Elk Valley Times

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As divorce rate soars, families seek help

Posted on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the marriage rate per 1,000 in population in the United States is currently at 6.8, whereas the divorce rate per 1000 in population is 3.4. Do the math: Half of the country’s marriages are ending in divorce.

In recent years, the divorce rate among baby boomers has nearly doubled, according to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University. This trend has even earned its own name: gray divorce, which describes divorcing later in life.

Asia, Europe and the Middle Eastern countries have seen rising trends of divorce as well. In Hong Kong, the number of single parents has risen 30 percent in the last 10 years. In Dubai, the high divorce rate has its Ministry of Social Affairs investigating the reasons behind couples divorcing.

If these trends continue, it is likely that marriages that last would become more of a rarity than marriages that break up.

Hellen Chen is an author who has dealt with men and women who have given up on relationships because of past failures. …

A couple counseled by Chen, Lily and Jeff, have been quarreling over their difference in habits and what they like to do together.

After getting Chen’s advice, wife Lily realized, “I have thought about ‘doing things together’ as the most important part as a couple. But when Jeff does not wish to go with me to do, for example, shopping, I see him as uncaring. But that is wrong thinking. He simply does not care for certain activities which I like, but there is nothing wrong about the love he has for me.”

Chen said, “My own husband likes to go out into the sun. I prefer to stay indoors. His eating habits are very different than mine. So what is the rule? No rule. We do what we each like. And still find plenty of ways to love each other.”

“There is no rule in love,” Chen says.

How about the common “must-have’s” when looking for a marital partner? …

Looking at Chen’s insight … an adaptation of a popular quote by John F. Kennedy might apply to marriage: “Ask not what the other partner can do for you, ask what you can do for your partner and ask how you can improve yourself at the same time.”

-The Times and Democrat, Orangeburg, S.C.