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Why Marriages BREAK UP!
Plain Truth Magazine
February 1969
Volume: Vol XXXIV, No.2
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Why Marriages BREAK UP!
Garner Ted Armstrong   
Church of God

Born: February 9, 1930
Died: September 15, 2003
Member Since: 1930
Ambassador College: 1956
Ordained: 1955
Office: Evangelist

It's becoming RARE to find truly HAPPY marriages today! Divorce is rending asunder marriages at an unprecedented rate — and for every divorce there are several other homes that are unhappy, miserable, and wretched. It's about time we understood there are CAUSES for marital happiness. Put into practice those right CAUSES and you'll experience the right effects. This article brings you the true perspective of the modern Western marriage crisis — the incredible statistics about divorce and marital unhappiness — and gives you the practical LAWS that make marriage work!

   IT'S EASY TO FIND divorced people. Even easier to find people who know divorced people.
   And it's equally simple to obtain statistics on divorce; along with clamor from sociologists for "trial marriages" and "pair-bound" arrangements.
   But it's anything but easy to assess the heartbreak, the disappointments, the frustration and disillusionment behind this readily available mass of data.
   Regardless as to our modern, chic approach to divorce — our attempts to kid each other and ourselves that divorce is "not all that bad" — we're really convincing no one.
   Whether it's Mia and Frank, or just you and her — divorce is a cruel, heartless affair — taking obnoxious twists through the deepest human emotions, but usually handled in grubby little offices in front of used-looking oaken desks.
   From the Mexican "quickies" to the sensationalized trips to Reno, Nevada, we try to kid ourselves divorce is a practical solution to otherwise insoluble problems.
   But one thing divorce is not.
   It's not happy.

In Search of Happiness

   And everyone WANTS to be happy!
   Forget the nausea of singing the "Second Time Around," or the picture of the artificially smiling face of the newly freed spouse throwing her dime-store substitute ring into the Truckee River in Reno. That's just our window dressing. Just remember — people don't get married in the first place if happiness isn't the result they are after.
   No one wants to live with heartbreak. We all want the pleasant things in life — no matter how "modern" or "stylish" our tastes. From simple sights and sounds to just plain physical comfort, we want happiness!
   We want excitement, fun, and Joy. We want stimulating companions — even intrigue and suspense. We want, in short, a really full and rewarding series of experiences; happiness.
   We most assuredly no NOT want head colds, nausea, night sweats, physical pain or injury, economic failure and want, or loneliness and frustration.
   We don't want arguments and fights, or unpleasant scenes in public, or nasty, rebellious children.
   But something is terribly WRONG in all this.
   What, after all, are most of us getting out of life? Are we REALLY getting the FUN, the "KICKS," the deep and lasting satisfaction? Or are we getting the misery and wretchedness instead?
   Never make a mistake on this! People marry in search of happiness. They marry because they feel they're in LOVE. (Or they marry because at some time in the past they THOUGHT they were in love; and the marriage ceremony is to cover up an otherwise nasty social situation — a child without legally recognized parents)
   Marriage, then, is open admission to the whole world this pair believe they have FOUND something in each other. They feel they have found the very person who will make them HAPPY — who will, somehow, by virtue of spending enough time in the intimate moments of life together, cause them to receive the joys, kicks, thrills, pleasures and happiness they seek.
   But what happens, in the broad MAJORITY of cases, is anything but happy.
   The divorce statistics prove it! And divorce is like an iceberg. You only see the surface — but the broad, hidden part underneath looms huge and unseen, just like the monstrous icy mountain that rent open the Titanic like a gargantuan can opener.
   For each actual divorce, there are several other couples who live together only because of necessity.
   That necessity may be children, financial security, pressure from church, social group or friends, any of which may cause mostly unhappy people to cling precariously to a "marital" state.
   But if the marriage is a hollow shell — a couple living like strangers in an unarmed truce — there's no happiness in it. The children, if any, are subjected to a home environment that is disastrous to their future well-being and character.
   You know of such cases. Perhaps you're living such a story, yourself. But whatever your state — whether single, engaged, married, or contemplating divorce — you need the vital information in this article. This is not psychological gim-crackery, or "pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps" philosophy, but down-to-earth, practical, everyday truth every human being needs.

Our Mad, Mad Marriages

   DIVORCE has ripped asunder nearly every third home in the United States! Millions of children now grow up with foster parents, or no parents. Others are reared in unhappy homes, filled with sour, bitter, constant family strife.
   Uncountable books, magazines and newspaper articles have attacked the problem from every conceivable angle.
   Sociologists have attempted to uncover the cause of divorce, and marital counselors by the scores and hundreds have used every means at their disposal to save shattered marriages from divorce.
   All of these combined influences have seemed to have little, if any, effect.

