Presentation on theme: "TOP 10 MYTHS OF MARRIAGE By David Popenoe --- Discovery Channel."— Presentation transcript:
TOP 10 MYTHS OF MARRIAGE By David Popenoe --- Discovery Channel
Copyright 2002 by David Popenoe, the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J. David Popenoe is professor of sociology at Rutgers University, where he is also co-director of the National Marriage Project and former social and behavioral sciences dean.
The most recent U.S. Census figures confirm what most everyone already knows—divorce rates, indeed, are on the rise. With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce, many couples are starting to re-evaluate their relationships. But before you start any heady analysis, it’s important to know the facts from the myths when it comes to marriage:
Myth #1: Marriage benefits men much more than women. Fact: Contrary to earlier and widely publicized reports, recent research finds men and women to benefit about equally from marriage, although in different ways. Both men and women live longer, happier, healthier and wealthier lives when they are married. Husbands typically gain greater health benefits, while wives gain greater financial advantages.
Myth #2: Having children typically brings a married couple closer together and increases marital happiness. Fact: Many studies have shown that the arrival of the first baby commonly has the effect of pushing the mother and father farther apart, and bringing stress to the marriage. However, couples with children have a slightly lower rate of divorce than childless couples.
Myth #3: The keys to long-term marital success are good luck and romantic love. Fact: Rather than luck and love, the most common reasons couples give for their long-term marital success are commitment and companionship. They define their marriage as a creation that has taken hard work, dedication and commitment (to each other and to the institution of marriage). The happiest couples are friends who share lives and are compatible in interests and values.
Myth #4: The more educated a woman becomes, the lower her chances of getting married. Fact: A recent study based on marriage rates in the mid- 1990’s concluded that today’s women college graduates are more likely to marry than their non- college peers, despite their older age at first marriage. This is a change from the past, when women with more education were less likely to marry.
Myth #5: Couples who live together before marriage, and are thus able to test how well suited they are for each other, have more satisfying and longer-lasting marriages than couples who do not. Fact: Many studies have found that those who live together before marriage have less satisfying marriages and a considerable higher chance of eventually breaking up. One reason is that people who cohabit may be more skittish of commitment and more likely to call it quits when problems arise. But in addition the very act of living together may lead to attitudes that make happy marriages more difficult. The findings of one recent study, for example, suggest “there may be less motivation for cohabiting partners to develop their conflict resolution and support skills.” One important exception: Cohabiting couples who are already planning to marry each other in the near future have just as good a chance at staying together as couples who don’t live together before marriage.
Myth #6: People can’t be expected to stay in a marriage for a lifetime as they did in the past because we live so much longer today. Fact: Unless our comparison goes back a hundred years, there is no basis for this belief. The enormous increase in longevity is due mainly to a steep reduction in infant mortality. And while adults today can expect to live a little longer than their grandparents, they also marry at a later age. The life span of a typical, divorce-free marriage, therefore, has not changed much in the past 50 years. Also, many couples call it quits long before they get to a significant anniversary Half of all divorces take place by the seventh year of a marriage.
Myth #7: Marrying puts a woman at greater risk of domestic violence than if she remains single. Fact: Contrary to the proposition that for men “a marriage license is a hitting license, “a large body of research shows that being unmarried—and especially living with a man outside of marriage—is associated with a considerably higher risk of domestic violence for women. One reason for this finding is that married women may significantly underreport domestic violence. Further, women are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce a man who is violent. Yet it is probably also the case that married men are less likely to commit domestic violence because they are more invested in their wives’ well- being, and more integrated into the extended family and community. These social forces seem to help check men’s violent behavior.
Myth #8: Married people have less satisfying sex lives, and less sex than single people. Fact: According to a large-scale national study, married people have both more and better sex than do their unmarried counterparts. Not only do they have sex more often but they enjoy it more, both physically and emotionally.
Myth #9: Cohabitation is just like marriage, but without “the piece of paper.” Fact: Cohabitation typically does not bring the benefits—in physical health, wealth and emotional well-being—that marriage does. In terms of these benefits, cohabitants in the United States more closely resemble singles than married couples. This is due, in part, to the fact that cohabitants tend not to be as committed as married couples and they are more oriented toward their own personal autonomy and less to the well-being of their partner.
