If all there was to go on were sitcoms, movies, and mainstream editorials, we’d have to conclude that marriage is a direct path to misery, the “old ball and chain” that only ties us down, limits our freedom, and cramps our sexual fun. Many people now think of marriage less as “settling down” and more as “settling.” Young people are told, “You’ve got plenty of time, live a little, first,” as if life ends after the wedding.
The truth about marriage, however, is that it is, statistically, the single best predictor of long-term happiness. Making this even more important to understand is that for at least the last 20 years now, Americans have been steadily getting less happy.
In an age so defined by consumer choice and product reviews, it has become intuitive to embrace the “try before you buy” motto in most areas of life. For some decisions, however, those rules simply do not work. A growing body of research suggests that romantic relationships should not be approached in the same way as buying a new car or choosing a cellphone provider.
About 15 years ago, sociologists coined the term “abusive boyfriend syndrome” to describe the increased risk to children who live in homes with an unrelated adult. According to numerous studies, these children were much more likely to be abused or even killed than children who live at home with two biological or married parents. Because of these findings, domestic violence prevention programs routinely teach parents, especially vulnerable women, that the single highest risk factor that they or their children will be abused is whether they’re living with an unrelated, unmarried adult.
God designed family in a specific way. The biological reality, that one man and one woman are required to make a child, points to the social reality, which is that children do best with a mom and a dad. This neither makes abuse inevitable for children in other arrangements, nor does it suggest that biological parents never abuse. In fact, child abuse can become tragically epidemic within certain cultures and families.
George Strait and his wife were just kids when they ran off to elope, but 50 years later, wow! In a world where divorce is common, these two prove love can conquer. It's such an incredible story. The couple is still just as in love as the day they got hitched.