Marriage, Cohabitation & Divorce


I'll say it again, I know that more than any other topic I write about marriage most on this blog. It is where I am in life and the journey here was not an accidental uninformed one. I have strong opinions and beliefs about marriage, there's no getting around it.  

I'm often scared that I over do it, but those posts seem to be the most read and responded to. This makes me feel like marriage is something that people, single or married, care about. Like me when I was single, there seems to be a lot of people who want to learn as much about marriage as they can, hear as many experiences as possible, so that they can come to terms with their feelings on the institution.

Even though I'm already married (so the decision has been made), I've never stopped reading the books, the articles, talking to married couples who've been together 60 years or 6 months. I want to never drop the ball on making marriage work, and I want to enrich it as much as I can.

Listening to other couples stories is probably my favorite thing to do, especially with older couples. This past week our young adults group took small groups of girls and guys to various couples houses and just asked questions about their marriages. It was interesting to see how different stories could be and what seemed to cross over as universal.

I recently found out that someone I know is getting divorced. The couple is in their early 20s, they've only been married for two years and they have a son that is under a year old. I've known of others who separated after just two months of marriage. It really breaks my heart and I can't help but feel none of it was necessary. 

As you know, John Paul and I just hit the one year mark. Our recent posts about the first year can be found here and here. We try to be honest about marriage when we talk to other people so that they know the experiences they are hearing about are genuine and real. There was nothing more frustrating to me as a single woman than rehearsed lines or finding out that the good marriage I saw in front of me was an act. I just needed real-gritty-unadulterated honesty. 

I attempt to provide the resources and advice to single and engaged friends that I wish I'd had when I was single or engaged. I try to encourage others about how wonderful marriage can be and I also try to encourage realistic views on marriage.

It seems like I can always find a new article about marriage. We're a generation trying to figure out if marriage works, if it's outdated, if we need to live together first or if that's the last thing we'd want to do.

Not too long ago I wrote this post and included quite a few articles about marriage and what our culture thinks about it. Today I'd like to add a few more articles to the list. I've prefaced before, I know my viewpoint is biased towards Christianity and many of the articles I include are coming from that stance, but I've tried to include secular articles as well because I think it gives a fuller picture of marriage in general and the more informed you are, the better.

The Divorce Generation - A Wallstreet Journal article about divorce rates, cohabitation, and how it all effects kids.

When Love Disappoints - Relevant Magazine article about a couple whose first year was an eye-opener.

What Really Keeps a Marriage Together - Guest post by John Marshall (I'm not sure I agree with this one 100% but it was an interesting read).

Obviously, I'm big on preparing for marriage and working on relationships. We put so much effort and time into everything else in life (like work, school, etc) why would we not work on our marriages? It seems worth it to me.  I feel like a lot of divorce could be avoided if couples were getting married for better reasons then a lot of them seem to be...

But, at the end of the day, I'm reminded of something John Paul said in his guest post on marriage. No matter how much you prepare, you'll never be ready. Prepare, but never assume you know it all. Because you don't. It will be different for each and every person. That doesn't mean it's not worth it.

And yes, I'm still glad that I got married.