Do you know someone who is divorced?
Divorce is one of the most life-altering, emotionally-taxing experiences that a person will ever face, only second to the death of a close loved one. And with the divorce rate in this country, which, depending on what statistics you look at, ranges from forty to fifty percent for first marriages and even higher for subsequent marriages, it is virtually impossible not to know someone who has gone through this experience.
Countless articles discuss how to “divorce proof” your marriage, but many of them fail to address the point I want to share with you today—patterns.
From the ages of fifteen to twenty-five, the brain is going through a maturation process, and during this time, whatever habits a person has gain permanence. This is true even in relationships.
God designed marriage to be between one man and one woman for life. Once married, the husband and wife could begin living together and engage in a sexual relationship. Today, however, our culture reserves nothing to distinguish marriage from dating, and it is causing major problems.
Instead of choosing God’s design, many people are choosing the pattern of engaging in a sexual dating relationship from the time they are around seventeen years old. Then, after leaving home, they cohabitate with each future partner and continue having sex in each relationship.
After a while, they have trained their brain that relationships go like this:
- Have sex*
- “Fall in love”
- Move in together
- Live this way for a set period of time (let’s say a year)
- Feelings fade
- Move out
*(If you read the current statistics, many in the millennial generation have sex before the first date, so that is why it is second and comes before “falling in love.”)
This pattern can cause major damage when this person meets “the one.”
After finding “the one” and getting married, the pattern they have established for relationships continue. Soon, when the one year mark hits, they find themselves itching to get out of the relationship and cannot seem to figure out why they are unhappy.
It’s because they have trained their brain that after a year, it’s time to break up and move on. There is nothing different about this relationship, at least to the brain, than any other relationship before it.
Set Yourself Up for Success
To give yourself the best possible setup for your future marriage, it’s imperative that you follow God’s plan for relationships and not the world’s.
I want to add that there are many people, Christians included, that did not live together or have sex before they married, but their marriages still ended in divorce. So following God’s pattern is not a promise of success, but just knowing about patterns and habits could help your future marriage stay healthy and on track.
Setting up healthy relationship patterns is crucial to a successful adult life. Are you setting up healthy relationship patterns?
Are there other helpful pieces of marriage advice you’ve heard?
Let us know below!