Jan 26, 2010

Turbulence after tying the knot

by Brittany Barclay

The image of the “perfect wedding” plays through girls dreams over and over again, to the point where young women know exactly what they want for their wedding before even meeting a potential husband.

But what’s wrong with daydreaming? I cannot lie and say I never thought about what my own dream wedding would be like. But in the United States, many of these dreams have turned into nightmares, as divorce rates have reached new high levels.

Staggering statistics found that in 2009, 3.5 out of 7.1 marriages ended in divorce, according to CBS — a marital failure rate of 49 percent. Also it was found that 43 percent of first marriages end in divorce within the first 15 years, according to Online Divorce Tips.

There are many factors behinds these divorce figures haunting marriages within the United States. First, and most obvious, is the current economy. In today’s slumping society, money is tight and couples fight.

Young marriages are key points in this issue. The average age for a married couple is 25.8 years old, according to the National Census Bureau. If one goes through a four-year program at college, one can assume that by this age, the person has only been out of college for a few years when they get married. This means that many newly-weds are at the point in their careers where they will be making the least amount of money.

The average income for students graduating from college is only $34,100, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. But that is only if one can secure a job in today’s troubled economy. To add additional financial-stress, the majority of college students have outstanding loans looming.

But it is not only financial burdens that are contributing to the overwhelming divorce statistics in the United States. When couples are young and married, issues arise and due to the lack of maturity and selfishness, couples fight and end it barely after starting. This is particularly prominent in young adults, and some older teens, who often feel compelled to marry, before even realizing the basic lack of maturity one has in their early twenties.

With the facts there, the solution is simple. Christians believe marriage to be bond that cannot be broken, so why rush the issue? There are many options for young couples to consider before tying the know, such as pre-marital counseling for both their relationship and finances. This will ensure that couples at least know what they are getting themselves into before charging the altar.

The fact of marriage should not be forced — it should be treated with extreme care. Let us change the pace of society and make marriage what it should be so someday the words “Until death do us part” are taken literally, instead of figuratively.

Contact Brittany Barclay at

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