to minimize the probability of divorce
marriage in America and minimizing its impact on kids
By Pierre Coda
In the business world, what is really hot these days is called "Six Sigma". For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, what it means in very simple language is that whatever a business does (whether a product it manufactures or a service it offers), you aim for almost 'zero defect'. The result: happy customers, fewer returns, less waste, higher profits, etc.
if there was a product in which the defect rate was 50%? Would that product still sell? Would people be that stupid to buy something that fails half the time? Well, the reality is that lots of people are still buying. I am talking about
marriage here. We now know that one out of two marriages
(and 60% of second marriages) fails in America but marriages are still happening.
Dr. Neil Clark Warren, the founder of
eHarmony says, "Most of the failed marriages I have encountered were
in trouble the day they began. The two people involved in each of them simply chose the wrong person to marry. Why do individuals choose their lifelong partners so poorly? Because they have received almost no instruction about how to do it well. But here's the happy news: successfully choosing a marriage partner is a skill anyone can develop."
marriage for men)
It is true that since the divorce rate grew gradually, some of us have become more careful. We are either not marrying at all or not remarrying. We are definitely delaying
marriage. Many of us are not having children at all or delaying them as well. In other words, we are following in the footsteps of Europe but lagging a decade or two. But what we are not doing is to analyze why marriage as an institution is about to fall apart.
There is hope, though, as pointed out by Howard J. Markman. In his
book "Fighting for Your Marriage: Positive Steps for Preventing Divorce and Preserving a Lasting
Love", he writes, "Yet we live in times of great cynicism about
relationships in general and marriage in particular (Related:
Couples in long marriages). Can partners
love each other and stay together for the long term? ...We know
that it is possible for couples to create relationships in which they
feel both emotionally secure in the present and confident about the
Selma Blair divorce)
And let me add this, while the current buzz is all about banning
gays from marrying, I think the biggest threat to American society is not from
gay marriage - it is actually from
heterosexual couples like us who are marrying for no good reason, ending up in a divorce, and making marriage increasingly unattractive to
unmarried young men and women who look at all the miserable, cynical
married folks around them. Wake up, folks!
If saving marriage is what you are really after then you will have to
repair the damage that you are inflicting every day. Don't blame
the gays. In fact I want to thank the gays for showing us how
beautiful marriage can be and what we need to do to find the right
partner. May be instead of treating them like freaks, we should learn something from them. I
love watching the TV program from the great guys from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy": after teaching America
how to look great, they
can now to teach us
how to find the right partner and get married.
Pamela Anderson Kid Rock wedding)
Alright, let me now turn to why I ended up writing this article in the first place. This article is not about promoting
or saving marriage or suggesting that you stay in a
relationship even when it has become dysfunctional. I plan to focus, instead, on reducing the failure rate in marriage and minimizing the pain to others. I believe that we have to look at marriages and relationships in two different contexts: one, when kids are in the picture, and two, when there are no
kids involved. I say this because the impact of divorce is much worse on kids than it is on adults. Yes, I recognize that divorce is painful for everyone who is impacted by it. While I will talk about
divorces in a separate article, but let me say that my wife and I have been
recently impacted by the divorce that my sister-in-law just had. She has three young kids and they have been devastated. Since I am very close to these kids, I have been devastated
as well looking at the sorrow faces of the kids who just can't figure out why two people who were supposedly in love just a while ago
now hate each other so much that they have to talk through attorneys. (Related:
30 day sex challenge)
If you do not have kids yet or do not plan to have kids ever...
||Yeah, go ahead, take some risk. If you are reasonably convinced that you have found the person of your dreams, take the plunge. But what if she or he is not the right person for you? Have you ever considered a committed, long-term relationship instead? I know that if you want to get married, it is perfectly understandable. First of all, there are some economic benefits: tax breaks, inheritance rights, health/other insurance, etc. Secondly, it is romantic (the
honeymoon, etc.). Finally, there is a reasonable chance that your partner will be totally faithful to you and you can build a great relationship that will last your
How to sign a prenup agreement). But what if it doesn't work? Well you can always get a divorce. I know it will hurt for the longest time, you may never find another partner and die single, but no significant pain caused to others.
You have done no damage to the mankind.
What if you already have kids or plan to have kids after marriage...
Stop. Take a deep breath. This is where I want to emphasize a few important points.
We are talking about literally destroying the life of other(s) innocent people
(generally kids) if they have to participate in the sad drama inflicted by you on them for no fault of theirs. I have met dozens of men and women who never grew up as regular folks
because they saw their parents getting divorced.
So this is what you can do...
Do not get pregnant before
marriage so you are forced to marry the father.
If you can work out an arrangement that will let you avoid a divorce till all your children are 18 or older, think of it as an option. In
this instance, I even approve of both partners pursuing totally independent lives including having other
relationships till the kids are 18 or older. (Related:
after divorce for women)
Consider moving in with your girlfriend/boyfriend before deciding to marry. It is a great way to test if you can stand each other the rest of your lives.
Do not always rely on your own judgment when it comes to such an important decision. Even for simple decisions that have relatively minor impact on my life, I consult experts. I talk to an accountant
before doing my taxes
myself. He always helps me save some money and is well worth the $50 I pay him. I always pay a mechanic $100 to come with me to the dealer and help me when I am buying a
used car - he has saved me thousands of dollars by helping me pick the right car. So when it comes to
finding a marriage partner, validate your judgment with some help from science.
Yes, it is perfectly fine to date someone you met at the grocery
store but when it comes to marriage, you better be damn sure that
this is the person for you.
Work with a therapist. Seek help from friends and family. Compromise where you can. It is not as difficult to
save a marriage as you might think....And if nothing works, then
divorce, as Britney Spears and Kevin Federline did.
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