A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life (Proverbs 31: 10-12).
My Wife is My Best Friend Survey (Percentage of all Respondents)
|All Men Respondents||40.7%||6.7%||47.4%|
|Men age 18 – 24||20.0%||3.3%||23.3%|
|Men age 25 – 34||39.3%||7.5%||46.8%|
|Men age 35 – 44||42.9%||14.3%||57.2%|
|Men age 45 – 54||50.0%||0.0%||50.0%|
|Men age 55 – 64||48.9%||6.7%||
Methodology: Conducted by Google Consumer Survey May 10-12, 2014 and based on 253 online responses. Sample: National Adult Internet Population
What do all those numbers mean?
In one sentence, it means that out of the 253 adult men that responded to the survey, 120 were married…which represented 47.4% of the respondents. But the good news is that 86% of the adult married men indicated that their wife was their best friend.
That is not good news, it is great news!
You want to hear more great news? When the survey results were broken out by age group, most of the married men in every age group considered their wife their best friend…even the younger men. Specifically, 86% of the married men age 18-24 and 88% of the men age 55-64 considered their wife their best friend. Furthermore more than half of the men age 55 and older indicated that they were married.
Now the Concern!
While I was impressed that 100% of the men age 45-54 considered their wives to be their best friend, I was also concerned. The table above seems to indicate that men may experience challenges in their marriage beginning in their mid thirty’s. While more than 57% of the men surveyed in the 35 – 44 age group were married, they had the highest rate (14.3%) of respondents who indicated that their wife is NOT their best friend. Of even more concern is the smaller percentage of men age 45 – 54 who indicated they were married. This seems to be consistent with the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau data from the America’s Families and Living Arrangement Survey which shows that the divorce rate doubles for men age 35-44 and triples for men age 45-54.
These results had me pondering the question if between the ages of 35 – 54 marriages (both men and women) need a strong support system and if mid-life crisis is to blame for these trends. Dr. Calarusso, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of San Diego indicated that he most often sees men struggling with midlife questions in their 40s and early 50s (Webmd).
According to an article by Lori Sandoval titled, Midlife crisis is real, loneliest point of men and women in their early forties: Study, “midlife crisis is real, taking the happiness level of both men and women at its lowest from the ages of 40 to 42, after which things begin to pick up again.” Perhaps if married men and women are aware of what is possibly ahead, they could be prepared to weather the storm.
Why was the Survey Conducted?
It is oh so common to turn on the television or read in the newspaper tragic divorce rates and statistics. And, I understand that sometimes divorce…while painful, is the only option. In fact, scripture addresses divorce when adultery has been committed.
This survey was conducted for encouragement to all married couples, especially those that feel within their spirit that more could be done…more could be said to strengthen their marriage and the bond between them and their spouse. I was hoping that the results would tell us more about each other. I believe knowing what is ahead may prepare married couples to weather the “stormy times.”
Alan J. Hawkins, Ph.D & Tamara A. Fackrell, J.D. state in their guidebook, Should I Keep Trying to Work it Out: A Guidebook for Individuals and Couples at the Crossroads of Divorce (And Before) that:
“The most common reasons people give for their divorce are lack of commitment, too much arguing, infidelity, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of equality in the relationship, lack of preparation for marriage, and abuse. Some of these problems can be fixed and divorce prevented. Commitment is having a long-term view of the marriage that helps us not get overwhelmed by the problems and challenges day to day. When there is high commitment in a relationship, we feel safer and are willing to give more for the relationship to succeed. Commitment is clearly a factor in why some couples stay together and others divorce.
I am willing to wager that most of the men who responded to our survey have never told their wife that she is their best friend. From experience I know that most men aren’t big talkers so to know that the married men who took our survey considered their wives their best friends is encouraging. I often say that I am broken and only made whole through Jesus Christ. So, I no longer look for perfection in others when I know that only through Christ we are perfected.
It is my belief that the more we know about each other and what to expect in marriage, the stronger our commitment.
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22).
- Alan J. Hawkins, Ph.D & Tamara A. Fackrell, J.D. Should I Keep Trying to Work it Out: A Guidebook for Individuals and Couples at the Crossroads of Divorce (And Before) (p. 41)
- Midlife crisis is real, loneliest point of men and women in their early forties: Study. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/4647/20140321/midlife-crisis-is-real-loneliest-point-of-men-at-women-in-their-early-forties-study.htm