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So yes, for most of American history, the safest place to be as a woman was to be married, even if that meant enduring disrespect, abuse, infidelity, rape or worse. (In the United States, marital rape was legal in many states until the 1970s.) This arrangement was also fine for men, many of whom realized that they could be married and practice abuse, disrespect, infidelity and neglect with practically zero legal, social or financial consequences.

Bottom line: Many marriages lasted not because they were Godly, loving, healthy partnerships, but because women had everything to lose with divorce, while men had nothing to lose by staying married. This is why I roll my eyes when people want to romanticize how previous generations were so committed to marriage back in the day, and how rising divorce rates are a sign of lost values and a Godless society. Too much of what was accepted in marriage by earlier generations was totally ungodly (or in Grown Zone terminology, unhealthy: anything that diminishes the capacity for learning, self-love and personal growth).

Too many of us have wrongly learned by both instruction (including religious teaching) and example that the measure of true love in marriage is how much punishment partners can dish out and how much suffering they can endure and still stay together. Our rejection of that belief is a primary reason why I joined Zara to create Grown Zone Relationship Education. As we say in the Grown Zone: A marriage is like a house. Its value is determined by the condition it’s in, not by how long it’s been standing. Just because there is no such thing as a perfect relationship does not mean we should accept anything less than healthy relationships.

The keys to healthy, sustainable marriages will not be found in the examples and values of the past! We must promote new, higher standards for marriage to ensure that they are healthy, truly loving and life affirming for both partners before the wedding, and not a life sentence of suffering, unhappiness and neglect for either partner after the “I dos.” Marriages of honor, esteem and respect (our standard in the Grown Zone) last; in fact, they are the only ones that should. The sooner we stop marrying for any other purpose, the fewer poorly conceived marriages, and the fewer divorces, there will be.

Stop chasing and losing. Start ATTRACTING and CHOOSING! Learn proven guidelines and principles GUARANTEED to make you happy and fulfilled REGARDLESS OF YOUR CURRENT RELATIONSHIP STATUS. Use the power of self love to become an irresistible MAGNET for the lasting, drama-free, AUTHENTIC LOVE created specifically for you and ONLY you! Order your copy of Loving In The Grown Zone TODAY at LovingInTheGrownZone.com!