Monday, August 25, 2008

Married for Life Part VII

This is the next in my series about marriage. First of all, I want to discuss how retirement affects marriage, and then look at some facts and statements about marriage.

Retirement involves significant changes, and can put pressure on even a strong marriage. All of a sudden the two of you are spending a lot more time together, after 30-40 years of only seeing each other in the evening and on weekends. While it can be nice to have more time for each other, it is also a good idea to have some other interests that keep both of you occupied. Otherwise, minor disagreements can get blown out of proportion because you don’t have anything else as a diversion. Moreover, things that used to be mildly annoying become intolerable.

Now I want to give you some facts about marriage and relationships. This is what Sociologist David Popenoe, professor of sociology at Rutgers University, has to say about the family:

“If the family of recent decades is extended into the future, the result will be not only growing uncertainty within marriage, but the gradual elimination of marriage in favor of casual liaisons oriented to adult expressiveness and self-fulfillment. The problem with this scenario is that children will be harmed, adults will probably be no happier, and the social order could collapse.”

Some other facts and statements about marriage and the family:

· Today sociologists are reporting that no-fault divorce laws have been a failure by every measure, causing one researcher to report, “seldom in U.S. history have laws been enacted with higher hopes and poorer results than the no-fault divorce statutes.”

· The number of cohabiting couples has increased 865 percent since 1960, a number that recently topped the 4 million mark.

· Increasing evidence suggests that commitment to a nurturing faith community enhances family life and marital stability.

In a survey of 4,487 married couples, results showed that when spouses attend church or synagogue together regularly, they had the lowest risk of divorce among all married groups. This study also showed that shared participation in a faith community gives couples a sense of mutual values that increases family commitment and enhances an integrated social network of relatives and friends.

More on the topic of marriage in a future post.

No comments: