Summarized by Rosemary Pollock
Making a marriage last: Temple marriages are among those that end in a courtroom
Ricks Scroll 27Jan99
By Ben Munson: Scroll Staff
The United States Census Bureau is reporting that the divorce rate has
increased since l988, and that newly married couples face a 50 percent
chance of divorce, a rate up from the l988 studies that showed 43
percent. Yet, couples belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints have a 20 percent lower divorce rate than the current
Authors of Effective Mormon Families, William G. Dyer and Phillip R.
Kunz, report that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints who marry in the temple have a 6 percent divorce rate, about
one-sixth the national rate.
Brent Barlow, author of Just for Newlyweds, reports some discouraging
news. Eighty to eighty-five percent of divorced males do not provide
child support. Ironically, most divorces are caused by financial
struggles or disagreements. However, Barlow reports 93 percent of the
U.S. population will marry sometime in life, but if the national trend
continues, 60 percent of recent marriages will also end in divorce.
One-third of LDS homes that are headed up by females alone, live in
poverty. According to The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Latter-day Saints
are less active and committed to attending church, praying, paying
tithing and holding church callings after divorce. President Gordon B.
Hinckley has said, "Can we expect stability out of instability?"
D.H. Olsen and J. Defrain, authors of Marriage and the Family, have
some ways to invite stability and encourage success in marriage. "When
one marriage partner does something positive for the other, the other
will respond positively in return."
"The Family: A Proclamation to the World." states, "Successful
marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of
faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work
and wholesome recreational activities." Advice abounds with "Don't marry
too young, Marry someone more similar to you than different. Marry
someone with the same personality." "Opposites might attract, but they
don't make good marriages," said Nancy Ahlander of the Ricks College
social sciences department.
Dr. James C. Dobsdon, author of Love for a Lifetime: Building a
Marriage That Will Go the Distance, suggests questions that engaged
couples should discuss in the presence of a counselor. 1. Where will
the couple live after getting married? 2. Will the bride work? 3. Are
children planned? 4. How many will there be, how soon, and how far
apart? 5. Will the wife return to work after babies arrive? 6. How will
the children be disciplined? Fed? Trained? 7. How will marriage roles
vary? 8. How will each partner respond to in-laws? 9. Where will major
holidays be spent? 10. How will financial decisions be made? 11. Where
does each partner stand on loans and credits?
Premarital conseling gives marriages a 75 percent chance of survival
during the first five years, accoriding to the Center of Marital and
Family Studies. "Conflict is a normal part of the process in which
people define and redefine the nature of their relationship....Conflict
is not an aberration, but a natural and predictable consequence of
people in ongoing relationships spending time with each other," say
Michael D. Scott and Steven R. Brydon, authors of Dimensions of