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02.02.2012, 10:02 AM

Marriage Media
Week of January 23, 2011
Courtesy of Bill Coffin


1. The Secrets to a Happy Marriage, The Telegraph

Research among 2,000 happily married couples has identified the main ingredients for a successful union.

It shows that couples benefit from taking a short break away together twice a year and eating out in restaurants at least three times a month. And it pays to be affectionate, as wedded folk tend to share a lingering kiss six times a week, have sex twice a week and say “I love you” up to nine times a fortnight. But it doesn’t need to be sweetness and light the whole time – as the average happy couple has at least one healthy argument a week.

2. 78% Rate Marriage As Important to U.S. Society, Rasmussen Reports

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of American Adults rate the institution of marriage as at least somewhat important to U.S. society, and that includes 60% who consider it Very Important. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 17% don’t believe marriage is a very important institution, with three percent (3%) who say it’s Not At All Important.

3. The New American Divide, The Wall Street Journal

When Americans used to brag about “the American way of life”—a phrase still in common use in 1960—they were talking about a civic culture that swept an extremely large proportion of Americans of all classes into its embrace. It was a culture encompassing shared experiences of daily life and shared assumptions about central American values involving marriage, honesty, hard work and religiosity.

Over the past 50 years, that common civic culture has unraveled. We have developed a new upper class with advanced educations, often obtained at elite schools, sharing tastes and preferences that set them apart from mainstream America. At the same time, we have developed a new lower class, characterized not by poverty but by withdrawal from America’s core cultural institutions.

4. The College Premium vs. the Marriage Premium: A Case of Double Standards, Library of Economics and Liberty

For males, the college premium and the marriage premium are roughly equal.  In the NLSY, for example, you earn 34% more if you’re a college grad, and 44% more if you’re a married male.

When people – economists and non-economists alike – look at the size of that college premium, they usually conclude that more people should go to college.  On a personal level, they urge individuals to enroll.  On a policy level, they don’t just favor all the existing measures that encourage college attendance; they want government to redouble its efforts.

Funny thing, though.  When people – economists and non-economists alike – look at the size of the male marriage premium, they barely respond. . . I could be missing something; if you think so, let me know.  My considered judgment, though, is that the double standard is all too real.  People should push both education and marriage – or neither.

5. Meet the Marriage Killer, The Wall Street Journal

Nagging can become a prime contributor to divorce when couples start fighting about the nagging rather than talking about the issue at the root of the nagging, says Howard Markman, professor of psychology at the University of Denver and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies. . . The good news: Couples can learn to stop nagging. . .

The first step in curbing the nagging cycle, experts say, is to admit that you are stuck in a bad pattern. You are fighting about fighting. You need to work to understand what makes the other person tick. Rather than lazy and unloving, is your husband overworked and tired? Is your wife really suggesting she doesn’t trust you? Or is she just trying to keep track of too many chores?

6. The Leading Edge: HHS Department Releases Report on Relationship Education, American Association of School Administrators

School of Thought: Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education Matters to Our Youth is a report by the US Department of Health and Human Services that looks at relationship education for our nation’s students. Despite the geographic and organizational diversity of these programs, five common themes emerged from their demonstration projects:

  • Youth desire information about healthy relationships.
  • Young people need facilitators they can relate to and trust.
  • Participants are able to develop a vision about what a healthy relationship is, and what it is not.
  • Relationship education can be a powerful change agent within youth relationships.
  • Young people are receptive to positive money management/budgeting strategies.

7. How to Commit to the End, Simple Marriage

January 14th is my 40th wedding anniversary. I was 17 and pregnant when I got married. I was mom to four little girls by age 22 (my third pregnancy was twins). The odds were stacked against us. The first 10 years were filled with drama and insanity. We talked about going our separate ways. Deep down we knew we never would. We knew there had to be a better way. . .

We were ready for change, we let go of blame, excuses and took responsibility. We were willing to look at the good, the bad, and the ugly. Our therapist would give us homework. We never missed a lesson. The secret to a loving relationship is to do the work it takes to grow lovingly and peacefully into the future.


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