Please pray for Shea (Sheabyshea). She lost a baby in July, at the same age of our daughter, Rachel Elizabeth….29 weeks gestation. I gave her the link to my post on Rachel’s last birthday. I found her through Mari (mariqueenofscots). She is having a tough time.
I borrowed this from Carolyn (JusticeMom). She has a good post on family today. If you love someone, tell them. You never know when it might be too late to tell them.
Chris has a good post: The Axis of Idiots.
Wow, Ethan….it’s been a month already since you left. Probably seems much longer to you than to me.
I was talking to Carolyn (JusticeMom) yesterday, and told her I was trying to talk myself into cleaning house. She said it would take a lot of talking for her to do that. It took me till late last night, but I managed to get the kitchen relatively clean – even mopped the floor. And baked homemade bread on top of that. Now I need to tackle the living room. We don’t have our tree up yet because I know as soon as I put it up, the kittens are going to climb it.
I can’t believe how this worked out. Friday I posted about our marriage, and then Friday afternoon I got a Focus on the Family email with more stuff about marriage. I wanted to share this because I thought it was very interesting. Somehow in America, many young people have not inherited a positive view on marriage. They question why it’s necessary.
FAMI LY FORMAT ION T R E N D S A N D AN A LY S I S
U.S. OV E RV I EW 2 0 0 7
ADULTS: THE HEALTH OF MARRIAGE IN AMERICA
Adults are increasingly living alone or with an unmarried partner. These categories have grown by substantial margins over the past twenty years, leaving young adults asking, “Is it possible to have a successful marriage? Do I have to get married to be happy in life?”
These questions are largely driven by the fallout young adults have personally experienced from the widespread divorce culture their parents’ generation created over the past four decades. Young adults delay getting married, not out of cynicism or apathy so much, but because of a near crippling anxiety over whether they will fail at marriage like so many of their parents did. Likewise, they also see a dearth of potential mates that have the maturity and emotional health to enter marriage.
Cohabitation fills the gap. Cohabitation is growing largely as: (1) a road-test for a potential marriage or (2) an “in the mean-time” place-holder domestic relationship when no potential marriage partner is on the horizon.
But this is not the only reason for the decline in marriage and the increase in cohabitation in the U.S. Increasing individualism, narcissism, “marriage as life-adornment,” as well as the loss of self-giving in marriage erodes a marriage culture. Rather than giving oneself to another to find connectedness, purpose and happiness, marriage has become just one of many individualized choices for bringing substance and happiness to one’s own life.
CURRENT MARRIAGE TRENDS
People delaying age of first marriage
Overall, fewer people getting married
Cohabitation increasing dramatically
Unmarried births rising dramatically
Divorce rate stabilizing at a high level
- Slight increase in young adults saying that a good marriage is personally very important
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Is the decline of a marriage culture inevitable? Why, as desire for marriage remains strong and our collective knowledge of how to make marriage work has never been larger or smarter, do we find that fewer marriages are forming and that fewer are successful? How can we connect this increasing personal desire for successful marriage with our growing collective knowledge for making marriage work?
There are a number of charts and graphs in this report, so I will give you the link to the article: Family Formation Trends . It’s too long to post the whole thing here. But I thought there were some good quotes worth posting:
“So if you are a reasonably well-educated person with a decent income, come from an intact family and are religious, and marry after age twenty-five without having a child first, your chances of divorce are very low indeed.” 2
- David Popenoe and Barbara Whitehead, National Marriage Project
“Married people are happier than unmarried ones of the same age, not only in the United States, but in at least seventeen other countries where similar inquiries have been made. And there seems to be good reason for that happiness. People who are married not only have higher incomes and enjoy greater emotional support, they tend to be healthier. Married people live longer than unmarried ones, not only in the United States but abroad.” 6
- James Q. Wilson, UCLA professor
“…marrying over 25 years of age (vs. under 18) is related to a 24 percent decrease in risk of divorce.” 9
David Popenoe and Barbara Whitehead, National Marriage Project, Rutgers University
“Adults who live together are more similar to singles than to married couples in terms of physical health and emotional well-being and mental health, as well as in assets and earnings. …Couples who live together also, on average, report relationships of lower quality than do married couples — with cohabitors reporting more conflict, more violence, and lower levels of satisfaction and commitment.” 12
- W. Bradford Wilcox, University of Virginia sociologist
“We made radical changes in the family without realizing how it changes the experience of growing up. We embarked on a gigantic social experiment without any idea about how the next generation would be affected. If the truth be told, and if we are able to face it, the history of divorce in our society is replete with unwarranted assumptions that adults have made about children simply because such assumptions are congenial to adult needs and wishes .”14
Dr. Judith Wallerstein, UC, Berkeley professor, World’s leading scholar on impact of divorce upon children
“Many single parents, however, find it difficult to function effectively as parents. Compared with continuously married parents, they are less emotionally supportive of their children, have fewer rules, dispense harsher discipline, are more inconsistent with dispensing discipline, provide less supervision, and engage in more conflict with their children.”17
Paul Amato, Penn State sociologist
Copyright © 2007 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
(EDIT: I thought it was interesting that these quotes are not from people in the religious community. They aren’t from people at Focus on the Family. They are from scholars all over the country that have realized and studied the importance of marriage on the family structure.)