Menstuff® has information on a Happy Marriage.
Living in sin? Turns out it is not so bad for
Secrets to a Happy Marriage
How to Have a Happy Marriage When You're Busy Parenting
How do You Decide Who to Marry?
Zach Wahls Speaks About Family
Living in sin? Turns out it is not so bad for
How common is it for premarital couples to live together?
Research over the years has shown that cohabitation prior to marriage leads to a greater likelihood of divorce. Many also have religious views that discourage couples to live together unless they are married.
Even so, many couples find themselves living together before making the big commitment to each other. Choosing to move in together cuts costs and keeps beds cozy without the stress of having to say "til death do we part." In fact, premarital cohabitation has risen nine hundred percent in the past fifty years, with seventy percent of women ages thirty to thirty-four having lived with a male partner prior to marriage.
Is premarital cohabitation really a likely predictor of divorce?
While these rising rates of cohabitation may be concerning because of older research that showed how premarital couples living together were more likely to wind up divorced, research is now showing that cohabitation may not be such a bad idea after all. Many couples who move in together prior to marriage wind up staying married after all.
New research sheds different light on previous findings regarding premarital cohabitation
Sociologist Arielle Kuperberg, from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, has studied the correlation between premarital cohabitation and divorce. Her research has debunked some of the former findings in the field regarding a documented correlation between premarital cohabitation and divorce.
Kuperberg has found that in many of the previous studies that examined the correlation between premarital cohabitation and divorce, researchers used the age of marriage in their data, as opposed to the couple's age when they moved in together. As a result, the risk of divorce was likely overestimated in prior studies, because in her studies, the risk of divorce appeared to have more to do with the age of commitment than whether or not a couple was living together before tying the knot.
For some women who had a higher than average risk of divorce due to factors such as having a premarital birth or more than the average number of sexual partners, premarital cohabitation was found to be less likely to lead to divorce than moving in together following marriage.
What is the real predictor of divorce, if it is not premarital cohabitation?
Kuperberg has found that premarital cohabitation has less to do
with divorce than does the age that couples commit to each other. She
notes that when couples commit to each other who are younger, less
mature and less experienced, they are less likely to stay married.
Regardless of whether a couple gets married or moves in together, if
they do so at a young age, especially before twenty-three years, they
will see a higher likelihood of divorce.
Sources Booth, A. and D. Johnson. (1988) Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Success. Journal of Family Issues 9:25572. mentalhealth.about.com/od/systems/fl/Living-in-sin-Turns-out-it-is-not-so-bad-for-you.htm?utm_source=cn_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Health%20Channel%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=healthsl&utm_content=20150616
Secrets to a Happy Marriage
Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MDOnce it was simple. You got married, had kids, worked the land, and stayed married whether you could stand each other or not. The concept of a happy marriage was no more relevant than the idea of a pretty tractor.
That has changed over time as marriage has become more independent, says Steven Nock, a professor of sociology who studies marriage at the University of Virginia and author of Marriage in Mens Lives. Couples dont need each other for quite as many things as they once did. If youre running a farm with someone, it doesnt matter if youre pissed at her or not. You need her labor as much as she needs yours. The couple is more or less equally dependent on each other.
Chances are, though, if you are reading this, you are not running a farm with your mate. And if you are, you are probably doing it out of choice, not necessity. As a recent Washington Post story pointed out, As marriage with children becomes the exception rather than the norm, social scientists say it is also becoming the self-selected province of the college-educated and the affluent. Marriage in America is becoming more like a luxury car ? in other words a BMW, not a Harvester.
This doesnt necessarily mean modern marriages are happy marriages. According to the latest U.S. Census data, the overall divorce rate has declined as couples get married later in life, often after living together. But the divorce rate for first marriages is still about 47%.
Having a happy marriage today means thinking of reasons to be together
From my perspective, the hardest thing is issues of commitment and trust, says Nock, who has followed couples over time and conducted interviews with 6,000 married men since 1979. What does commitment mean to the modern husband? Im going to behave myself because Im committed to this relationship, is how Nock describes it. Because people have left the farm, and because women have achieved financial parity, married people need new reasons to stay together.
I have studied what people imagine would happen to them if their marriage were to end, says Nock. If you dont think horrible things will happen, you are a different kind of spouse than if you think they will. In my work, it is a very strong predictor of divorce. In other words, if you can see yourself taking that next step and can visualize yourself as single, you are more likely to be stepping outside the marriage.
