Minnesota: Land of happy marriages?


Valentine's Day is here – a popular day for marriage proposals and weddings.

But will the new marriages that begin in Minnesota last? If a recent report by the Huffington Post is any indication, the answer is "yes" – or at the very least, "the chances are better than most."

The publication recently posted a map pinpointing the divorce capitals of the country, and the Land of 10,000 Lakes was among the six states (plus Washington, D.C.) that had the lowest divorce rates of any of them.

When it comes to specific cities with the high divorce rates, no Minnesota municipalities even cracked the top 50.

Culling information from a 2010 study by the Daily Beast, the Post said the top city in the country for divorce was Panama City, Florida, where the divorced population was 15.5 percent. Following Panama City on the list was Sierra Vista, Arizona; Charleston, West Virginia; Medford, Oregon; and Reno, Nevada.

Of course, the public's perception about Minnesota and its marital woes can be skewed by the occasional salacious survey issued by infidelity websites like AshleyMadison.com.

In 2012, the website where cheaters go to play ranked the top 10 "least faithful" cities in the Twin Cities, placing Woodbury at the top of the list, followed by Edina, Coon Rapids, Plymouth and Eagan. Downtown Minneapolis, Wayzata, Minnetonka, Apple Valley and Maplewood rounded out the top 10.

None of the the cities made the top spots for cheaters in the country. Earlier this year, the Huffington Post carried an Ashley Madison survey that found Washington, D.C., was the least faithful city in the country for the second year in a row (seeming to fly in the face of D.C.'s low divorce rate).

The Ashely Madison survey about Minnesota infidelity angered happily-married spouses like Michelle Scheurmann, a St. Paul woman who wrote the Woodbury Patch to proudly proclaim herself a member of the "Happy Wives Club."

"The Happy Wives Club exists for women who instead of whining and complaining about their marriages – want to talk about the positive things," Scheurmann wrote. "Their tagline is 'For those who believe love rocks.'"

Scheurmann's positive stance on marriage landed her a spot on "Happy Wives Club" blog tour, which is part of an online marketing blitz for author Fawn Weaver's new book, "The Happy Wives Club: One Woman's Worldwide Search for the Secrets of a Great Marriage."

But while Scheurmann is continuing to fight the good fight on both the "Happy Wives Club" blog and on her own, Bullet Proof Media, Ashley Madison seems intent on shaking Minnesotans' confidence in the institution of marriage.

Last year, the website polled more than 10,000 of its members and found that the largest percentage of unfaithful college alums surveyed – 7.8 percent – went to the University of Minnesota.

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