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Saturday, July 28, 2012

What Makes Marriages Work?

Two are better than one... and a three-fold cord is not easily broken.
The Book of Ecclesiastes

According to a Huffington Post piece by Cornell University Prof Karl Pillemer, there is still hope for the future of marriage, in spite of the fact that fewer people are marrying and divorce rates remain distressingly high.

Over 90% of high school seniors, he notes, say they plan to marry, and a majority of people still believe marriage offers a host of benefits.

So why do so many relationships turn sour?

As a part of the Legacy Project, Pillemer interviewed people who had been happily married for more than 30 years and came up with the following factors associated with marital success.

1) Marry someone a lot like you, especially when it comes to basic values. Opposites may attract, but tend not to make for great and lasting marriages.

2) Don’t expect your partner to change after marriage.  If by chance some changes do happen that you see as positive, be grateful, but don’t count on them.

3) See friendship as being as important as romantic love. When asked, "What's the secret to a long, happy marriage?" a common answer was, "I married my best friend." Similarly, from those whose marriages did not succeed, many said, "We were good at love, but we never learned how to be friends."

One 87-year old advised, "Think back to the playground when you were a child. Your spouse should be that other kid you would most like to be with."
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