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The Enduring Marriage Part I: Supporting the Case for Marriage “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God…[and] essential to His eternal plan…Husband.

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Presentation on theme: "The Enduring Marriage Part I: Supporting the Case for Marriage “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God…[and] essential to His eternal plan…Husband."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Enduring Marriage Part I: Supporting the Case for Marriage “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God…[and] essential to His eternal plan…Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other…” Proclamation, ¶ 1,7,6 “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mark 10:6-9

2 What Marriage Is (Should Be) A union ordained of God and essential to the plan of our eternal existence A specially defined relationship between man and woman A permanent, binding contract/covenant A complete union of all dimensions (spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual, material, etc.) A transformative act turning single beings into married beings An experience that promotes personal growth and well-being A public institution that promotes societal prosperity and well-being An outdated governmental means of controlling property rights and sexuality/procreation A legally elitist status that should be extended to other types of conjugal/non-conjugal relationships A legally dissolvable contract A union whose dimensions can/should be individually defined by each partnership “Just a piece of paper” A personally limiting/confining (and often violent) trap A private matter between two individuals in which no outsider (including children) should interfere True DefinitionsAlternative (False!) Beliefs

3 The “Case for Marriage” Quiz 1. What percent of married women experience physical violence from their husbands in a given year? a. About 1%c. About 10% b. About 2%d. About 25% 2. How much more likely are cohabiting couples likely to experience domestic violence compared to married couples (even after controlling for demographic differences)? a. About equalc. About 3 X b. About 2 Xd. About 5 X 3. What proportion of divorces in the U.S. involve highly conflicted or violent marriages? a. About 25%c. About 50% b. About 33%d. About 67% 4. What proportion of unhappily married couples who “stick it out” say their marriage is “quite happy” or “very happy” five years later? a. About 10%c. About 40% b. About 20%d. About 60% 5. On average, how much more likely is a single woman to die than a married woman of the same age? a. About 0%c. About 50% b. About 10%d. About 200%

4 6. How many years does a parent’s divorce knock off the life expectancy of their children, according to a study of a gifted, white middle class sample? a. Nothing. The apparent effects of marriage are really due to income b. 6 months c. 2 years d. 4 years 7. What proportion of married people vs. single or cohabiting people say they are “very happy” with life in general? a. They are equally happyc. 40% vs. 25% b. 30% vs. 20%d. 50% vs. 30% 8. According to the National Sex Survey, how much more likely were cohabiting men to be sexually unfaithful to their female partner in the past year than married men? a. They are equally unfaithfulc. About 4 X (4% vs. 16%) b. About 2 X (4% vs. 8%)d. About 6 X (4% vs. 24%) 9. According to the National Sex Survey, what proportion of cohabiting women vs. married women were unfaithful to their partner in the past year? a. They are equally unfaithfulc. 6% vs. 2% b. 8% vs. 1%d. 4% vs. 2%

5 10. True or False: There is virtually no significant difference between the sexual satisfaction of married people (as reported by both men and women) and cohabiting or single people with a sexual partner (as reported by both men and women). 11. True or False: Marriage doesn’t make people happier and healthier (emotionally and physically); happier and healthier people are just more likely to marry and stay married. 12. True or False: Marriage makes men happier, but women more depressed. 13. True or False: Husbands make more money than bachelors, but marriage reduces a woman’s earnings. Source: The Case for Marriage by Linda J. Waite and Maggie Gallagher (Doubleday, 2000)

6 Examining the Most Common Alternatives Serial Monogamy (Marriage-Divorce-Remarriage) “Have you ever heard of the “starter marriage”? I guess it is like a starter home. It is a marriage that lasts no more than five years and has no children. It is that antitheses of the marriage called for in the eternal plan. It is a marriage with no faith, no hope, little meekness and not much love. Can you imagine people finding happiness in such a circumstance? A challenge faced by society today is that people are looking for convenience and are unwilling to sacrifice. People have learned to discard everything from paper plates to spouses.” Elder Merrill J. Bateman, BYU Devotional, 14 Jan 2003 Cohabitation “[M]arriage is not just a label, it remains a transformative act—marriage not only names a relationship but it creates a relationship between two people, one that is acknowledged, not just by the couple itself, but by the couples’ kin, friends, religious community, and larger society.” Linda J. Waite & Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage (p )

7 Some Common Myths Living together before marriage is a good way to reduce the chances of eventually divorcing. Because people learn from their bad experiences, second marriages tend to be more successful than first marriages. When parents don’t get along, children are better off if their parents divorce than if they stay together. Divorce may cause problems for many of the children who are affected by it, but by and large these problems are not long lasting and the children recover relatively quickly. Because they are more cautious and have a strong determination to avoid the possibility of divorce, children who grow up in a home broken by divorce tend to have as much success in marriages as those from intact homes. (from the National Marriage Project,

8 Facts and Figures on Cohabitation 2000 US Census data show number of unmarried partners living together increased by 72% since 1990 about 5 million cohabiting couples in U.S. in 2000 More than 50% of first marriages are preceded by cohabitation (almost two- thirds of second marriages); about 18% of women do not cohabit or have sex before marriage After 10 years, 62% of cohabitors have broken up (compared to 33% of married couples) About 40% of cohabiting couples eventually marry Cohabitation increases the risk of divorce by about 33% divorce rate for premarital cohabitors by 10 yrs. = 40% premarital non-cohabitors = 31%; multiple pre-marital sex partners is a significant risk 75% of children born to cohabiting parents will see their parents’ relationship dissolve; 33% of children born to married parents see their parents divorce Cohabitation increase the risk of domestic violence for both women and children.

9 Facts & Figures On Divorce 2000 US Census data show the divorce rate of 1 st marriages runs a little less than 50% (maybe 43%). (1 in 3 dissolve within 10 years; 1 in 5 within 5 years; rate has been declining since 1980) Of divorcees, 75% remarry with an increased likelihood to divorce again (estimated 10% higher?) The LDS divorce rate is around 40-45%. (The divorce rate of regular LDS church attenders is estimated at about 25-30%, based on national data.) One million children experience their parents’ separation/divorce each year National Health data suggest that children are 50% more likely to have health problems following parents separation. Divorce also affects mental health, education, and delinquency In effects on children, conflict matters more than status. Divorce doesn’t necessarily end (may increase) conflict Adult children have 70% higher divorce rate in first 5 years of their own marriage

10 Benefits of Marriage Benefits (for both Men and Women) Physical Mental Economic Sexual Reasons Meaningful role in society Spiritual connection Emotional/physical closeness Extended social network Legal rights/privileges Specialization Longer life Only marriage (not it’s copy-cats) offers specific benefits.


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