Recently, I decided to peruse interesting marriage facts at facts.randomhistory.com. I picked some of the ones I found impactful to share with our readers as I think it is important to learn from other’s mistakes and to prepare for life changes and seasonal switch-ups!
I love quick, power-packed, to-the-point bits of helpful knowledge!
- “Due to jobs, kids, TV, the internet, hobbies, and home and family responsibilities, the average married couple spends just four minutes a day alone together.” (Harrar & DeMaria, 2007)
Four minutes? Wow! How sad! Think about that. Right now you are probably dating and enjoying hours Even if you are in a long distance relationship, you are probably enjoying long conversations – at least a few days a week. Technology and other distractions, if not kept in check, can rob a couple of time together; and, once children come into the picture, it takes significant prioritization to make alone time between a couple happen. Little people have a way of making themselves not ignored. ~smile~
- “The probability of a first marriage ending in a divorce within 5 years is 20%, but the probability of a premarital cohabitation breaking up within 5 years is 49%. After 10 years, the probability of a first marriage ending is 33%, compared with 62% for cohabitations.” (Harrar & DeMaria, 2007)
For some, this is an inconvenient statistic. It is easy to brush off the argument against co-habitation as hyper-moralistic or old-fashioned; however, the statistical numbers do not lie. Cohabitation creates a false sense of reality and intimacy. Once a couple gets married, that feeling of freedom (i.e., I can leave at any time if I want to) goes away and suddenly small annoyances become maddening. Not only that, but we show more of our real selves after saying “I do…” regardless of prior living arrangements.
- “Half of emotional affairs become sexual affairs.” (Harrar & DeMaria, 2007)
“We are just enjoying some harmless flirting” is a dangerous compromise. Flirtations often lead to intimate communication… and eventually to an emotional connection. When two people become emotionally close and share an attraction (which can come as a result of the closeness), a sexual affair may be right around the corner unless someone puts a stop to it and quickly. Some would consider an emotional affair even more harmful than a sexual one, though both are agonizingly painful to the victim.
- “While couples with children are less likely to divorce than childless couples, the arrival of a new baby is more likely to bring more stress and emotional distance than new happiness. Nearly 90% of couples experienced decrease in martial satisfaction after the birth of their first child.” (Hein, 2000)
This is just something to be aware of so you and your future spouse are not caught off guard. Suddenly, there is this little person demanding your attention. Leisurely afternoon walks and last minute plans are a thing of the past – at least for now. New parents are often sleep deprived, sexually deprived, and emotionally disconnected. It can be overcome, but it is important to shower each other with grace during these transitional, exhausting seasons.
- “Over 75% of people who marry partners from an affair eventually divorce.” (Hein, 2000)
If the day comes when you are deeply discouraged in your marriage and you find your eye wandering, remember that history often repeats itself. Once that new person becomes your husband or wife, you will have similar (if not identical) problems because marriage is messy. Running away from problems instead of working on them is a trend which will follow a person from one relationship to another. That attractive co-worker may seem like your gateway to happiness, but I assure you, having an affair will only lead to more heartache.
- “No sex in a marriage has a much more powerful negative impact on a marriage than good sex has a positive impact.” (Gottman & Gottman, 2006)
Once you are married, make time for sex with your spouse. It will not be magical every time… and that is okay. It is a powerful way to connect in the marriage context. Neglecting it can have detrimental long-term repercussions to your relationship. “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (I Corinthians 7:15, ESV)
- “A 15-year-long study found that a person’s happiness level before marriage was the best predictor of happiness after marriage. In other words, marriage won’t automatically make one happy.” (Gottman & Gottman, 2006)
If you are unhappy with yourself and life in general, you will bring that into your marriage. Once you are married, it will be easy to blame your discontentment on your spouse because he or she will not meet all your expectations. We are responsible for our own happiness. Please do not get married to gain or increase If you do, not only will you still be unhappy, but you will likely bring your spouse down with you. Negativity breeds negativity and it is extremely contagious.
Consider these facts and statistics and find more to study. With knowledge comes power. The better you prepare, the less fearful you will be about the future and the more realistically you can plan for what is to come!
Which of these facts impacted you the most?
Harrar, S. & DeMaria R. (2007). The 7 Stages of Marriage: Laughter, Intimacy, and Passion. Pleasantville, NY: Reader’s Digest Books.
Hein, H. (2000). Sexual Detours: Infidelity and Intimacy at the Crossroads. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press.
Gottman, J. M. & Gotmman, J. S. (2006). 10 Lessons to Transform Your Marriage. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.