A key to happy marriage: Keeping separate lives
While too much independence ? the kind that leads to infidelity or workaholism ? is a marriage breaker, too much dependence isnt the answer either. Every good marriage is based on an awful lot of separation, Nock says. People need to have a separate life and existence to feel validated as individuals. They cant live solely as somebodys partner.
Nock also says people have to ask themselves what is going to keep them together when the love fades. The short answer is anything that would be lost to both parties if you split up.
Happy marriage tip: Married sex is better
If my wife and I split up, I get to keep my own earnings, investments, assets, and toys. And the same is true for her, Nock says. But some things dont fit that category. I dont know how you quantify that reaction when you and your wife see your child take her first step, Nock says. That is worth something and cannot happen without both partners. And there are countless things like that involving children.
But what if you dont have children? Well, the chances are you have more sex, and, according to Nock, it is still the case that marital sex is better than extramarital sex. Most research suggests, Nock says, that couples figure out how to please each other better than strangers do.
Marriage and tradition? They belong together
It also turns out there is a reason we put stock in anniversaries. Divorces are much more common in the front end of marriage, and the longer you stay married, the less likely it is you will get divorced. When that happens, there are other intangibles at risk.
After a divorce, lots of couples and kids complain about the loss of traditions, says Nock. What are we supposed to do on Easter or Passover? The fact is, we need traditions ? starting with marriage itself.
People dont think it matters when you stand up and make these public vows, says Nock. My students dont get it. It may seem like flimsy glue, but its better than never making those statements ? those pledges of fidelity, of help, and support.
Scenes from a happy marriage: Dating
There are plenty of reasons why you should stay married. You will live longer, earn more, and be a more social and altruistic member of society than your single counterpart. The question remains, in the hassle-free no-fault divorce world, how do you stay married ? happily, that is? Terry Real, a Boston-based marriage and family therapist and author of The New Rules of Marriage: What You Need to Know to Make Love Work, suggests you try dating your wife.
Its good for your children to see you go off for the weekend and leave them at home, says Real. Its good for them to see you going off on Friday night because its date night, even if its just jeans and a pizza and a movie. Its a tremendous inoculation against marriage failure down the pike to put a little time and energy into marriage all the way through.
A happy marriage requires more maintenance than your car
Many men try to fix their marriage after it is broken, after their wives have turned off or theyve lost the incentive. What I tell guys is, If you dont put oil in your engine, it freezes. Guys will put more energy into maintaining their car than they will into maintaining their marriage, and if you dont maintain something, it breaks.
Among his tips for a happy marriage is to let your wife kvetch. A lot of guys dont want to go out alone with their wives because they know when the wives are alone with them, theyre going to complain. Dont fight that, he says. Take your woman out and cut her some slack. Dont insist that everything go your way. Listen, nod, agree now and then ? but within limits.
Doing these things is not the same as compromise. I dont want people to compromise on the one relationship that is the most important relationship of their lifetime, he says. Women dont get what they want because men cant deliver emotional intimacy. I talk to women about how to go about getting that. Guys dont get what they want either. But we are so dumb and used to having low expectations that we grumble about it, and then dont do anything about it. My message to both sexes is: Go back into the ring and duke it out. Most guys do not feel appreciated, cherished, and loved and desired in their marriage. You need to learn to ask for those things, he says ? before you end up paying for them with an extramarital affair.
You can ask for what you need on your job; you can say you dont feel appreciated in the work place. You cant be selectively incompetent. Awaken to your responsibility to bring those skills home with you.
Or else go back to the farm.
Source: Miranda Hitti, men.webmd.com/guide/secrets-happy-marriage?ecd=wnl_sxr_071908
How to Have a Happy Marriage When You're Busy
Make a commitment
To create or maintain a strong marriage you will have to take the first critical step: You must be willing to put time, effort and thought into nurturing your marriage. The ideas that follow will help you follow through on this commitment and will put new life and meaning into your marriage.
A wonderful thing may happen. You may fall in love with your spouse all over again. In addition, your children will greatly benefit from your stronger relationship. Children feel secure when they know that Mom and Dad love each other -- particularly in today's world, where 50 percent of marriages end in divorce; half of your children's friends have gone, or are going through a divorce; or maybe it's your kids who have survived a divorce and are now living in a new family arrangement. Your children need daily proof that their family life is stable and predictable. When you make a commitment to your marriage, your children will feel the difference. No, they won't suffer from neglect! They'll blossom when your marriage -- and their home life -- is thriving.
The surprising secret is that this doesn't have to take any extra time in your already busy schedule. Just a change in attitude plus a committed focus can yield a stronger, happier marriage.
