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For week ended January 31, 1999 Posted 2 Feb 1999
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Making a marriage last: Temple marriages are among those that end in a courtroom

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 national average.

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 Communication.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information