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…



Larry Cornett, Ph.D.

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