Are you pessimistic about marriage success?

Many see marriage through pessimistic eyes. Do you?

Are you pessimistic about marriage success?

Many see marriage through pessimistic eyes. Do you?
  • Why do so many marriages end in divorce? Could our attitudes and views have something to do with the success or failure of our own marriages?

  • A study from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research explores the views of Generation X and Millennials on marital success rates. Based on the study, two out of five people (men and women) said that marriages have failed for most of the people they know. Forty to fifty percent of those who chose to cohabit at some point in their life or who are currently cohabiting, see marriage pessimistically. Interestingly, the number is much less for those who are currently married without prior cohabitation — 22 percent.

  • Additionally, the majority believe that cohabiting before marriage reduces the risk of divorce, while among those who are married, only about one-third agree that cohabiting prior to marriage helps the marriage last.

  • Finally, those who have never been married also see divorce as a reasonable solution when a couple can't seem to work through problems. Conversely, married couples are more likely to seek other solutions to marital problems rather than use divorce as an answer to problems.

  • Isn't it interesting that those who have not experienced marriage have a more negative view than those who are currently married? Is this a case similar to children who whine and complain that they do not like a certain food they have never tried? Once children actually try the food, they often realize they actually do like it; they just had to give it a chance. Could it be the same for those who decide to "try" marriage?

  • Don't dismiss something you have never experienced

  • Our perceptions are only based on our own reality — the sum of what we have experienced throughout our lives. It's easy to make a rash judgment based on things you have heard or observed, with limited knowledge on the matter. Yes, people get divorced. People are unhappy in marriages. But, there are many more people who do not get divorced and who are blissfully happy and content in their marriages.

  • If you haven't experienced it for yourself, you are unable to make a fully knowledgable decision.

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  • Your attitude and views toward marriage can make a huge difference

  • If you get married with the idea that your marriage will eventually fall apart and fail, there's a good chance it will. Why make such a glum self-fulfilling prophecy? Why not go into marriage believing it will last and with the attitude and understanding that marriages take work? If your view of marriage is pessimistic, you'll likely find many reasons to support your theory. The opposite is also true.

  • If marriage is important to you, then staying married will also be important to you. Just because some marriages fail does not mean they all will. Keep a positive outlook on marriage and be hopeful and willing to put in the work required to make it last.

  • The majority of married persons see marriage in a positive light, unlike those who have never been married. No other partnership can be as strong and resilient as a marriage where both husband and wife work hard together on their relationship. Some marriages fail, but so many more last! Instead of giving in to popular pessimistic views, look to emulate the positive views of happily married couples. Your attitude toward marriage can make all the difference.

Wendy is a regular contributor for and does media reviews. Website: for victims of sexual abuse. Blog: Twitter: @WendyJessen


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