Divorce a Gigantic Problem

   Just how serious is the divorce problem in the United States, Britain and Australia? The shocking statistics answer plainly. Divorce, with all its resulting heartache, court squabbles and homeless children, is one of the most monumental sociological problems of our times!
   As mentioned, in the United States, presently leading the world in divorce, nearly one out of every three homes now knows the heart-sickening experience of the divorce courts! In Los Angeles County, there is one divorce for every marriage!
   The Family Service Association of America said, "Family breakdown is fast reaching epidemic proportions and now ranks as America's No. 1 social problem." Each year, there are upwards of one million persons divorced. The current divorce rate is seven times higher than it was 100 years ago! There are an estimated 100,000 desertions each year — all this in addition to the actual recorded divorces.
   The illegitimacy rate has tripled since 1938. Each year, there are more than 300,000 illegitimate babies born in the United States alone. Another closely linked problem, that of juvenile delinquency, has nearly tripled since 1940. Besides these staggering facts on divorce and the home, many other serious problems in human relationships and problems of the family have been revealed by recent studies.
   Behind these cold statistics are human beings, whole families, whose lives have become distorted, twisted, wretched things! Little children crying "Mommy — don't leave me!" Boys and girls wondering what their choice will be when they are asked with which parent they would rather live, teenagers knowing no homes, thousands of youths living with "foster parents" or being placed in institutions.
   Truly, as this Family Service Association has said, family breakdown is fast reaching epidemic proportions.
   LIFE magazine said, "No other civilized nation comes even close to the U.S. divorce rate. We have three times as many divorces each year, allowing for differences in population, as nations like England, France, Finland and Australia, and four to six times as many as Canada, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands." And, of course, they too have their divorce problems.
   Every time the clock ticks off 90 seconds, another American home is broken by divorce! There were more than 1,000 divorce decrees granted each day last year in the United States!


   Did you know the majority of murders are NOT committed by professional hoodlums in connection with a robbery? Did you know MOST murders are committed by "friends" or RELATIVES of the victims?
   And did you know that the Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that killings within the family made up 29 percent of all murders in 1966? Over one half of these involved spouse killing spouse. And 15 percent of the family killings involved parents murdering their children.
   What's happening? Why such violence? Why so much anger, so much hatred between marital partners?
   Old-fashioned "tiffs" and "spats" between married couples have given way to fist fights, knifings, beatings, shootings! Husbands and wives involved in murder-suicide, or homicide, are increasingly in the news. But why?
   What terrible changes are occurring among our families? Why are so many marriages falling apart? What are the pressures that drive marital partners who once said they LOVED each other into the venomous vortex of hate?
   Millions of husbands and wives live together today as if total strangers. Divorce is on the increase. Separations, disappearances, desertions are becoming commonplace.
   What about your home? What about your marriage? If you're not married — do you sincerely hope someday to become married — and then divorced? Do you look forward to a failure in one of the most serious steps in your physical lifetime? Of course not.
   If you're presently divorced — do you know why? Do you know what happened to bring about such a tragedy?
   If you are one of the MILLIONS of couples who have deep marital troubles — whose lives are not really happy — don't be ashamed to admit it — and seek to do something about it, before it's too late.
   Our modern marriages are deteriorating. Couples today find it difficult to converse, to share, to sincerely blend together as a family unit.
   It's common, today, to see husband and wife sitting at a table in a restaurant — each staring at others about them, dolefully, disinterestedly — and see them silently finish their meal, pay the bill, and leave.
   How many millions of families are there where all love — real love — is gone? How many millions live like two chance acquaintances, each with his own separate life, each with his own separate thoughts, each going his own way?
   The point of all this is quite plain.
   Divorce is only the end step in a whole series of terrible mistakes. There need be no divorce whatever — quite literally — if the true cause of divorce were revealed; and, more importantly, the true CAUSE of marital happiness!

