I know we are not typical because we married too young (ages 17 and 19), but it was a norm "back then". I always say we were just lucky because we were not that smart at the time. But during all these years of marriage we have learned and grown "together" which I think helped us.
We dated each other for 2 1/2 years and I think that was a very important part, knowing someone long enough to really get to know them although I still think you never "really" get to know them. We did not live together before marriage, but knowing each other for several years helped prepare us for living together after marriage.
During our 53 years together we have had many ups and downs and some close calls with calling it quits. But somehow giving some time to each problem and uprising, it managed to sort itself out with some give and take on the part of each partner. Marriage, as life itself, is not always easy or happy but when you look at the positives and overlook some of the negatives, it surely helps.
It seems the young people of today are caught up in instant gratification. Many want what they want right now. A true "marriage" (not a wedding) takes time to grow and mature. You have to deal with and learn from the unpleasant aspects of marriage and learn to cherish and love the other person. Too many want a fairy tale marriage; I personally do not think they exist. Many are in love with the idea of love, which is much different than true love. True love is thinking about the other person's wants and needs and making their life better, just as they do for you. I must say after 53 years of marriage, it is now the best it has ever been. So for all the people contemplating divorce, hang in there. With some time and "effort" almost every problem can be resolved if you truly love one another and want the best for each other.
We have two children, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. We have truly been blessed!