In “Will Your Marriage Last?” Aviva Patz utilizes the PAIR Project study to provide education on how and why marriages succeed or fail. The findings of the PAIR Project, which followed 168 couples from their wedding day through the next 13 years, revealed four main findings about the early stages of marital distress and perhaps the most important finding is: it is the loss of love and affection that throws couples into divorce, not conflict and interpersonal issues. According to the study the first two years of a couples married life are key. The changes that happen in those first two years are crucial turning points about whether the marriage is on its way to divorce or success. The best marriages start with happiness and love and these feelings remain consistent over time, which was the major factor between divorce and staying married – the amount of change and stability in the relationship over the first two years. Patz informs us of the two models for marriage, the “disillusionment” model and the “enduring dynamics” model. The disillusionment model describes marriages that fail; couples date for a short amount of time, ignoring each others shortcomings and after they are married things come out and the rosy picture of marriage they made falls through. The enduring dynamics model fits those who stay married; couples establish patterns early and keep them up over time, creating stability. They have also dated for a long time and have a relationship built on trust and honesty. Patz concludes her piece by stating that the responsibility for all of the failed marriages falls on society. And that today’s culture puts to much pressure on marriage.
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