“We will have to adopt the view that personal happiness depends on high-trust and
lasting relationships and that such relationships require constraints on short-term adult
interests in order to foster long-term commitments to children, and thus to the future.”
BARBARA DAFOE WHITEHEAD
The State of our Unions 2007
Did you know?
• 90% of Americans will marry at some point in their lives.
• Approximately 50% of those unions will dissolve at some point.
• Annually, there are about 2.3 million marriages and about 1.2 million
divorces (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2003).
• Couples wait 6 years too late to get any help for their relationship
Did you know?
Especially in today’s uncertain times, there are beneﬁts to being
married. Based on a wealth of academic and private research,
married people tend to be healthier overall and live longer, have
more satisfying sexual relationships, have more economic assets,
and have children that tend to do better academically and
The bottom line of breakup
Employees in failing relationships cost employers money. Lots of money as a result
of substantial productivity declines, serious health issues, increased stress and
anxiety, higher rates of depression and increased rates of substance abuse.
Companies experience higher healthcare expenditures, increased absenteeism, and
also suffer indirectly because of the societal effects of broken families.
Relationships are no longer exclusively the business of pastors, counselors
and Employee Assistance Programs. Companies desiring to increase their
proﬁtability will do well to realize that business takes place in the family
room as well as the board room It is in every company’s best ﬁnancial
interest to understand how marriage and family wellness affect their
business and to invest in the promotion of relational wellness.
Businesses and marriages have similar goals. They both seek to create
positive relationships that will make their partners happy. They both
typically use a team approach that involves working toward common
goals. In spite of their commonalities and their mutual impact on each
other, businesses do not always recognize the value of marriage or invest
in the marital health of their employees.
Every year there are about 2.3 million marriages and about 1.2 million
divorces (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2003). About half of all marriages
occur between couples where one or both have been married before.
Because almost 50% of marriages will end in divorce, marriage is often
seen as a risky decision. Most divorces involve children and more than 1
million children are impacted by their parents’ divorce each year.
According to research by Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher, (The Case for
Marriage, 2001) married people tend to be healthier, live longer, have
more wealth and economic assets, and have more satisfying sexual
relationships than single or cohabiting individuals. In addition, children
generally do better emotionally and academically when they are raised in
ROI that lasts
Employees in successful relationships increase proﬁts for their
employers. These workers are more stable, more committed to
their employer, and are often considered more dependable and
motivated. Employees in healthy relationships are also physically
healthier, experiencing fewer chronic health problems like
stress, anxiety, and depression, saving companies money in
overall health care expenditures.
Some research suggests a return on investment of $1.50 to
almost $7.00 on every dollar spent on relational and physical
• Turvey, M. D. & Olson, D. H. (2006). Marriage & Family Wellness: Corporate
America’s Business? Retreived on April 14, 2009 www.marriagecomission.com.
• The National Marriage Project. Rutgers, The State Univeristy of New Jersey.
(2007). The State of our Unions. Retreived on April 14, 2009. http://
• Waite, L., & Gallagher M. (2000). The Case for Marriage: Why Married
People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better O Financially. Doubleday books: