By Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D.
Although the marriage rate has been trending down since the 1970s, the majority of Americans are married at some point in their lives. While only about 51% of the population is currently married, 72% have been married at least once. Despite a discouraging divorce rate of almost 50%, despite the many reasonable reasons why marriage isn’t really necessary, people still marry and remarry and, sometimes, remarry again.
Why? Regardless of lots of good and many not-so-good reasons, getting married is a reflection of hope. On some level, those who marry hope for a long and happy partnership with someone they love who loves them back.
That hope isn’t misplaced. There are couples who stay happily married (at least most of the time) for decades. Such couples readily admit that it isn’t always smooth sailing. Life generally isn’t. Life that involves two people means twice as many opportunities for changes,…