Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Married. Are You Part of an Endangered Species?

posted by Michele Olson

The Hamilton Spectator is a Canadian paper with an article by Kyle Macdonald that got me thinking. He asks if marriage is becoming an endangered species.

He states U.S. statistics in the article: “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, out of every 1,000 adult Americans about 9.8 per cent got married during 2009.

But in that same year, 4.95 per cent of every 1,000 people got divorced. This means that a little over 50 per cent of couples will divorce each year.

If things continue like this, getting married would be the equivalent of flipping a coin.”

He also talks about how on July 7, 2007, many couples went to Vegas to get married because of the lucky date: 7/7/07. They were thinking luck would bring them a good marriage.

Just like the people sitting around hoping the Publisher’s Clearing House guy knocks on their door, these people are misguided. You do not have to rely on luck or statistics to increase your chances of having a good, healthy marriage.

There are tangible things you can do.

1) If you are single or seriously dating, take part in some kind of relationship education. Don’t use the Disney fairy tales as your benchmark for knowing if you should go forward in a relationship. How to Avoid Falling in Love With a Jerk or Jerkette is a great beginning. Read the book or attend a workshop in your area.

2) If you are serious and about to get married, or engaged…then make sure you are taking the time to plan not only the wedding, but the marriage. An engaged couple’s check-up is available on our website and it’s a great beginning. We also offer you the opportunity to take it a step further be using those findings in an online class.

3) Once you are married, keep taking part in marriage education, either by reading, in workshops or online. thinkmarriage.org offers a Couples Check up…perfect to see how you are doing.

Back to Mr. Macdonald’s question. Is marriage becoming an endangered species?

We do know that endangered species don’t become that way overnight. I found this on endangeredspecie.com talking about what causes an endangered species.

Endangerment is a broad issue, one that involves the habitats and environments where species live and interact with one another. Although some measures are being taken to help specific cases of endangerment, the universal problem cannot be solved until humans protect the natural environments where endangered species dwell.

Think about that definition it terms of protecting your marriage…the place where your “species dwell.”

What kind of environment are you providing and protecting when it comes to your marriage?

Just like the animals, some things are being done, but imagine if everyone would commit to premarital and marital education for their relationships? Wouldn’t that be a great first step in making sure marriage doesn’t become an endangered species?

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