Feldhahn has recently released her findings in the book, The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths About Marriage And Divorce. She has admitted that in speaking engagements she has cited the discouraging “facts” about marriage. She now knows those “facts” are wrong. Her research revealed that in fact, contrary to “conventional wisdom,” only about 20 to 25% of first time marriages ended in divorce. It turns out that the 50% figure came from projections of what researchers thought the divorce rate would become as they saw numbers skyrocketing in the 1970’s and early 80’s. But in fact the divorce rate at its peak never got close to that 50% figure and it has been dropping for some time. Another important revelation is that close to 80% of married couples rate their relationship as happy.
We hear plenty of bad news. I suspect that often Christian speakers and writers jump all over gloomy statistics as a way to incite their audiences to heed their instruction lest they become part of that flood of bad news. So it is encouraging to hear that not all the news is bad. It helps me to hear that marriage is alive and well in this country. It is especially encouraging to learn that while we all know that we believers in Jesus are very human and very flawed, our faith does make a difference. It is quite real, and that reality is reflected in the facts of the statistics about marriage.