Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad

Five out of six is even better. But somehow, when it comes to marriage and divorce, we don't think so. Along with many others I have been married twice, my first attempt to stay married ending in divorce. My second marriage in 1983 is still going strong and I'm sure only the old Grim Reaper will bring us down.

I believe that as many as one in three first marriages, and about a half of second marriages, end in divorce. Not nice. Divorce I mean. Especially for the kids. But the statistics are really quite impressive when you think about it. What they add up to is this; that, in spite of all the known difficulties and distractions, around five out of six people who choose to get married have within the first two attempts found a partner for life. I ask you, how many of life's other great matters do we get right, or right enough, by only our second attempt?

Actually I think it's even more surprising, given that, if you are a church member, and even more if you are/were an Anglican priest, there are so many with an active interest in your second marriage coming to grief. It's hard enough dealing with the negative feelings of those who have an interest in the previous arrangement, but when dear old Mother Church is secretly hoping that the new relationship goes belly-up to expose to the world the error of your ways, the odds against you are piled even higher.

So five out of six or thereabouts turns out to be a resounding vote of faith and confidence in God's great gift of matrimony.

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