When you think about marriage, the images that spring to mind are usually brides in white, churches, rings, house and two children, and the like. But one aspect of marriage is often overlooked and was brought to my attention the other day.
I was reading a document about the economic benefits of marriage, part of "The state of our unions 2006", a report published by the National Marriage Project, based at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. The aim of this report, released every year, is to educate people on the social, economic and cultural conditions affecting marital success and wellbeing in America. It is a great read, and full of lots of really great information about what is going on inside our families and marriages.
So in looking at marriages, we often overlook what wonderful wealth-generating institutions they really are. Married couples create more economic assets over a lifetime than single people or cohabiting couples. So why is that?
The first reason is that marriage provides economies of scale in the fact that it is cheaper for two to live together than it is separately. The second reason is that as a couple, each person can specialize in certain areas and in doing so increase efficiency.
Married couples on average save and invest more in their future to secure a stable lifestyle, and married men tend to earn between 10 and 40 percent more than their single counterparts.
In addition to this, married couples qualify for more government and workplace assistance in the form of maternity leave, subsidies, and tax relief as an incentive to build families and do their bit for population growth.
So if marriages are such wealth-creating units, what happens if couples divorce?
Things go downhill economically if a couple decides to end the marriage and divorce, and research has shown that divorce can increase child poverty which significantly increases the cost to society in the form of health and welfare programs and initiatives.
A lot of the information here may seem logical once you consider it, but the actual reading of the impact of marriage and divorce and its associated social benefits and costs makes for very interesting reading. The economics of it may not be interesting for some, but it is a worthwhile incentive in doing all you can to save marriages and decrease the risk of divorce.
The cost to you financially both in the immediate and long-term may come as a surprise. Equally, it may cause both of you to reconsider divorce and re-evaluate the worth of maintaining and saving your marriage.
It is one of many important factors to consider.
I was down at the grocery store last week, doing some shopping on my way home from work. Looking down at all the different types of cheese in the deli before me, my attention was directed toward bags of grated cheese. I was astounded!
And it made me wonder… If we are too lazy to even grate our own cheese, how bad have things become? Does this same paternalistic mentality over needing to buy cheese pre-grated follow into so many of our other facets of life? Can we buy houses that clean themselves, cars that drive themselves? It seems they are developing technology that wil enable us to have vacuum cleaners that operate themselves as well as self-drive cars. Thinking on to the next logical step from this, how much do we expect others to do for us? How little do we expect to do for ourselves?
I mean, if we can’t grate our own cheese, clean our own homes, drive ourselves about, then where do we take control of what is going on in our lives?
This mentality follows when it comes to your marriage. There is no product out there that is going to save your marriage for you. The act of buying a book is not going to magically turn your marriage problems around. Reading the book is not going to change your life either. Marriages involve work. Marriage problems require even more work, and a commitment that the effort you make and the heartache you go through in the process of fixing your marriage is going to be worth it. Reading about how to fix a marriage is not going to magically change your life either. This mentality is going to doom your marriage to the divorce basket.
What is going to make a difference is having the determination to read the concepts and techniques that we offer and applying them to your marriage. This also means getting off your backside and taking responsibility for saving your marriage. Because ultimately the effort you go to is going to determine to a large extent whether your marriage survives or not.
I never heard of a person learning to walk again achieve success by simply reading a book about it. I never heard of Christopher Columbus discovering America by buying a book about it and never setting out to sea. I never heard of man landing on the moon and attributing his success by watching a great documentary about it and never reaching space. I never heard of Edmund Hilary conquering Mount Everest by reading a magazine about how to do it and never leaving his armchair. Achieving success in any pursuit involves HARD WORK, it involves dedication, and it involves personal investment by the person with the greatest to gain.
There are no shortcuts. The people who achieve great things in life, sometimes against great odds, are those who are determined to succeed and determined to take action and do something. Others can provide you with the tools, but the hard work and the heartache and the achievement are ultimately your responsibility.
I cannot help those who will not help themselves. Next time you are at the supermarket, buy a block. Grate your own cheese. Clean your own floors, drive your own car. Save your own marriage with my course. Let me help you save your marriage.
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