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STATON: Marriage is not for the faint of heart

Many people will be planning their weddings this year.

They will have high hopes and stars in their eyes when they think about their spouses-to-be and their weddings.

They will have the belief that nothing, absolutely nothing, will cause their marriage to fail because their love for one another is so strong.

Unfortunately, the hopes and dreams of many do not last.

In 2018 the marriage rate in the United States that ended in a divorce was 6.5 people per 1,000 of the population. In 1990 the marriage rate that ended in divorce was 9.8 per 1,000 of the population.

I was shocked to learn these statistics. The main reason given for causing the divorce was incompatibility at 43 percent, infidelity at 28 percent and money problems was the reason for 22 percent. The remaining 7 percent listed other reasons.

It seems the seventh year of marriage was the most challenging to American couples. I guess that is where the seven year itch came from.

In the United States the average marriage lasts eight years from marriage to divorce.

Another statistic I found interesting was that black women divorce at a higher rate than other races.

White women are next with Asians and Latinos staying married the longest.

A marriage lasting for 15 years has a 55 success rate, 25 years has a 35 percent rate. For someone to celebrate a 50 year anniversary goes down to 28 percent.

Betty and Glen Bonar of Winchester were married for 65 years this past month, which put them in a group of about 12 percent. They should feel very proud of themselves.

All of us who are married know marriage has its ups and downs.

My first marriage lasted 20 years, and my marriage to my husband has made it to 33 years. I guess I have done better than average on both accounts.

My first marriage did end because of one of the top three reasons.

Another Winchester couple, Frank and Mary Farmer, have been married longer than anyone I have known. They celebrated being married for 72 years on Dec. 27, 2019.

Frank and Mary were married at the courthouse in Whitesburg.

At the time they were married, they were living in Norton, Virginia. I guess they did what many young couples have done and drove to a nearby state to get married.

Frank had just come back from serving in the Navy during World War II. He was in the Pacific and was at Iwo Jima when the American flag was raised. It was a scene he never forgot, he said.

When I asked Mary if she and Frank went on a honeymoon, she said, “No, honey. If we lived in Winchester at the time, we could not have even gone to Trapp, we were so poor.”

Winchester got lucky when Frank and Mary moved here in 1957. Until that time, Frank’s family had always worked for Purina Chow, she said.

Bev Yeiser asked Frank to work for him and he did for a while. He later sold cars at every car dealer in Winchester and one in Lexington.

Frank always kidded that the dealership’s owners in Lexington named it after him since it was named Farmers.

Frank and Mary had two daughters, Deborah and Rebecca.

They have two grandsons, Ross Reasor Jr. and David Kennan, and one great granddaughter, Sunshine Noelle Kennon.

They have a host of friends here in Winchester and have gained love and respect from so many.

I think they are happy they made the move to Winchester many years ago.

I know I am happy they did because I may have never had a chance to meet them.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.