BFF: The Simplest Way to Prevent Divorce

Last week, I wrote an article about the 25 most shocking statistics about marriage and divorce.  Most of those that read the article felt that I took a very pessimistic approach when looking at marriage and family, and that I analyzed the glass empty.

However I feel that in order to completely and successfully indulge in the joys of marriage, one must first understand its pitfalls; more importantly, we should learn and know how to avoid them.

First, I’ll address the obvious.  Here are simple ways to prevent some of the perils of divorce based on the statistics given last week:

  • 60% of couples aged 20-25 get divorced = Don’t get married until you’re in your mid to late 20’s
  • Divorce is more likely if 1 partner smokes and the other doesn’t = marry someone who smokes if you do, and don’t if you don’t
  • Woman who marry younger guys are more likely to divorce = ladies, only date older guys!
  • Living together increases your chances of divorce = don’t live with your partner before marriage
  • Divorce rate is lower for couples that have children = when you get married, try to have kids
  • The Bible belt states and southern states have the highest marriage and divorce rate = don’t get married just because you are pressured to do so by societal or cultural influences, or because your friends are

Sounds easy enough right?  Doing these things are an assured preventative measure for what could potentially be a broke union.  However, there is still one thing that you can do that can nearly guarantee a blissful long-lasting marriage:  friendship.

Sounds simply enough, but few married couples (or those soon to be married) truly implement this concept.  The idea simple: marry your best friend.  Most of the reasons that divorce happens is because, after you get married, something changes.  Maybe its something minor, perhaps something significant.  But in the relationship, something new occurs (or something stop occurring) that did not before.

Think about it.  If you live in a red state, you are 27 percent more likely to get divorced than if you lived in a blue state.  This is because conservative couples have more demands of their spouses upon marriage than their liberal counterparts, and marital obligation seems to be in the forefront of their relationship.  Another example: couples who argue about finances once a week are more likely to divorce.  In marriage, joint financial accounts cause dissonance and disagreements simply because couples argue over how money is spent.  Such argues don’t exist when two people are single and spend their money freely and independently.

So, to mitigate this, let your spouse be themselves, just as your best friend would.  Statistics show that 68% of Americans remain lifelong friends with their best friends (that’s 18% greater than the successful marriage statistic).  Since friendships seem to last forever, why not embed it into marriage?

So ladies, if your man likes to come home from work a play an hour of Call of Duty everyday without interruption, let him do it.  If he likes eating red meat and premade dinner plates chalk full of preservatives and processed ingredients, don’t give him any beef about it (no pun intended).  Would you force organic food down your best friends mouth and tell him/her to stop having doing an activity they love?  Surely not.

Fellas, if your woman likes watching Real Housewives of Atlanta marathons for hours on end, don’t trip.  Or if you know her favorite hobby is yoga and she got you to be an active participant before marriage, don’t stop now champ.  Let her be her.

All and all, just let your partner be who they are.  However you treat your best friend should be how you treat your spouse.  After all, the Bible does say the no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend (not wife or child).  Friendship, then, is the greatest love of all, and marriage should exemplify perfect friendship without infusing dismaying relationship requirements.  For it is these new obligations and forced change of behaviors that are the driving forces behind couples splitting or living in an unhappy marriage.

-Deshawn (@ShonJay714)

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    • marcus
      August 7, 2013

      Without dipping back into the conversation from last week, I’ll simply say that there is one big reason that the “Best Friendship/Marriage” argument is flawed…SEX!
      You don’t have a sexual relationship w/your best friend, so you can’t compare the friendship rate with the divorce rate. I don’t know the numbers, but I would guarantee that the sexual part of marriage plays a part in the divorce rate. Just my thoughts though…

    • Erik
      August 8, 2013

      Yeah, we gotta do a podcast about this. It’s hard for me to believe that having a successful marriage can be this simple when so many people fail at it. Marry your best friend sounds good, but what’s really the alternative to that? It’s not like people are just going out marrying people that they may only kinda like. My guess is that most people marry their best friend, or at least their best friend at that time. The truth is that none of us here can truly speak to what makes a succesful marriage except Marcus. The other three of us really have no idea. We can make guesses, but that’s it.


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