I really hate to do this, especially after yesterday’s article, but believe it or not, Statistics Canada just released a study. It is the latest one (sorry) and it deals with the institution of marriage. It seems that it isn’t in the dire straits that the ‘other’ crowd would have you believe it is.

Statistics Canada looked at Canadians who had been married at some point in their lives as of 2001. The sample group size was 16.6 million people aged 25 and over. The results are not only surprising, but indeed promising. It appears as though the mainstream of Hollywood movies does not reflect Canadian society after all.

The study indicated that a vast majority of people who were or had been married as of 2001 had only been married once. 89 percent, or nearly 14.8 million people had been married only one time. For those who felt the urge to tie the knot a second time, that number fell to 1.7 million, or roughly 10 percent of the study group. That left only a small fraction, or 1 percent, who were ‘serial’ marriage material.

I find a study that is in support of marriage to be a refreshing change to all of the negativity that many groups feel the need to associate the institution with. It is a worthy endeavor and is the basis of our society’s longevity and continuity.

Statistics Canada also found that there were several factors that increased the chance for a marriage’s ultimate success or failure. They were listed as the age of those exchanging vows, the length of the matrimonial relationship, and the attitude of the participants. It goes without saying that maturity is a prerequisite, but the most important component is the last one Stats Can listed, the attitude of those purporting to love one another.

When our young people get married today, they must have a solid goal in mind. They must be of one spirit and heading in the same direction. They must have an understanding of how they will earn and spend their money, how they will train their children, if they will have any and how many, and in what faith, if any, they will bring up their heritage. Of utmost importance is the realization that if one can learn to be selfless and serve the other, then their marriage will survive almost every obstacle that the world and other entities would see fit to place in its path.

They need to have the attitude at the outset that failure is not an option. Good advice such as communicating and never, ever going to bed angry are also likely to extend their relationship.

The study was quite consistent for generations until the group being looked at hit the 1980’s and 1990’s. The study cited the tumultuous social upheavals during that time as the cause of a marked increase in marriage failure.

If you were born in the late 60’s or before, you will know exactly what precipitated that period. A move for gender equality and a growing disdain by several groups for the traditional form of family, with the man as the breadwinner and the woman as nurturer, led to an increase in the women’s liberation movement.

Such groups as the National Organization for Women sprang up during that time, and were able to convince a large segment of our young women in post-secondary institutions and beyond that they were worth more than being ‘slaves of men’ and ‘nannies for the next generation’. Many young women became disillusioned and rebelled against the traditional role of women in our society.

The end result was social chaos and a large jump in the number of dysfunctional homes as women sought to redefine themselves and as men found their traditional role being altered forever.

It is worth noting that after 20 years of fighting the norms of society that many successful women today are openly discussing their disillusionment of the women’s lib movement and are returning to the role as nurturer and are now choosing to stay home and are openly telling their daughters that their own children are the most important job that they will ever have.

Perhaps marriage is receiving a new lease on life.

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