Every day, men and women from around the world meet, date and plan their wedding. When vowing their unfailing love, couples envision living happily ever after with each other. They do not plan to sever their relationship. Yet today’s divorce rate remains close to 50%. I believe statistics, celebrity behavior and our personal histories influence this trend.
Statistically, we hear about the 50% marital failure rate in middle school health class. As we grow into adulthood, we continue to hear this statistic from professors, media sources and firsthand experience as our family or friends experience marital demise. With this indoctrination, we more readily perpetuate the divorce rate. After our wedding, this feeling of hopelessness toward marriage erodes our commitment. Every disagreement with our spouse and every friend who faces marital demise cause us to question if we will become the next victim of the inevitable statistic.
Celebrity behavior influences popular opinion in our culture. With 24-hour television and internet access, we observe and even obsess over a celebrity’s every move. After constant exposure, we subconsciously accept their opinions, lifestyles and views. From Hollywood to sports stars, celebrity behavior perpetuates the normalcy of divorce, cohabitation and a marriage-less society. Daily, we hear of another celebrity wedding ending within a few months or even days. Tabloids display couples cohabitating and raising children out of wedlock. Multiple marriages have become normal rather than taboo. Celebrity personalities even stage wedding ceremonies as a marketing tool to advertise their brand, receive free services and publicity or avoid working for their fame. This cavalier attitude influences society against traditional marriage.
Personal history erodes our marital views. As we grew up in a divorced family or with close friends who experienced divorce, we learned that escape from a difficult, troubling or inconvenient marital relationship is acceptable. We carry the hurt and betrayal of our parents’ breakup, but we do not take the initiative to prevent the same from happening to our children. Despite our adamant words to avoid marital separation at all costs, we harbor the thought in the back of our minds and may choose to sever our marital covenant when we face obstacles and challenges.
As we unconsciously accept and live with the fact that half of all marriages will not last until death parts us, we recreate what our society believes. We question the need for traditional marriage since only half of them survive, we prepare an exit strategy in our minds for our own relationships and we counsel friends to leave their troubled relationships.
The beliefs and sentiments of society influence public opinion, laws, morals and values. We call this phenomenon collective conscious. We as individuals avoid thinking for ourselves or acting differently. Thus, the cycle repeats itself. I believe we can reverse the global and national divorce rate if society would choose to value the marital relationship.
Historically, we see two areas in which the collective conscious improved society for the better. While smoking established itself as normal, cool and sexy sixty years ago, popular opinion has undergone a radical transformation. Smoking now carries a social stigma. Many public locations ban smoking due to a change in popular opinion, or collective conscious, regarding the health and psychological damages caused to the smoker and innocent bystanders. Vocal opponents persevered in their objections, and we reap rewards from their efforts.
Collective conscious also influenced the public’s view of our environment. Unlimited harvest of forested land, dependence on oil and lack of concern for conserving natural resources has risen from ignored status to well-known fact because of collective conscious. Concerned citizens vocally chose to reveal facts, sacrifice their comfort and make a difference for a cause in which they believe.
When will we stand up and join forces against divorce’s damaging results? Like the reversal of opinion we see concerning smoking and the environment, marital advocates can use collective conscious to change public opinion surrounding marriage. With strategy and proactive change, individual marital proponents like you and me can work together to repair relationships, educate couples and support families.
We start in our own home to change the world one marriage at a time, and families all over the world have begun making changes for a better future. We encourage our spouse and plant hope when we choose to express gratitude and thankfulness rather than dwell on criticisms. Instead of running from conflict, we seek professional assistance for marital challenges and disagreements. When we remain faithful and committed to our spouse, we provide a loving, secure home in which our children thrive. By sharing our triumphs and struggles with other couples, we support their decision to stay together and offer hope as they begin the process of therapeutic healing. With pre-marital counseling, we engage couples to work through issues and remain committed to their spouse even before their wedding day.
Ask yourself the following questions. Can we create a new reality? Can we utilize collective conscious to affect the next generation in our lifetime? Can we completely reverse the current statistical rate? How long would it take? Can you envision a society where the divorce rate falls to 25% or even 10%? Are we willing to try? What will our legacy be?
One relationship at a time, we show society that marital bliss does exist and that two imperfect people can create a peaceful, compromising and positive home atmosphere. Each marriage advocate can take a stand today to create a marital revolution and change society’s viewpoint. My website, thebizofmarriage.com, offers more information and encouragement as you seek to rebuild the marital relationship and family unit. Your marriage, your children and your grandchildren will thank you for your time, investment and effort to make society and the world a safe, stable place where marriage is sacred and permanent and children flourish under the love of a faithful, committed husband and wife.