feature image

How to Not Get Divorced

Survey data from 2,000 married men and women teaches us the secret to creating the relationship we all want.

picture quote


I’m getting married this week to the love of my life. From where I stand, on the cusp of committing my life to him, I’m optimistic that we’ll grow old together, still wonderfully in love at 80 years old. But I think some people with more experience in marriage (and divorce) might call my hope naive—a silly dream for the young and dumb. So I wonder, is it possible to maintain a love that’s romantic, exciting, passionate, fresh, and committed…forever?

According to a Wheatley Institute report titled “The Date Night Opportunity,” written by Brad Wilcox and Jeffrey Dew, “40 to 50 percent of married couples will dissolve their relationships.” That statistic is not very promising for someone pursuing a “happily ever after.” But the report also provides a glimmer of hope. Wilcox and Dew name three factors that significantly contribute to marital happiness: communication, sexual satisfaction, and commitment. When a couple puts effort into improving these three elements, the relationship is more likely to thrive.

Thriving sounds really wonderful, but trying to focus on three relationship elements at once sounds exhausting. And that’s where this report comes in clutch: it provides a singular solution proven to rally all three elements. The solution? The frequent date night. Data from the report shows that less than half of couples go on frequent dates (twice a month or more). Yet those who do go on dates are on average 20 percentage points more satisfied with their communication, their sexual experiences, and their commitment to each other. And ultimately, those who go on frequent dates are “14 percentage points more likely to report that divorce ‘[is] not at all likely’ in the future.”

So to answer my question? Forever love is possible, and romantics like me don’t have to be hopeless, as long as we’re willing to put in the time for a regular date night. 

Read Brad Wilcox and Jeffrey Dew’s full report “The Date Night Opportunity” to discover what else a frequent date night can do for a relationship. 

Source: Wheatley Institute 

—Jamie Kathryn LeSueur, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Watch this Wheatley Institute video series to hear marriage and family professor Jason S. Carroll answer questions about dating and marriage.

Read the Ensign article “Achieving Oneness in Marriage” by Alan J. Hawkins and Laura Waters Black for more action items to improve your relationship.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Each comment will be reviewed by a staff member before it will appear on the site. We reserve the right to not approve any comments that do not meet our community standards. View our community standards here.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *