In this post we want to encourage you to beat the statistics in your marriage and give you some tools to help you have a great marriage that lasts a lifetime!
Every man knows statistics. When I even mention the term ‘stats’ a myriad of things come to your mind. What is your favorite sports team’s win-loss record? What was the score in their last game? What about stats and percentages of individual players? You know all of these and you cheer for your team by them. I don’t know your team’s stats like you do—but we are all too familiar with the statistics we fight against everyday; stats like the percentage of couples that get divorced or even the couples that never get married in the first place because of their fear of divorce.
The facts are stark: The chance of a first marriage ending in divorce over a 40-year period is 67% and half of all divorces will occur in the first seven years. And when it comes to second marriages, some studies find the divorce rate is as much as 10% higher than it is for first marriages. (Source: John Gottman, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (New York: Three Rivers Publishing, 1999): 4)
Your marriage can beat these odds! You can experience a truly great marriage for a lifetime. We coach couples on the 6 Secrets to a Lasting Love and we believe that in order to truly stay on top of these stats, you need to put all six into practice. Here is an overview of each of them.
Secret 1: Forgiving Love. A Forgiving Love heals hurts and helps spouses feel accepted and connected. It means dealing with any hurt and anger you may have and choosing to resolve the conflict or issue.
Secret 2: Serving Love. A Serving Love discovers and meets needs and helps spouses feel honored and understood. You first have to find out what your spouse’s needs are, and then honor them by meeting those needs. When a husband and wife are meeting each other’s needs in this way, there’s no room for selfishness…and there’s no need for it because your needs are being met.
Secret 3: Persevering Love. A Persevering Love stays strong in tough times and helps spouses feel bonded—best friends for life. Tough times will come in your life and in your marriage. But by committing to persevere through those times together you will experience a deeper love than you can imagine…a love where you know your spouse is with you no matter what.
Secret 4: Guarding Love. A Guarding Love protects from threats and helps spouses feel safe and secure. Every great marriage has a wall of protection built around it to ensure that the marriage will be strong against attacks from outside pressures and relationships.
Secret 5: Celebrating Love. A Celebrating Love rejoices in the marriage relationship and helps spouses feel cherished and captivated. This is the fun part of marriage—keeping the friendship, romance, and chemistry alive.
Secret 6: Renewing Love. A Renewing Love refreshes and supports the marriage bond and helps spouses feel confident and rooted. This is the commitment that keeps spouses together…no matter what. At the heart of Renewing Love is the continually reaffirmed commitment to the permanency of marriage—to love to the utmost of your ability and never to leave.
Here’s the drill. Begin working on these secrets by reviewing them and choosing the two that you will commit to working on in your marriage over the next week. You may choose Forgiving and Celebrating, for instance. For Forgiving you could choose to resolve a conflict you and your spouse have been having. Then to concentrate on Celebrating Love, go on a date with your spouse and do something special and meaningful together.
We pray you’ll choose to focus on these secrets in your marriage, grow stronger and beat the odds together!