By Frosty Wooldridge

October 31, 2022

1. Why marriages go wrong. How to change marriages toward successful relationships. Simple steps to secure a solid relationship before the wedding vows.

The breakdown of marriages in America must be one of our saddest tragedies in the 21st century.  One out of two ends up in divorce.  Dissolution of a marriage rips the structure and foundation out from under the children.  They suffer an emotional trauma that lasts a lifetime.  Sometimes it’s amicable between the parents; at other times, it’s vicious.  Either way, the children are torn between one parent and the other.  They no longer come home from school to a balanced house.

Fathers become weekend visitors. Mothers become emotional wrecks. Stress transfers to the kids.  Nobody feels happy; everyone feels confused.  Divorces wreck the foundation of America’s basic unit: the family.

Why such high divorce rates?  Why such incompatibilities?  How can couples prevent a 50 percent failure rate?  What kind of educational understandings can we teach young people so they might enter into a successful relationship…not just a few years…but for a lifetime?

This past week, we watched tall, dark and handsome superstar Tom Brady finalize his divorce with gorgeous, smart, rich and sophisticated Gisele Bundchen.  After 13 years of marriage, worldwide fame, two beautiful children and more money than Fort Knox, they called it quits.  In other words, no amount of money, attractiveness or fame could hold them together.  Their incompatibilities became too great to endure toward a lasting marriage.

My Beginnings of Understanding Relationships

As a barber in college, I heard story after story about their parents from my customers. As a college guidance counselor, I learned a lot about good and bad marriages from my fellow students.

As a former elementary, high school and college teacher, I watched people meet in September and share their marriage vows the next June.  I watched my students break down crying in class because, “My parents are getting a divorce.”  Those kids suffered shredded emotions via their parent’s divorces.  Sometimes the men cheated on their wives. At other times, they fought too much.  They experienced poor sexual compatibility. Different interests.  Clashing personalities. Religious differences.

In a divorce, younger kids experienced more pain.  The older kids felt betrayal or anger at their parents.  In any event, their solid family world disintegrated from under them.

After college, like so many, I married a gorgeous woman, lovely lady and great companion. She felt fascinated that I loved skiing, tennis, canoeing, racquetball, triathlons, mountain climbing, rafting, hut skiing, sailing, dancing, windsurfing, and just about every active sport I could play.  But within a year, she returned to her roots—a couch potato. We were about as compatible as a flat tire at a NASCAR race.  After three years of silent tension, we chose divorce.  Thankfully, no kids.

She stepped forward to become an art teacher while I bicycled around the world.  She married a millionaire while I loved to sleep in a tent. Late in life, I married Sandi who loves to dance and camp. We both found a better path for ourselves.

As a teacher, during my summers, I drove a United Van Lines furniture truck for Corrigan Moving Systems out of Detroit.  I moved people as soon as they returned from their honeymoons. I moved them after their first, second and third child.  I moved divorced couples. I slapped inventory stickers on her boxes and different color stickers on his boxes. I felt the tension.  I watched the kids. I moved people to Florida for their retirement years.

So, what are the secrets to a lifelong relationship cemented by love, honor, respect, fun, joy and fulfillment?  What are those other 50 percent of marriages doing that makes them thrive?

From my teaching, counseling, and truck driving careers, I learned the basics of successful marriages.  Wealth, good looks and fame won’t make for a successful marriage. Just look at Hollywood! I’m recommending three books that will give you the best chance for a lifelong, successful and happy relationship.

From my experiences, I’ve found that most married couples on their way to divorce…met in September and married in June. They were in the heat of sexual passions, but never got to know each other.  Here’s a new way toward a successful match.

First, Are You the One for Me? by Barbara DeAngelis. This lady has the male and female answer questions about themselves. They tabulate the positives and negatives.  At the end, the scores indicate your chances for success. You will find out whether you should shake hands now, and say goodbye because you are SO incompatible or, if you wait until you’re married, you’ll be angrily hating each other and splitting with two kids becoming victims of your poor choices. This is the best book I’ve read to show you whether to quit now, or go ahead with your wedding plans.

Second, one of my friends, who was on his third divorce said, “Frosty…you need to write a book to show the rest of us how to stay married.”  I said, “Okay, I will.”

How to Deal With 21st Century American Women: Co-Creating a Successful Relationship by Frosty Wooldridge.  This book shows you the eight most important compatibilities you need for a successful relationship. In this book, you will learn the eight factors for a successful marriage:  similar emotions, sexuality, spirituality, interests, values, lifestyle, personality compatibility, listening, and goals.  You need to share these factors, or your chances dim with each incompatible factor.  Also, it’s recommended that you date for two years, and then, live together for one year.  You’re sure to discover whether or not you could make it for the rest of your lives, together.  It’s an investment if you choose to have kids…for them and you.  Yeah, the religious preachers will go nuts over living together, but this is the 21st century, so get over it. Use common sense over emotions or old paradigms that fail to connect with this new age.

Third, The 8 Essential Traits of Couples Who Thrive by Susan Page.  Her eight factors compliment my eight factors.  She brings compelling insight into how relationships thrive or dive. She demonstrates how to regain, maintain and prosper in your relationship.

These three books would bring couples to 80-90 percent successful marriage rates, maybe even higher.  Why? Because the authors of these three books learned the hard way.

In the end, don’t we all want to be happy with a mate we love, honor and cherish?  Isn’t it great to be on the dance floor with your loving mate?  How about sitting around a campfire with your mate roasting marshmallows?  What about mutually bringing up your kids to be happy, secure and healthy adults?  If you’re a couch potato, wouldn’t it be great to be matched up to another couch potato?

You’re darned right!  You need to be matched up with a spouse that shares those eight factors. That way, you don’t have to “work” at your marriage. You simply enjoy each other, and life shows you a great time!

© 2022 Frosty Wooldridge – All Rights Reserved

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