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Celebrate wedding anniversaries

By Judith Victoria Hensley

Plain Thoughts

Every married couple which celebrates another wedding anniversary together should pat themselves on the back. Finding a person to share life with is a huge challenge and staying with that person through the years is even tougher.

According to the website Wevorce, one divorce happens in the United States every 13 seconds. I found this mind boggling. Even more shocking than this statistic reflecting 2017 divorces, the United States ranked 10th for the number of divorces per capita. Still, there is a lot of surprising information about the current state of divorces in the U.S.

Communities Digital News has a lot of surprising information on the topic of divorce: Older. There is one exception in the population where divorce is on the rise, and you can blame the Baby Boomers. The rate of divorce for married adults 50 and older has doubled since 1990. For those over 65, it’s tripled.

There are several factors involved. People are living longer in general, and many don’t want to be stuck in a marriage even at 65 if they’re going to live 20 more years. Women are more likely to be independent and have their own source of income, allowing them more financial freedom to make this choice.

There are several ways you can lower your odds of divorce. We already mentioned one: Delaying your first marriage until your late 20s or early 30s. Another way: Get a college education. Adults who have graduated from college have a 40 percent lower rate of divorce overall.”

The countries with the highest divorce rates are as follows: Belgium has a divorce rate of 71 percent. Portugal, Hungary and the Czech Republic follow close behind with rates of 68, 67 and 66 percent, respectively. One website lists the United States as being the 10th highest number of divorces in the world, with a rate of 53 percent, but other sites contradict this information.

I was curious about the longest recorded marriage in modern time. Epicdash.com had a story that was astounding. “Zelmyra and Herbert Fisher broke The Guinness World Record for the longest marriage. They were married on May 13, 1924. In 2008, they earned the record for longest marriage at 84 years. In 2011, Herbert passed away at 105, and a few years later in 2013, Zelmyra followed at 105 years old as well.

When Herbert passed, the couple had been married for 87 years. Before their death, they were interviewed about their secrets to everlasting love…and their answers are astoundingly simple.

I also wanted to know about the oldest recorded couple who got married. Again, I was surprised by a 2015 Huff Post account.

“After a very long courtship, 27 years to be exact, when George Kirby, 103, and Doreen Luckie, 91, tied the knot, it made them the world’s oldest newlyweds.”

On March 8, my parents, Ernest and Gladys Hensley, of Smith, Kentucky, celebrated 68 years of marriage. In a world that has lost its vision about the definition or marriage, and the importance of marriage, I think my parents’ long-term marriage is even more important. My dad says he fell in love with her when he heard her singing and playing her guitar through an open church window. My mom says she’s loved him all her life, and would have married him even if it meant living in a cave.

Being divorced myself, I realize how blessed they truly are and what a miracle their marriage is in a land that is trying to reinvent the sanctity of marriage. Sixty-eight years together has carried them through many good times and bad as a couple. They both say that they knew when they got married that divorce was not an option.

I congratulate them on their long-standing marriage, as well as every other married couple who has stuck together through many years. Truly, they are blessed.

Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Judith Victoria Hensley at judith99@bellsouth.net or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.