by Sylvia Ford-George
Most little girls dream about their wedding day—from the man, to the venue, to the menu, to the cake, to the dress, and the shoes, and the guests. Sometimes life happens and the reality ends up nothing like the dream. But what does the dream matter if you get the guy…right? But what if marriage itself becomes an unrealized reality?
Recently there’s been a lot of talk about marriage becoming a dying institution, with folks likening it to rotary phones, big-box TV’s and 8-tracks. But I find it hard to consider something “dead or dying” that produces 2.5 million weddings a year, worth $72 billion, plus $19 billion on wedding registry gifts, and another $8 billion on honeymoons. That’s not dying, that’s thriving.
Yes, people are getting married later in life – age 25.8 for women and 28.3 for men compared to 1960 when it was 20 and 23 respectively. And yes, these days only 51% of American adults are married compared to 92% in 1920. And yes, unmarried cohabitation is more acceptable today. And yes, Washington DC has the lowest marriage rate in the nation. But statistics show younger people expect marriages to last a lifetime. Married people are healthier and live longer than singles. And, marriage reduced criminal behavior in high-risk males by 35%.
Someone from Hollywood explained it best when they said the world revolves around what’s happening in La-La Land, and when all around you is prioritized for newer, brighter, prettier, younger, better—it becomes ingrained in your brain. You’re conditioned into believing that nothing will last, especially when it comes to relationships. So people are jaded and nurture all things non-permanent. It’s like a smartphone – the next one is always better. So why believe in marriage?
Yes, it’s said that newlyweds have a lower happiness score than couples married for a longer time. And yes, they say when a husband has a close relationship with his wife’s parents, the couples’ risk of divorce decreases 20%, but a wife’s close relationship with her husband’s parents increases the risk of divorce by 20%. And yes, only 60.7% of married women and 63.1% of married men classify their marriages as “very happy”. But 2.5 million couples believe marriage is well worth the dream, the effort and the cost. And that’s what I’m putting my money on.
They say men who kiss their wives in the morning live five years longer than those who don’t. Who knew a kiss could save a dying institution AND add years to your life.