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Not only do most first marriages survive, the majority are also happy: "Among the nearly twenty thousand married men and women questioned over the last several decades as part of the General Social Survey, 66 percent of the husbands and 62 percent of the wives give their marriage the highest possible happiness rating" (Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage, p. 74).

But what is even more fascinating is the reward given to those who are unhappily married but choose to stick it out: "…86 percent of those who rated their marriage as unhappy in the late eighties and who were still married five years later said their marriages had become happier... . Nearly three-fifths of those who said their marriage was unhappy in the late 80's and who stayed married, rated this same marriage as either 'very happy' or 'quite happy' when reinterviewed in the early 1990's" (p. 74, 148).

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