Week of February 6, 2011
Courtesy of Bill Coffin
1. Decoding Keys to a Healthy Life, Harvard Gazette
Waldinger said the study’s central focus now is on marriage, examining how couples have weathered life’s storms and cope with challenges such as declining health and concerns about finances. In recent interviews, researchers asked older couples about conflicts and how they resolve them. But couple after couple, Waldinger said, couldn’t recall conflicts.
“They said, ‘We used to argue about it, but we just don’t anymore,’ ” Waldinger said. “The main developmental task for younger couples is managing conflicts. The main task for older couples is mutual support. … Being in a good marriage buffers you from the effects of pain and disability.”
2. U.S. Congress Commends National Marriage Week USA (Feb. 7-14), Standard Newswire
“We are in a time of crisis,” said Sheila Weber, executive director of National Marriage Week USA. “A recent Pew Research Center report said that in 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married; today just 51% are — a record low,” she continued. “A new book, ‘Coming Apart,’ also explains that a retreat from marriage among the working class is one key factor in the growing economic divide.”
3. The Marriage Test, The Huffington Post
From sending the emails to my lady friends, the overwhelming response I received was that no matter what the specific response is to one question or 10, what’s important for two people who are becoming one to agree on, are their values as a couple. It makes sense, right? I mean, you can never predict what’s going to happen. Everyone can enter into their union with the best of intentions and then life gets in the way but I’m not going to let that stop me from trying. I’m choosing to focus on the fact that you only need a good shot at winning to beat expectations. Anything past that, like everything in life, is a matter of desire and a lot of hard work.
[Note: Great questions follow].
4. The Dubious Science of Online Dating, The New York Times
But can a mathematical formula really identify pairs of singles who are especially likely to have a successful romantic relationship?
We believe the answer is no. It’s hard to be certain, since the sites have not disclosed their algorithms. But — as we and our co-authors argue in an article to be published this month in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest — the past 80 years of scientific research about what makes people romantically compatible suggests that such sites are unlikely to do what they claim to do. . .
None of this suggests that online dating is any worse a method of meeting potential romantic partners than meeting in a bar or on the subway. But it’s no better either.
5. Bills to Strengthen Marriage, Salt Lake Tribune
One, HB132, sponsored by Rep. Dixon Pitcher of Ogden, provides incentives for engaged couples to invest in premarital education or counseling by discounting the marriage license fee from $50 to $20 for those who invest in six hours of education or three hours of counseling. The education can be provided either in a religious or a secular setting. The bill also creates a three-day waiting period before a marriage license can be activated to prevent hasty decisions and instant weddings.
The other bill, HB290, sponsored by Rep. Jim Nielson of Bountiful, makes revisions to Utah’s current divorce orientation education law that requires divorcing parents to take a brief class about the effects of divorce, resources for repairing the relationship, and the value of divorce mediation.
HB290 would require that the education be completed before filing for divorce and makes the course free. The mandate is waived for those who have experienced spousal abuse.
6. The White Underclass, The New York Times
Liberals sometimes feel that it is narrow-minded to favor traditional marriage. Over time, my reporting on poverty has led me to disagree: Solid marriages have a huge beneficial impact on the lives of the poor (more so than in the lives of the middle class, who have more cushion when things go wrong). . .
In 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan released a famous report warning of a crisis in African-American family structures, and many liberals at the time accused him of something close to racism. In retrospect, Moynihan was right to sound the alarms.
7. The Death (and Life) of Marriage in America, The Atlantic
National Marriage Week USA kicks off today, and for many people, a national booster movement for marriage could not come any sooner. The recession did a number on American matrimony, as you’ve surely heard. The collapse in marriage rates is cited as one of the most important symptoms — or is it a cause? — of economic malaise for the middle class. But the statistics aren’t always what they seem, and the reasons behind marriage’s so-called decline aren’t all negative.
For more, see this site.