When I was growing up, a lot of my friends had parents that were divorced. I think I was in the first generation that this was true of. I had teachers in school who were divorced. A lot of my friends that married early got divorced within a short time afterwards.
I was impressed early as to how total the devastation on a life could be, made so by the effects of divorce.
When I got married, not getting divorced in the future was a major consideration for me. It affected who I picked to marry. It affected how my wife and I crafted our relationship. During the inevitable terrible times that all marriages go through, divorce was never high on the list of options for either of us and we got through those times on that basis. Sometimes not much else.
My wife and I are heading into the end stage of our lives and we're still married. That may be a good thing or bad, depending on what perspective you're viewing it from but staying married was a high priority for both of us. From that perspective, at least, it has been a success. I'm pretty happy both with my life and with the fact that we're still married. I think my wife is too but you'd really have to ask her. If you want to stay married, you have to allow your partner some space and her own opinions.
There's no trick to staying married, you just really have to want to. I don't think staying married is always the right thing to do but just from my observation, it usually is. Not all that many people who stay married are totally satisfied but a lot of people who get divorced, a lot, spend the rest of their lives totally fucked up. At the very least, this involves living in crappy places, working long hours at crappy jobs and fucking people infected with chronic outbreaks of Herpes Simplex II or worse.
I gotta admit, I've known several people who have slid out of several marriages without a scratch. Some actually come out in better shape than they were before. There aren't that many though and I'm pretty sure I would not be one of them, if I tried. Maybe I'm just a coward but I don't think so. Life's a war no matter how you choose to live it. I've lost more battles than I've won and have my share of scars and amputations.
If I had it to do all over again, there are things I would definitely do different. There were a lot of times I was a total dickhead and some of those times went on for years. I think I could probably live my life a lot better If I had the chance to do it over. I think I'd still stay married though.