Recent research proves that couples with no sexual partners in their lifetimes other than their spouse have far lower rates of divorce than those with even one additional sexual partner (Catholic World News, February 13, 2017). For women with a history of just one sexual partner other than their husband, the marriage success rate drops from 95 percent in the first five years to 62 percent! And it declines further from there (MaRRI, February 3, 2017). As the Marriage and Religion Research Institute points out, “Thus family structure is exceedingly important to society and a return to intact marriage is a sine qua non [essential condition] for a nation or for families set on rebuilding themselves” (ibid.).
Those with sexual history before or outside of marriage can make marriage work, but far more effort is required. What today’s society views as an old-fashioned and draconian command to confine sexual relations to a monogamous marriage between a husband and wife, was originally given by God as vital instruction for a loving and successful marriage (Genesis 2:24; Exodus 20:14; 1 Corinthians 6:18). Our Father in Heaven wants His children to be happy and He has given us specific directions about how to do this. Even modern research demonstrates the blessings of this ancient, but still important command. For more information on how to have a joyful and successful marriage, read or listen to God’s Plan for Happy Marriage.