Myth #10: Because of the high divorce rate, which weeds out the unhappy marriages, people who stay married have happier marriages than people did in the past when everyone stuck it out, no matter how bad the marriage. Fact: According to what people have reported in several large national surveys, the general level of happiness in marriages has not increased and probably has declined slightly. Some studies have found in recent marriages, compared to those of 20 or 30 years ago, significantly more work-related stress, more marital conflict and less marital interaction.
At Home with the Hinckley's This interview was conducted by Marvin K. Gardner and Don L. Searle. “At Home with the Hinckleys,” Liahona, Oct 2003, 32)
When Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley stands at a pulpit to address crowds of Latter-day Saints, she immediately makes us feel at home. With her charming wit and genuine love, she gently draws us into her family circle. Then—as if she were our own mother or grandmother—she says she is proud of us. And she encourages us by saying that with the Lord’s help, we can overcome life’s difficulties and find joy. When her husband, President Gordon B. Hinckley, speaks at the pulpit, he often shifts into the role of a loving father and grandfather, teaching us how we can be better children, parents, husbands, wives, and family members.
Wherever they go throughout the Church, President and Sister Hinckley seem to find “family”—in addition to their 5 children, 25 grandchildren, and 35 great-grandchildren. Teaching the lifestyle they have exemplified during more than 90 years of life and 66 years of marriage, the Hinckleys are remarkably qualified to give advice on the most important roles we will ever fill. They recently visited with editors from the Church magazines about ways to strengthen marriage and family.
“He Gave Me Space and Let Me Fly” Church magazines: Why has your marriage been so happy for so long? President Hinckley: The basis of a good marriage is mutual respect—respect for one another, a concern for the comfort and well-being of one another. That is the key. If a husband would think less of himself and more of his wife, we’d have happier homes throughout the Church and throughout the world. Church magazines: Sister Hinckley, you have said that your husband “always let me do my own thing. He never insisted that I do anything his way, or any way, for that matter. From the very beginning he gave me space and let me fly.” How has he done that? Sister Hinckley: He never tells me what to do. He just lets me go. He has made me feel like a real person. He has encouraged me to do whatever makes me happy. He doesn’t try to rule or dominate me.
Church magazines: President, you have said: “Some husbands regard it as their prerogative to compel their wives to fit their standards of what they think to be the ideal. It never works.” How have you avoided doing this with Sister Hinckley? President Hinckley: I’ve tried to recognize my wife’s individuality, her personality, her desires, her background, her ambitions. Let her fly. Yes, let her fly! Let her develop her own talents. Let her do things her way. Get out of her way, and marvel at what she does.
Church magazines: What are some of the things she does that make you marvel? President Hinckley: Oh my, many things … Sister Hinckley (smiling): This will be hard for him. President Hinckley: … She has run the house all these years. When our children were growing up, I was away much of the time on Church assignments. In the early days, when I had responsibility for the work in Asia, which I had for a long time, I would be gone for as long as two months at a time. We couldn’t telephone back and forth all the time in those days. She took care of everything. She ran the home. She ran everything and took care of the children. We had a garden in our backyard. When I came home from one of my long assignments, I found that it had all been planted to lawn. She and the children had spaded up that backyard, sown lawn seed, and there was a beautiful lawn! The garden didn’t suffer, because we could plant another garden to the south of us. But that whole backyard became a beautiful patch of lawn. That’s typical of the way she did things. She was independent and had a great eye for beauty.
“I Prefer to Laugh” Church magazines: Sister Hinckley, you have said: “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache.” Sister Hinckley: If we can’t laugh at life, we are in big trouble. Church magazines: Can you think of a time when laughter was the best medicine for you? Sister Hinckley: I think that could be most anytime. One day when our children were young, I made a casserole. And I really did a good job. When I took it out of the oven, our son Dick said, “How come you baked the garbage?” Church magazines: How old was he at that time? Sister Hinckley: Fourteen—old enough to know better!
