Every day it feels as if we are bombarded with negative reports about the institution of marriage. So much so that you would think no one is getting married anymore, right? Well, that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Last year alone there were nearly 3 million weddings in the U.S.

If the number of marriages is so high, why all of the negative press, you ask? Many experts say other factors are often used to support the “poor state of marriage.” For example: The number of couples who live together without marrying has increased tenfold since 1960 and Americans are waiting about five years longer to marry than they did in 1970.  On top of that, the divorce rate, namely among lower socio-economic groups, is increasing.   

Before you make any conclusions, know that there is a silver lining in the recent data reported. Among couples getting married, there is increased stability. More and more couples are acknowledging that it is important to have a level of awareness and skills before entering matrimony in order to remain in matrimony. In 2011, nearly 50 percent of couples received premarital counseling.

While I don’t offer premarital counseling (yet), if I did, these are the 13 subjects I would focus on.