in marital breakdowns over the past few decades. If we do not know the cause of the increase in divorce and marital breakdowns, then we truly have a serious problem.
If the truth be told, this leads to the assumption that we lack an understanding of the basic fundamentals of love and relationships. So when we arrive at conclusions as such, we must also assume that we would need to go back to the beginning and start again. No one likes to begin again after having started. But sometimes we realize the importance of the need for a new genesis if we intend to be successful when embarking upon any new endeavor.
Chapman, G. (2010). Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. Chicago: Northfield Publishing.
United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. (2013). World Marriage Data 2012. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/WMD2012/MainFrame.html/