Does faith predict marital success?

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2024 | Family Law |

Statistically-speaking, two spouses who are strong believers in whatever religion they follow have an advantage in marriage over those who don’t consider themselves particularly “religious” as well as over interfaith couples where spouses follow different religions. Studies have found that these couples who share a strong faith generally report greater satisfaction in their marriages.

Of course, sharing a strong faith doesn’t guarantee a long marriage – and certainly not a happy one. That faith can, however, be a powerful tool in helping couples weather the challenges that all marriages face at times. It can help them put things in perspective because they believe in something greater than themselves.

Shared values and goals

One advantage of having a strong shared faith is that it typically means a couple has shared values and goals. While they may disagree and even fight over how to go about achieving those goals and the million little things that make up daily life, they are more likely to put those in perspective and deal with the world as a united front.

For example, “Duck Dynasty” couple Korie and Willie Robertson say their faith is at the heart of their three-decade marriage. Korie says when things have been tough, “we’ve somehow turned back to one another, turned back to God. And rather than quitting, we just stuck it out and stayed together.”

When can someone’s faith be harmful to their spouse and their marriage?

A strong religious faith isn’t always a completely healthy thing either for an individual or a marriage. If it leads to shame or blame, it can hurt a marriage. If others within your faith are telling you how to behave in your marriage, that can be harmful as well. If you’re staying in an abusive or even an unhappy marriage because you think it’s expected of you, that’s not healthy.

Certainly, the difficult choice to separate or divorce is not a reflection on anyone’s faith. Sometimes, marriages become irretrievably broken. In many cases, staying married isn’t good for one or both spouses – or for their children, regardless of their beliefs. A divorce doesn’t have to be bitter and combative. A good first step to navigating divorce is to get sound legal guidance.

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