The Words of the Wetzstein Family
Social science research and America's leading marriage experts say...
1. In the beginning...
Don't marry too young. More than two-thirds of teenage marriages end in divorce. It's much better to wait until you are in your 20s.
2. Finish High School.
Couples who finish high school are more likely to have fulfilling long marriages.
3. For the engagement...
Choose a mate with similar values. Couples who share similar values, religious backgrounds and goals have greater chances of success. Marriage is a team effort. You both need to be headed in the same direction to achieve your goals.
4. Take your time.
Couples who date (are engaged) for at least one year before marriage are more likely to have successful marriages.
5. Take a Marriage or Relationships Course.
Couples who complete a premarital course learn skills that help them communicate better, resolve conflict more effectively and improve marital satisfaction. Five years later, they are more likely to be happy and together.
6. Don't live together before marriage.
Contrary to popular opinion, living together (cohabiting) before marriage actually decreases your chance for a successful marriage. Couples who cohabit are often less committed to marriage, less satisfied in their relationships and more likely to divorce if they do marry.
7. After marriage...
Emphasize the positive: In healthy marriages, spouses give each other four times more positive comments than negative (critical) ones.
8. Share the work.
Couples in healthy marriages share household duties and child care. Men, this one is for you.
9. Worship together.
Couples who actively participate in a local congregation have higher rates of marital satisfaction and are less likely to divorce.
10. Have fun.
Couples in healthy marriages spend time with each other in conversation, fun and relaxation.
11. Remember the "C" word.
Commitment is the foundation for successful marriage. When you say, "I do," say it for life and mean it.
12. Honor a couple's honeymoon period.
The first 18 months of a new marriage are a foundation time when powerful emotions and conjugal love bind a young couple deeply together. These same bonds sustain the couple later, during stressful and unhappy times. Only extreme necessity (e.g. combat duty or severe family crisis) should be allowed to delay a married couple's conjugal life. Couples in college should seek married housing on campus or similar accommodations off campus with family or married friends.
Above is distilled wisdom on the ingredients for a successful and long-lasting marriage from a Michigan Community Marriage Policy. The first 11 points are supported by social science research and/or America's leading marriage experts. We have added the 12th point about the importance of the honeymoon period. May God guide us all in our decisions.
Sincerely, Mr. and Mrs. Doug Wetzstein
2075 Couple Blessing.