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Nearly 50 percent of all marriages in this country end in divorce, which has led many singles to wonder “What’s the point?” In fact, it has become a joke—so much so that the state of New Mexico is considering two-year renewals. You know, sort of like a driver’s license.

However, marriage in itself is not the reason it has become so trivialized. It is our approach and the unrealistic portraits we paint of what it is supposed to be. For example, more and more of us are telling ourselves it is necessary to cohabit before taking the plunge. Yet research shows that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce than those who do not. On the same token, many imagine idealistic unions marked by decades of endless bliss. And, that just doesn’t happen.

Here’s why:

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