“Everybody Enjoys Everybody Else” Church magazines: What do the two of you do to keep your family close? President Hinckley: Oh, we’ve done lots of things through our lives—many, many things. In the summertime, from the time our children were very small, we’ve tried to go someplace, see something. We extended that up into the later years of our children’s lives, after they were married. My wife once said that one of her great ambitions was to walk down the streets of Hong Kong with her children. So we all went to Asia on one occasion. Then she said she’d like to walk down the streets of Jerusalem with her children. So we arranged our family finances and all went to Jerusalem. We’ve had good times.
I want to say this for her: our children enjoy one another. We still get together. We have a family home evening of our extended family once a month—with all of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who are in town and available. That is simply an extension of what we did when the children were small. We had family home evening. When I was away, she would go forward with family home evening and other important things. She just kept things moving. Church magazines: Describe a home evening with your extended family. President Hinckley: We eat together and we talk together. We just have a delightful time together and discuss one or two things. Everybody enjoys everybody else. That is a wonderful thing, really, in this day and time. Church magazines: You have mentioned having family home evenings as a young boy in the home of your father and mother. President Hinckley: Right, going back to 1915, when President Joseph F. Smith announced the program. My father said, “We’ll have family home evenings.” We tried it, and it wasn’t very successful at first. But it got better, and we’ve always had family home evenings—in my father’s home and in my home, and the children have it in their homes.
“You Do the Very Best You Can” Church magazines: What would you say to parents who have heeded the counsel to have family home evening and are living their covenants to the best of their ability—and yet they have a son or daughter who has gone astray? President Hinckley: Well, you do the very best you can. And when you have done that, you just place the matter in the hands of the Lord. Go forward with faith. Sister Hinckley: Never give up. You never give up on them. President Hinckley: Nobody is lost until somebody has given up. You stay with it. Now, fortunately, we have never had that experience in our home, I’m grateful to say. Our family has turned out amazingly well in my judgment. And I give all of the credit to this little lady. Sister Hinckley: Thank you.
Church magazines: What counsel would you give to children who are living in a home where family home evening isn’t held—and yet they want it desperately? President Hinckley: Children can do a great deal. It is unfortunate that we have those situations, but they are real. Children can do the best they can do. They can sometimes influence their parents. Many a home has been brought to a better standard of living because children prayed for it and asked their parents for it. Some children in unfortunate circumstances can have uplifting experiences in the homes of their friends in the Church. But it is just sad when children can’t have the blessings and benefit of a home in which there is a desire to live the gospel and follow the program of the Church.
Church magazines: You have said that your father never laid a hand on any of his children when disciplining them. President Hinckley: That’s right. I don’t believe that children need to be beaten, or anything of that kind. Children can be disciplined with love. They can be counseled—if parents would take the time to sit down quietly and talk with them. Tell them the consequences of misbehaving, of not doing things in the right way. The children would be better off, and I think everyone would be happier. My father never touched us. He had a wisdom all his own of quietly talking with us. He turned us around when we were moving in the wrong direction, without beating us or taking a strap to us or any of that kind of business. I’ve never been a believer in the physical punishment of children. I don’t think it is necessary.
Church magazines: Sister Hinckley, you have said that “you don’t teach a child not to hit by hitting.” Sister Hinckley: When my daughter Jane was a young girl, she said to me one day that she had a friend who was grounded. I said, “Grounded? What does that mean?” We let our children figure things out for themselves. They knew when they were doing wrong, and they would fix it themselves. One of our daughters decided to stay home from church one Sunday. So she stayed home. She got very lonely. Everybody was in church but her, and she just sat on the lawn. She didn’t try that again. She figured it wasn’t any fun. It was lonely.
“It Turned Out Better Than I Expected” Church magazines: You have delighted audiences, Sister Hinckley, with your comment that when your husband became President of the Church, you wondered, “How did a nice girl like me get into a mess like this?” Could you put that comment into perspective now that you have been married 66 years to this fine man? Sister Hinckley: Well, it turned out better than I expected. It has been a good life. President Hinckley: We’ve really had a good life. Really we have. We don’t have many regrets in our lives. We’ve made mistakes, of course, here and there, but nothing of any serious consequence. I think we’ve done all right.
