Social researcher and author Shaunti Feldhahn in her latest book The Good News About Marriage presents evidence and strong arguments against many of the popular myths about marriage and divorce.
In a recent interview with Christian Post she says “I started learning just how much of our discouraging conventional wisdom about marriage and divorce was wrong – and how much it was killing marriages.
In all my own research with individuals and couples for my books like For Women Only I kept seeing that whether a couple “made it through” a tough time was directly tied to whether they had a sense of hope or a sense of futility. If someone thought, “We’re going to make it,” it was a completely different situation than once they started to think, “This is never going to get better.” So the sense of futility was killing marriages – and yet, I noticed, we have a culture-wide feeling of futility about marriage. Everyone thinks of marriage as being “in trouble.” Everyone just knows that “fifty percent of marriages have ended in divorce.” Everyone just knows that “the rate of divorce is the same in the church as it is outside the church.” Everyone who has ever been divorced just knows that “60 percent of second marriages don’t make it.”
And yet I started coming across all this data that seemed to completely contradict the conventional wisdom. Like that according to 2009 Census Bureau numbers, 72% of people are still married to their first spouse – and the 28% who aren’t, includes people who were married for years until a spouse died!
When I would share some of those numbers with people, the reactions were sometimes dramatic. Standing in front of me, I saw the difference between being defeated and feeling hopeful. People were grasping the good news like a life-preserver! I felt like this study had to be done.