Depending on which organization you listen to, they say that between 40 and 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Though this may be true, there are ways to ensure that you can live the fairy tale dream and end up with the happily ever after scenario that dreams are made of. It's not easy, and there are no set rules for making this happen, but it can happen.
First and foremost, don't get married just because you think you can change the person you're with. If you don't truly love them from day one, or if they're not completely in love with you, a divorce is almost guaranteed. Take the time to really get to know the person you intend to marry. Even the "perfect" couple is going to have a fight now and then.
If you ask just about any man on the planet, they'll tell you that the wedding is for the bride. Therein lies the problem. The wedding is about bringing two people together for the world to see. It's not just the bride's big day, it's the couple's big day. It's a beautiful ceremony that is meant to help secure the bond that these two people plan to hold forever.
Once the wedding is over, it's time to really get down to business. Not just the fun stuff, but everything about being a married couple. Each member of this united team needs to give and take. There shouldn't be one person in charge and one person taking orders. Talk to each other and find out what the other person thinks. Share your feelings, but don't use them against the other person. Most marriages end within the first five years. If you can get past this point, you've got a chance.
If there are children involved, remember that it takes both of you to raise them. It's not just one person's job to take care of the kids while the other one goes out and does what they want. Children aren't dumb and will be able to tell if there are problems within the marriage. In fact, most times they feel it before you will. Don't lie to your children, but don't hide things from them either. They are a part of the family and deserve to be involved in all aspects.
Take it one day at a time. Don't worry about what's going to happen in three years, five years, or even ten years. Worry about today and let tomorrow worry about itself. If you can get through today, then you can get through tomorrow as well. But whatever, do it together. Don't be afraid to rely on the other person, and be there for them when they need to rely on you.
It really doesn't take much to go from wedding day to 20th anniversary or more. It does, however, take a little work and a lot of patience. Remember the vows you made to each other and live by them. If you put forth just a little bit of effort, you'll one day wake up and realize that you've managed to live happily ever after.