We all could do better reaching out to our friends who are having trouble in relationships instead of comparing notes about what we have heard on the grapevine. Showing another couple the mountains you've climbed can make their molehills seem less daunting.

About half of all marriages in America end in divorce. That is way too many.
And that's just first marriages. Those that take the plunge a second and third time have increasingly poor longevity. Why?
Are people more prone to adultery, drugs and alcohol abuse or marital stress because of financial problems, child rearing or other issues? I don't think so.
I think we have about the same problems today that Ward and June Cleaver's contemporaries would have dealt with. I think the road to divorce has become increasingly more easily traveled because the stigma of being divorced has been lifted.
Maybe it's just a small part of it, but I think married couples are a big part of why some couples divorce.
Many couples hide every marital blemish with a veneer of pseudo-perfection that keeps their good standing with their friends and associates. I think some couples divorce because their lives aren't like the lives of that perfect couple at church or on your kid's soccer team or at the office.
We see these idealized husbands and wives as always being best friends, looking great, having a blast together and being candidates for parent of the year.
There are probably a few of those couples. The rest of us can form a club and hate them for not being like the other 99.3 percent of us.
After we finish hating the perfect couples, we can all begin helping each other by showing our scars. I know as a reader of this column, most of you are probably pretty jealous of my wife for having the incredible good fortune of being the wife of such a great-looking, intelligent and hilarious young man like myself. Some days she might agree with one or two of those accolades.
My wife is great. She puts up with a lot from me and she is a wonderful person.
I didn't say perfect. Trust me, we have more than a few disagreements and all of them aren't my fault, no matter what she says.
But when we got married, we promised to make it through it all "for better or for worse." We've had a lot of both for almost 13 years. We could have opted for divorce on a few occasions and many around us would have understood. But we didn't.
Others around us have taken the easier way out and it's too bad. If you loved someone enough to marry them, there is a better-than-average chance that you can rekindle what you lost that made you consider marriage in the first place.
It's never going to be perfect, but that doesn't stop us from keeping up appearances. Maybe if we made it okay not to be okay, more of these couples in the middle of turmoil would see that there was something left to fight for.
I really like the old Chinese proverb that says, "A diamond with a flaw is worth more than a pebble without imperfections."
We all could do better reaching out to our friends who are having trouble in relationships instead of comparing notes about what we have heard on the grapevine about what has gone wrong. Showing another couple the mountains you've climbed can make their molehills seem less daunting. If they have mountains of their own, maybe you can act as a guide to help them traverse the rugged terrain.
Marriage can be tough, but divorce isn't easy, either. We have to decide that marriages are important and do what we can to make sure they survive. If everyone does their part, maybe we could help bring the divorce rate down 1 or 2 percent.
Do your part. It's worth losing your façade to help save a friend's family.