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Staying married is typically the best financial decision you can make, and divorcing the worst.

Mark Levitt
By Mark Levitt

This article appeared originally in the March 2013 Levitt Letter.

Staying married is typically the best financial decision you can make, and divorcing the worst. Seventy percent of people who divorce regret doing so. With all that marriage has to offer—including the romantic and spiritual echoes of Yeshua’s soon union with the Church—are the stewardship aspects of wedlock beside the point? No.

Please accept the following from a pragmatist who impersonates a romanticist because it pays. In the months to come, Zola Levitt Presents will feature highlights from the marriage seminar Myles and Katharine have perfected and taught for decades. Though I’ve been married for 24 years (now with three kids in college), I expect to learn plenty from those TV programs.

Nonetheless, as a new empty nester, I stumbled upon a news article that should inspire beaucoups spouses to invest themselves anew in wedlock. Personal Finance columnist Pamela Yip recently wrote, “Senior Splits: Age-related money matters pop up as divorce rises among couples 50 and older.” Here are some highlights:

  • The divorce rate among adults age 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010. Roughly 1 in 4 divorces in 2010 occurred to people age 50 and older.
  • The United States has the highest divorce rate in the world, with roughly 45 percent of marriages expected to end in divorce.
  • A growing number of older adults will experience divorce because remarriages are more likely than first marriages to end through divorce.

The article’s key pointers:

  • The biggest one: Never, ever, put your relationship on automatic pilot.
  • Take care of this relationship, and it will take care of you.
  • Both people need to make it more of a celebration of what you enjoy.
  • Couples must clearly articulate to each other their emotional needs and be specific about them.

And here’s my personal favorite, from clinical psychologist Paul K. Chafetz: “In marriage, to be content at all, each party has to continually keep a positive balance in the ‘goodwill account’ that each person has in the other person’s heart. Every time I’m good to my spouse, I’m making a deposit and my balance there goes up. Whenever … I’m mean or neglectful or make a mistake, say harsh words, I make a withdrawal and my balance goes down.” Yip concluded that the key is to not “overdraw” that account.

God, of course, gives us carte blanche on grace. Consider, however, the patience and forbearance He’s had to have with Israel and the Church. As we Believers become sanctified, it is inevitable that we give our spouses the better end of the stick, just as God does us.

Well said, Mark. We were delighted to present “From This Day Forward,” our marriage seminar at the recent Future Congress conference in Dallas. What could be more prophetic than staying together and looking forward to the “Wedding in the Sky” with Yeshua? —Myles

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