How to Predict Divorce (Hint: It Involves the Wedding Cake)

a bride and groom cutting a three layered pink wedding cake

As a pastor who regularly performs weddings, I can tell that some couples are more likely to divorce than others.

It’s not most evident in pre-marital counseling or private comments made before the service. I can’t see it as the vows are said or rings exchanged. It’s not even in the kiss.

As a pastor, I can predict the likelihood of divorce based on how the wedding cake is exchanged.

I’ve been performing wedding ceremonies since I was 18. One of the first ceremonies I performed was pretty routine. Everything went without a hitch until it came time for the cake exchange.

What began as a playful moment turned ugly. He pushed it into her face; she pushed it harder into his; and he forced her to the ground. The crowd laughed; I was shocked; and a few weeks later they were divorced.

So began my interest in watching how the traditional exchange of wedding cake is played out. (See: The Number One Cause of Divorce)

The wedding cake moment gives a glimpse into the relationship in a way that few other events can.

The couple is nervous because of the occasion and crowd—nerves often exploit the worst of us.

The cake comes at the end of a long experience, so any pretending that has been taking place is less likely to occur as time goes on.

The moment requires the couple to do something that is not a normal activity.

All of these circumstances create a unique moment to answer one question: Which is more important, the relationship or one spouse’s reputation?

While most cake exchanges are cute, playful, gentle and respectful, some of them get ugly.

Here are the signs of a marriage in trouble based on the cake exchange:

1. Force

Gentleness is a trait of a healthy marriage. Specifically, men need to be gentle with their wives.

Our strength is to be used for the wellbeing of our spouses, not to their detriment.

When someone uses an extreme amount of force when they are happy and in public, it makes me wonder what they are willing to do when they are angry and in private.

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Kevin A. Thompson
Kevin A. Thompson is Lead Pastor of Community Bible Church, a multi-site church in Fort Smith, AR. He currently writes a daily blog focusing on leadership, marriage, and parenting (specifically parenting a child with special needs). Along with his wife, Kevin is co-owner of JThompsonMMC, a full service media and marketing company based in Fort Smith. He is a graduate of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University and Oklahoma Baptist University.