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October 8, 2015
by Cecilia Durhman Moen , Emmetsburg News

Anniversaries, those days that acknowledge a special occurrence.

I think we should pay more attention to anniversaries and we should celebrate them larger that we currently do. With the passing of time I worry that we will see less anniversaries, especially the big ones. With the divorce rate being what it is, how many young people marrying today will celebrate 50 or 65 years together as husband and wife?

In 1996, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 52% of currently married couples had reached at least their 15th anniversary. Only 5% reached their 50th anniversary.

The Nation Center for Health Statistics commented that 2/3 of marriages last at least 10 years and 50% make it to 20 years.

I've been part of those statistics. I seem to be that statistical generation. My parents were married in 1956 and their marriage is still going strong, I'm happy to report. But their children have not faired as well. I'm hoping that somehow my children's generation are making the necessary changes to turn these statistics around.

Numbers show that you're more likely to remain married if you have a higher education and you wait until you're older to marry. 78% of women with college degrees are married more than 10 years. Only 54% of women with high school diplomas can say that. Meanwhile, 76% of women who are 26 years or older when they marry remain married more than 10 years, while 54% of women married before the age of 20 will do the same.

Well, numbers can say a lot of things but I'll tell you, my parents were young and not educated much beyond high school when they were married. Their marriage was beset with the trials of a young couple, in the military, far from home and during the Vietnam war. And their marriage still survived, against all odds is seems.

What I do know for sure is that one day this summer I joined with family and friends at the home of John and Jan Schad as they celebrated their 50th anniversary. The day was sunny, though it threatened rain, and it was humid. We sat on chairs in the lawn under the shade of beautiful trees and lovely white tents. We told stories and visited. The food and drinks were amazing. And the love was overflowing. And I wondered aloud at that event as to how many 50th anniversaries there would be a generation from now if the divorce rates continue to climb. I'm happy to say that people there voiced disagreement, with a strong belief that marriages would work out and hold together. They gave me hope that sanguine day that statistics are not all they're cracked up to be...and I am happy about that!



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