| For Richer For Poorer The Growing Marriage Gap |
While the overall marriage rate is declining, that decline has been much steeper ... program the Healthy Marriage Initiative that's intended to increase the ...
From: National Center for Family & Marriage Research <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 9:50 AM
Subject: News and Notes
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Testimonials from Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project: National ... |
A story from a couple who participated in healthy marriage and relationship education sponsored by Sacramento Healthy Marriage Project.
From: Institute for American Values [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2011 12:06 PM
Subject: Is Marriage for White People?
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said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I
observed the hurt in her eyes. Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what
I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why? I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks
and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each
other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to
our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had
lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her! With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that
she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten
years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted
time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I
loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was
what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release.
The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be
firmer and clearer now. The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at
the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep
very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not
care so I turned over and was asleep again. In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want
anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She
requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life
as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's
time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage. This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall
how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our
bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just
to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request. I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. . She laughed loudly and
thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face
the divorce, she said scornfully. My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was
explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both
appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his
arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting
room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She
closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I
nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office. On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my
chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't
looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young
any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our
marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done
to her. On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy
returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was
growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her
as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger. She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses
but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have
grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the
reason why I could carry her more easily. Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her
heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head. Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To
him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part
of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him
tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind
at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom,
through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly
and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day. But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in
my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her
tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the
door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked
upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want
the divorce anymore. She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a
fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't
divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value
the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now
I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am
supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed
the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife.
The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll
carry you out every morning until death do us apart. That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run
up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to
even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from
the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the
divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband.... The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It
is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create
an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in
themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little
things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage! If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you. If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were
to success when they gave up. A CHRIST-CENTERED MARRIAGE IS A MARRIAGE THAT IS SURE TO LAST A LIFETIME. So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined
together, let not man separate. Matthew 19:6
From: Institute for American Values <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 3:48 PM
Subject: Why Marriage Matters
From: Provident Films [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:44 AM
To: Bill Coffin
Subject: Courageous Update: Get A Courageous Head Start
From: The Heritage Foundation <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 12:51 PM
Subject: Culture Watch: Marriage Keeps Love Alive and Hearts Pumping
To: Bill Coffin <email@example.com>
The Heritage Foundation | 214 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002 | 202.546.4400 | heritage.org
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August 25, 2010
Cohabitation: Largest Threat to Children
By Mike McManus
The Institute for American Values issued a landmark report, “Why Marriage Matters, Third Edition” which states: “The rise of cohabitation is the largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children’s family lives.
“In fact, because of the growing prevalence of cohabitation, which has risen fourteen-fold since 1970, today’s children are much more likely to spend time in a cohabiting household than they are to see their parent’s divorce.”
The report has some good news about divorce: “Children who are now born to married couples are actually more likely to grow up with both of their parents than were children born at the height of the divorce revolution,” says the report written by W. Bradford Wilcox who directs the National Marriage Project for the University of Virginia.
While 27% of children experienced a parental divorce if they were born in the late 1970s, only 23% of those born 20 years later live through a divorce. (However, that’s triple the 8% divorce rate of kids born in Britain or France, and shatters 1 million U.S. kids annually.)
What’s worse: 42% of American children will endure the horror of living in a cohabiting family, almost double the percentage hurt by divorce. Kids in cohabiting households “are markedly more likely to be physically, sexually and emotionally abused than children in both intact, married families and single-parent families.” Some snapshots:
· Teenagers from cohabiting families are 60% less likely to graduate from high school than those with married parents.
· Children in cohabiting families are five times more likely “to experience depression, difficulty sleeping, feelings of worthlessness, nervousness and tension.”
· Preschool children are 47.6 times more likely to die in a cohabiting household compared to those with married parents.
· Daughters raised outside of intact marriages are three times more likely to be young, unwed mothers.
As recently as the 1970s, the vast majority of adult Americans were living in an intact
marriage and almost nine in ten children were born into married families. “No longer. Now, less than half of adults are married.”
“This retreat from marriage has hit poor, working-class and minority communities with particular force,” while marriage trends of college educated, affluent Americans have taken a turn for the better. Nonmarital child-bearing soared more than six fold from 5% in 1982 to 34% in 2006-8 among white high school educated Americans. By contrast, unwed births of college educated remained only 2% during these years, and divorce rates fell.
The report found this growing marriage gap troubling. “It leaves working-class and poor adults more distanced from an institution that has historically lent purpose, meaning, responsibility, mutual aid and a sense of solidarity to the lives of countless men and women.” And it leaves poorer children “doubly disadvantaged” with less family resources and fewer married parents.
Sociologist Paul Amato states: “increasing marital stability to the same level as in 1980 is associated with a decline of nearly 500,000 children suspended from school, about 200,000 fewer children engaging in delinquency or violence, 250,000 fewer children receiving therapy… 80,000 fewer children thinking about suicide and about 28,000 fewer children attempting suicide.”
The report offers no answers, only questions: “How can communities be mobilized to promote a marriage-friendly culture?”
I have an answer. I’ve helped more than 10,000 pastors join across denominational lines to make marriage a high priority, by creating Community Marriage Policies in 229 cities. A study by the Institute for Research and Evaluation reported that in the first 114 cities, divorce rates fell 17.5% in seven years, cohabitation dropped by a third compared to control cities. Now marriage rates are rising.
The Institute estimated that 31,000 to 50,000 marriages were saved from divorce by 2001. With another decade in the original cities, and 229 cities now, perhaps 100,000 divorces were averted.
Nearly a tenth of the cities cut divorce rates in half, such as Modesto, CA which signed the first Community Marriage Policy in 1986. Its divorce rate has been nearly 50% lower for a decade. Marriages have doubled from 1,300 a year to 2,600. With more kids in stable homes, teen pregnancies fell 30% in ten years and school dropouts, by 19%.
Community Marriage Policies can “promote a marriage friendly culture.”
More is needed. Government inadvertently subsidizes cohabitation. A woman with an unwed birth gets welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, etc. as if she were bringing up the child alone. But most are cohabiting, and have the benefit of his income plus taxpayer income. If she marries him, she loses subsidies.
My solution: If they marry, let them keep the subsidies for two years, then taper off. More will marry, the best answer for everyone, and government costs will drop in time.
Mike McManus is President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist.
My new email address is email@example.com
From: First Things First <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, Aug 24, 2011 at 1:12 PM
Subject: Time is Running Out! | FTF eNews August Vol.2