Sociologists Search for the Cause

   Some very revealing facts have been brought to light by recent studies of representative groups all over the world. For instance, it was found in London, England, that vast percentages of supposedly "happily married people" would very readily SWAP PARTNERS, and that great percentages of these married people openly admitted they would not marry their present mates again!
   Our marriages are going mad. Thousands live together who literally hate each other. Others just barely "tolerate" an unhappy marriage — disgruntled, frustrated, MAD most of the time.
   WHY? What is it that turned these marriages upside down? How does it come to be that two people, who, while only years before were breathing terms of endearment to each other — proposing, making marriage plans, caught up in the joys and thrills of young love — are now in the throes of anger and violence?
   What makes a marriage "go sour"?
   The answers are varied — and every one of them actually applies. For instance, it was found almost 90 out of 100 divorce cases statistically prove that people are head over heels in debt.
   Another major factor which has been singled out was the high incidence of younger marriages taking place in the world today. For example, last June's marrying couples average the youngest in the nation's history!
   It was proved divorce occurs six times more often among those who marry under the age of 21 than among the 21-plus brides and grooms. Another major contributing factor in the high teen-marriage-divorce rate was, according to most authorities, that 40 percent were forced into marriage as a result of premarital pregnancy.
   Hugo A. Bordeaux, executive director of the Marriage Counseling Service, Baltimore, Maryland, said, "All over America, husbands and wives cannot talk to each other. This, I am convinced, is our No. 1 marriage problem..."
   The Institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles lists sexual maladjustment as the leading cause of marital discord. One study of 500 consecutive unsuccessful marriages found all but one placed the blame on sex!
   An internationally conducted UNESCO poll recently revealed that 60 percent of American and European married women feel deceived, frustrated, unhappy and dissatisfied — mainly, they believe — because no one really understands them!
   These are just a few of the MAJOR causes listed by leading institutes and study groups for the rampant problems of divorce.
   All of them, to a certain degree, are absolutely true! However, no single ONE of them provides the whole answer. That answer will unfold as you read.
   Another cause of marital unhappiness is due to the Western world's preoccupation with sex.

The Onslaught of Sex

   Maybe it "embarrasses" you to admit it — but you live in a sex-crazed world! Literature is becoming increasingly filled with sex. But what kind of sex?
   Fully fifty percent of the population of the world you'll meet belong to the opposite sex. Mutual attraction, courtship, love, marriage — the attraction for, and right and normal desire toward, a potential mate, if not an inordinate, illegal, lustful desire, is RIGHT in God's sight. But a refreshing story about two clean young people who grow to love one another, and become married to establish a home would be a miserable FLOP as a motion picture today.
   People lust to see WEIRD sex. They want perverted, distorted, illicit sex. And the writers, directors, actors and sponsors are going to give lustful society exactly what it wants.

Sex in Entertainment

   Motion pictures concern themselves with every possible evil, investigating every twisted avenue of perversion — gnawing away at the vitals of home life. A normal, wholesome, "average" courtship with resultant marriage, and the establishment of a balanced HOME life would attract NO one. But DIVORCE? Triangles? Unfaithfulness? These are "box-office!" These sell seats.
   Millions flocked to see the movie, "How to Murder Your Wife!" It was just "good clean fun" according to most — but regardless as to how well camouflaged, regardless as to the "sick" humor so many seem to enjoy today — the story was built around a man who was trying to do just that.
   In nearly all entertainment media — marriage is stultified. The picture of middle-aged couples celebrating their golden wedding anniversary gratifies no one. But divorce is praised.
   No longer is the public shame connected with the admission that one partner or the other has utterly failed to live a peaceful and happy married life — but virtual popularity hinges on the number of unsuccessful marriages contracted.
   But in the words of J. Paul Getty, reputed to be one of the wealthiest men in the world, "I'd give away all my millions for just ONE successful marriage!"
   The world stares at the spectacle of the "Hollywood marriage-go-round" with near adoration. Jokes in magazines ridicule the married state; imply middle-aged husbands are better off without middle-aged wives.
   Broken homes, triangles, extramarital excursions and affairs — these are the spicy tales that sell movies, novels and magazine series.

Attacks on Marriage

   And not only is the attack against marriage coming from sheer sensual LUST, and the perverted entertainment media — but from church leaders, from "psychologists" and "marriage counselors."
   Many openly advocate the complete abolition of the married state. They promulgate free "love" — meaning the animal license to openly cohabit with any and all members of the opposite sex, regardless as to children or other unfortunate consequences.
   Others advocate "marriages" between men. Man with man — living together in disgusting perversion — utterly condemned by their Maker! Yes, even religious leaders talk of permitting such perverted abominations.
   For example, a San Francisco gynecologist told a group of general practitioners recently there is "no such thing as a 'good' or 'bad' sex act." The doctors were told, "when love is 'mature,' each partner's welfare is as important to the other as his own...." And, according to the gynecologist, "this 'mature' kind of erotic love is possible between two people of the same sex!"

