Lessons from 30 Years of Marriage

Even a stubborn old dog eventually learns something

Larry Cornett, Ph.D.
11 min readFeb 24, 2021


Larry and Nicole eating wedding cake
Where it began

Divorce rates spiked globally during the pandemic last year. Legal firms saw dramatic increases in divorce research and applications. There was a 57% increase in divorce agreement sales just three weeks after quarantines began!

A sobering statistic is the percentage of marriages that will end in divorce:

  • First Marriages: 42–45%
  • Second Marriages: 60%
  • Third Marriages: 73%

Many of us older folks — Gen X here — grew up assuming that we would get married someday. But, the marriage rate in the U.S. has been declining since 1982. In 2018, marriages hit a historic low.

People are also waiting longer before getting married. The median age at first marriage is now around 30 for men (I was 24) and 28 for women. I’m sure the pandemic isn’t helping things!

Frankly, I’m not surprised that so many marriages fail. I blame it on the many misconceptions about love, relationships, and marriage.

The fairytale stories in books and movies don’t prepare us for the reality of a long-term marriage. Not nearly enough people are sharing how hard it is to maintain a lasting relationship.

Few are telling the truth about what it’s really like. Instead, people have rosy visions in their heads and unrealistic expectations of bliss and perfection.

We met over 31 years ago

It was the winter break before my last semester in college. My friend and I had been barhopping on a cold winter evening, and we were about to call it a night. Someone told us about a big party at some house, so we decided to check it out.

The place was packed. I stood with my friend on one side of a huge living room full of people dancing, laughing, talking, and drinking. There was a keg somewhere.

A beautiful young lady caught my eye on the other side of the room. I kept looking at her, and it seemed like she was looking at me, but I wasn’t sure. I smiled at her, and she smiled back.



Larry Cornett, Ph.D.

I'm a Freedom Coach who works with you to optimize your professional career, lifestyle business, & personal life. Become Invincible!