While attending the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, I listened to the one-on-one between our CEO, Earl â€œButchâ€ Graves, and Quintin E. Primo III, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Capri Capital Partners L.L.C., one of the largest real estate investment management firms in the United States.
Graves asked Primo about a particularly difficult period in his life, and Primo went on to describe crushing business losses. But then he said something that startled me: â€œI held on to my faith and my marriage.â€
Of course, today, Primo is wildly successful, but a lot of successful people are divorced. In fact, a lot of people, successful or not, are divorcedâ€”which is probably one reason the provocatively titled article in Sundayâ€™s Times has gone viral: â€œWhy You Will Marry the Wrong Person.â€
Written by Alain de Botton, a leading British philosopher, the article basically states that youâ€™ll marry the wrong person because you will marry a human beingâ€”a flawed person who will not be able to meet all your needs.
De Botton writes, â€œThe person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesnâ€™t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligentlyâ€”the person who is good at disagreement.â€
I was home for a few days this week and heard the writer being interviewed on NPR. On the radio, he said something like, â€œIf you think youâ€™re easy to live with, you havenâ€™t begun to understand yourself.â€ Of course, I am a very easygoing personâ€”but that doesnâ€™t make me easy to live with! Being easygoing can drive people crazy (I learned that early on from my husband).
So yes, your chance of marrying the wrongâ€”that is, an imperfectÂ personâ€” is high. But, to increase the odds that your union will last, you should pursue an education.
According to the Pew Research Center, college-educated women have an almost eight-in-10 chance of still being married after two decades. Only 40% of women who have a high school diploma or less could expect their marriage to last as long, according to Pew.
The â€œcollege-educated womenâ€ mentioned above comprises all women: Asian, Hispanic, white, and black. Black women, however, have only a 37% chance of celebrating a 20-year wedding anniversary. Asian women, who tend to be well educated, have the greatest probability, at 69%, of being married for two decades.
Pew Research also found that college-educated men had a greater chance of a long-term marriage: 65% of such men could expect their first marriage to last at least 20 years.