Church magazines: Do you think young people getting married today face the same kinds of challenges you did, or do they have different challenges? President Hinckley: They face the same challenges, essentially. We were married in the Depression. We didn’t have anything when we were married, to speak of. No one else did either. Everyone, it seemed to me, was poor. Sister Hinckley: We didn’t know we were poor. President Hinckley: We started out in a modest way. The Lord has so richly blessed us. I don’t know how anyone could have been more richly blessed than we have been. We’ve had problems. We’ve lived through all the things that parents go through—sickness with their children, things of that kind. But really, when all is said and done, if you can live with a good woman through your life and see your children grow to maturity as happy, able individuals who are making a contribution, then you can count your life a success. It isn’t how many cars you own, the size of your house, or things of that kind. It is the quality of life that you’ve lived that makes a difference.
Church magazines: How do you handle differences of opinion? President Hinckley: We’ve just gone along and tried to be decent to one another. As I’ve said, mutual respect makes all the difference in the world—having respect for one another as individuals and not trying to change your partner after your manner. You let her live her life in her way and encourage her talents and her interests. You will get along better then. If there is anything that concerns me, it is that some men try to run their wife’s life and tell her everything she ought to do. It will not work. There will not be happiness in the lives of the children nor of the parents where the man tries to run everything and control his wife. They are partners. They are companions in this great venture that we call marriage and family life. Sister Hinckley: I married well, didn’t I? President Hinckley (laughing):We’ve had a good life. We still appreciate one another.
Top Mate Qualities “A national opinion poll conducted by Harris Interactive found that when it comes to picking the most important qualities of the “ideal man,” faithfulness, kindness and compassion, as well as a good sense of humor were most important to more than half the women polled. Also ranking highly are men who put their families first, take care of the people in their lives and spend time with their families, and least important are driving nice cars, being athletic and taking the time to work our or exercise. The survey found that being clean-shaven ranks highly among women when they look at the most important physical qualities of ideal mean, and other important physical qualities are having a warm smile, smelling good and having nice eyes and nice teeth.
“While dressing well is also important, least important for women are manicured nails, having full heads of hair and being tall, but men and women differed when ranking the top five qualities of ideal mates. Sixty-nine percent of women said faithfulness is the most important quality, while only 47 percent of men did, and 58 percent of women ranked kindness and compassion as the second most important quality, while only 46 percent of men did.” October 2004
Menace at age 25- Brigham Young, attrib. President Ernest L. Wilkinson, Commencement Exercises May 31, 1963, BYU Speeches of the Year, 6. “Of the men graduating tonight, 62% are married; 38% unmarried. Of the 472 women graduation, 23% are married; 77% single. As to the single men, I need merely to repeat the admonition attributed to Brigham Young, ‘Every man not married and over twenty-five is a menace to the community.’ I asked Dr. Lyman Tyler yesterday if he would document this for me, but he said he had been trying to document it for years; he had give up, so you will have to accept it either on faith, or as apocryphal.”
GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED: 1.No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats. 2.When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair. 3.If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person. 4.Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato. 5.You can’t trust dogs to watch your food. 6.Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair. 7.Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time. 8.You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. 9.Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts. 10.The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandpa’s lap.
GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED: 1.Raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree. 2.Wrinkles don’t hurt. 3.Families are like fudge… mostly sweet, with a few nuts. 4.Today’s mightily oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground. 5.Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging on the inside. 6.Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.
GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD 1.Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. 2.Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get. 3.When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while your down there. 4.You're getting old when you get the same sensation from rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster. 5.It’s frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions. 6.Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician. 7.Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE 1.You believe in Santa Claus. 2.You don’t believe in Santa Claus. 3.You are Santa Claus. 4.You look like Santa Claus.
Always remember to forget the troubles that pass your way BUT never forget to remember the blessings that come each day.
Bill Gates 11- things Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this! To anyone with kids of any age, here’s some advice. Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talked about how feel-good politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept sets them up for failure in the real world.
Rule 1: Life is not fair- get used to it! Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self- esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice- president with a car phone until you earn both. Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping - they called it opportunity. Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them. Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes, and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasite of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time. Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs. Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.