Sex in "Literature"

   Any newsstand today is a colorful collection of unabashed sex. Titles shout out infidelity, murder, rape, homosexuality, sadism, triangles, and all assorted forms of weird, mixed-up perversion.
   Dozens of the more "respectable" publications carry articles regularly which treat with the same subjects, though in not quite so blatant a manner.
   And what is the steady reading diet of millions of married mates?
   What is their steady TV diet? What type motion pictures do they see? What type magazines, novels, comic strips do their minds dwell on?
   Simple. The only thing available. Sloppy illicit sex. Perverted sex. Weird sex. Free sex. Premarital sex. Extramarital sex. Violence and sex. Intrigue and sex. Mystery and sex. War and sex.
   Would you like to "kid" yourself these things are not true? Help yourself. Believe whatever makes you "happy." That's your privilege. But for those who are not afraid of the PLAIN TRUTH on the subject — one of the major, continuing reasons for marital fights, arguments, brawls, disagreements, and final DIVORCE IS the steady diet of SEX AND VIOLENCE being absorbed by the average marital partners.
   What are our families "told" by the magazine articles they read? What about the television husband-and-wife shows? What do the comics say? What do the newspapers tell us about the way other families are living?
   They talk constantly of sex. Of infidelity, unfaithfulness, unchastity; with a liberal sprinkling of lies, deceit, hypocrisy, crime, and perversion.
   The widely acclaimed television serial "Peyton Place" is a continuing probe into the secret recesses of the minds of "normal" and "modern" people — people who lie, cheat, steal, commit adultery, arid drift from one meaningless experience into another.

Can It Be "Justified"?

   But somehow the whole thing seems "justified" — because, after all, isn't everyone else doing it?
   And besides — all the reasons for the wrong acts are carefully highlighted. By the time the crime, or the rape, or the marital infidelity is revealed — the viewer is found to be sympathizing with the perpetrator's motives.
   Not even the modern ministry is ashamed — and neither does it blush. Rather, leaders of large, respected religious organizations unashamedly and openly advocate acceptance of homosexuals as perfectly "normal" members of society. Unfaithful mates are excused in their doctrines. Premarital sex experience is called "wholesome" or "good." Masturbation is called "normal" and "healthy."
   And if all this giant surge toward wild sexual abandon is normal — if it is healthy — then just what, we candidly ask, is abnormal, and unhealthy?

Sex as the Expression of Love

   Actual statistics collected from many studies have PROVED that an overwhelming majority of unsuccessful marriages are directly attributed by the frustrated marital partners themselves to sexual maladjustment.
   Dr. R.L. Dickinson, in his book, Medical Analysis of a Thousand Marriages, states that 40 percent of women never attain satisfactory marital relationships.
   And is it any wonder?
   Since the normal marital relationship is merely the highest form of the expression of the outgoing LOVE of one marital partner toward another, is it any wonder so many marriages fail today? When this relationship — designed by an all-wise Creator as an outgoing expression of love — becomes a selfish, purely physical, carnal desire to get, it becomes a major reason for failure in marriage, instead of a basic reason for happy married life!
   Admit it or not — most marriages break up because of SEX. Not that sex alone is the cause; but it is, in MOST cases, an underlying cause — while other problems may be symptomatic of that cause.
   And I don't mean to say that simple lack of physiological knowledge, or lack of "compatibility" is the problem. It is the SPIRITUAL aspect of sex — the LOVE that should be shared, of which sex is an expression — that is the true problem.
   Marriages break up because people never grow up to love. They begin in a flurry of excitement, sex, and fun.
   But the frolic and fun soon give way to the problems of finance, children, sickness, and the simple process of "getting along" together. Too many people feel they are "in love" but they don't really "like" one another. But that's not love — it's a once-in-a-while LUST, without any of the real love they profess.
   Marriages break up because people marry the WRONG people, for the wrong REASONS, at the WRONG TIME. (But then, there's never a right time to marry the wrong person) They break up because so few people have been educated — TRULY educated — to the very purpose and MEANING of marriage!
   This magazine seeks to RIGHT that terrible wrong!
   It seeks to EDUCATE to those basic PURPOSES and CAUSES in life—to reveal WHAT marriage is, WHY it is, and HOW IT WORKS. Marriages break up today because of a lack of education as to what marriage Is, when it began, WHY it is, and how it can be a delightful, wonderful, lasting success.
   Whether your marriage is about "on the rocks," or whether you haven't yet married — you need our important booklets on the subject. Our newest booklet, Modern Dating — Key to Success or Failure in Marriage, goes thoroughly into the questions about dating, teenage romance, necking, and premarital sex — plus investigating the seven major keys to finding the RIGHT mate to marry.
   Another, Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? goes through the idea of sociologists — and shows the true SANCTITY of marriage, the amazing, hidden, totally ignored truth of WHAT MARRIAGE IS. A third, Your Marriage
   Can be Happy incorporates some of the material you have read in this article, but much, much more besides, including HOW to solve family arguments — HOW to live in harmony, in happiness, at home. You'll want all three — they're full-color, attractive booklets — FREE to you, of course, provided by those who help us GIVE this educational service as part of the Ambassador College Extension Program—worldwide. Write for them before you forget.

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Plain Truth MagazineFebruary 1969Vol XXXIV, No.2
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