The Divorce-Proof Marriage: Does It Exist?

Humorist Erma Bombeck once wrote, "Marriage has no guarantees. If that's what you're looking for, go live with a car battery." Indeed, with today's divorce rate hovering around 50 percent, it's natural to be worried that your union won't last -- especially when one or both of you come from a divorced home. So what's the secret to making it work? Is there such a thing as divorce-proofing your marriage   -- and can it be done before you even get engaged? One couple set out to discover the truth for themselves. Here's what they found.

Liz Lewis, 27, associate director of video promotion at Warner Brothers Records in New York City, has been dating Tyson Haller, 29, radio promotion director at Virgin Records, for over four years. While she was growing up, Liz's parents fought constantly, and they divorced when she was 18. Tyson's parents split when he was a year old. Since neither Liz nor Tyson had a strong role model of a healthy marriage, they wanted to be sure they got it right. Their strategy? Ask questions (lots and lots of them) up front. Armed with a copy of Don't You Dare Get Married Until You Read This! The Book of Questions for Couples: Over 500 Points to Ponder Before You Live Happily Ever After, from Love and Sex to In-Laws, Exes, and Dirty Laundry by Corey Donaldson (Three Rivers Press), they spent whatever free time they could find together going page by page, question by question. And over the course of a few months, they addressed each of their concerns. Liz says, "Marriage is serious. We wanted to move our relationship to the next level, and we decided that these questions might lead us to things we hadn't thought about but should be aware of."

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