Marriage: Happy or Hard?

If we asked YOU, “What percentage of couples are happy in their marriage today?” What would YOU say? Most people guess in the 30-40% range. Here is some good news for YOU!

In a new book, The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce, Shaunti Feldhahn shares that most marriages are happy not hard. “Most married people today enjoy being married to their spouse and, given the chance, would do it all over again.” In her research, she found that 71% of married couples are happy, including one-third being highly happy.

“Well,” YOU say, “what about Oklahoma? What about other research?” Even though Oklahoma has one of the higher divorce rates in the country, 68% of Oklahomans say that they are “very happy” in their marriage. Another 29% are “pretty happy.” Only 3% are “not too happy!” [survey in 2001 by Scott Stanley for the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative]

Does that surprise you? Does that give you hope? What difference does it make if you are not one of the happy ones? The numbers show us that it is very common for people to be happy. If that many people are happy, my marriage can be happy too! Is marriage hard work? Yes, we often have to work hard but we can also have fun in marriage. “May you rejoice in the wife of your youth.” (Proverbs 5:18) “Enjoy life with your wife.” (Ecclesiastes 9:9)

Happiness is not the goal of marriage - honoring and glorifying God with our marriage is the goal. Our marriages are to reflect the relationship between Christ and the church. Certainly, enjoying our marriage would be part of that picture.