So here's my challenge to you. Read the following suggestions and apply them in your marriage for the next 30 days. Then evaluate your marriage. I guarantee you'll both be happier.
Look for the good, overlook the bad
You married this person for many good reasons. Your partner has many wonderful qualities. Your first step in adding sizzle to your marriage is to look for the good and overlook the bad.
Make it a habit to ignore the little annoying things -- dirty socks on the floor, a day-old coffee cup on the counter, worn out flannel pajamas, an inelegant burp at the dinner table -- and choose instead to search for those things that make you smile: the way he rolls on the floor with the baby; the fact that she made your favorite cookies, the peace in knowing someone so well that you can wear your worn out flannels or burp at the table.
Give two compliments every day
Now that you've committed to seeing the good in your partner, it's time to say it! This is a golden key to your mate's heart. Our world is so full of negative input, and we so rarely get compliments from other people. When we do get a compliment, it not only makes us feel great about ourselves, it actually makes us feel great about the person giving the compliment! Think about it! When your honey says, "You're the best. I'm so glad I married you." It not only makes you feel loved, it makes you feel more loving.
Compliments are easy to give, take such a little bit of time, and they're free. Compliments are powerful; you just have to make the effort to say them. Anything works: "Dinner was great, you make my favorite sauce." "Thanks for picking up the cleaning. It was very thoughtful, you saved me a trip." "That sweater looks great on you."
That may sound funny to you, but think about it. How many times do you see -- or experience -- partners treating each other in impolite, harsh ways that they'd never even treat a friend? Sometimes we take our partners for granted and unintentionally display rudeness. As the saying goes, if you have a choice between being right and being nice, just choose to be nice. Or to put this in the wise words of Bambi's friend Thumper, the bunny rabbit -- "If you can't say somethin' nice don't say nothin' at all."
Pick your battles
How often have you heard this advice about parenting? This is great advice for child-rearing -- and it's great advice to follow in your marriage as well. In any human relationship there will be disagreement and conflict. The key here is to decide which issues are worth pursuing and which are better off ignored.
By doing this, you'll find much less negative energy between you.
From now on, anytime you feel annoyed, take a minute to examine the issue at hand, and ask yourself a few questions. "How important is this?" "Is this worth picking a fight over?" "What would be the benefit of choosing this battle versus letting it go?"
The 60 second cuddle
You can often identify a newly married couple just by how much they touch each other -- holding hands, sitting close, touching arms, kissing -- just as you can spot an "oldly-married" couple by how little they touch. Mothers, in particular, often have less need for physical contact with their partners because their babies and young children provide so much opportunity for touch and cuddling that day's end finds them "touched fulfilled."
So here's a simple reminder: make the effort to touch your spouse more often. A pat, a hug, a kiss, a shoulder massage -- the good feeling it produces for both of you far outweighs the effort.
Here's the deal: Whenever you've been apart make it a rule that you will take just 60 seconds to cuddle, touch and connect. This can be addictive! If you follow this advice soon you'll find yourselves touching each other more often, and increasing the romantic aspect of your relationship.
Spend more time talking to and listening to your partner.
I don't mean, "Remember to pick up Jimmy's soccer uniform." Or "I have a PTA meeting tonight." Rather, get into the habit of sharing your thoughts about what you read in the paper, what you watch on TV, your hopes, your dreams, your concerns. Take a special interest in those things that your spouse is interested in and ask questions. And then listen to the answers.
Spend time with your spouse
It can be very difficult for your marriage to thrive if you spend all your time being "Mommy" and "Daddy." You need to spend regular time as "Husband" and "Wife." This doesn't mean you have to take a two-week vacation in Hawaii. (Although that might be nice, too!) Just take small daily snippets of time when you can enjoy uninterrupted conversation, or even just quiet companionship, without a baby on your hip, a child tugging your shirtsleeve or a teenager begging for the car keys. A daily morning walk around the block or a shared cup of tea after all the children are in bed might work wonders to re-connect you to each other. And yes, it's quite fine to talk about your children when you're spending your time together, because, after all, your children are one of the most important connections you have in your relationship.
When you and your spouse regularly connect in a way that nurtures your relationship, you may find a renewed love between you, as well as a refreshed vigor that will allow you to be a better, more loving parent. You owe it to yourself -- and to your kids -- to nurture your relationship.
So take my challenge and use these ideas for the next 30 days. And
watch your marriage take on a whole new glow.
Source: From Elizabeth Pantley, babyparenting.about.com/od/parentingnewsandissues/a/happymarriage.htm
Zach Wahls Speaks About
Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which would end civil unions in Iowa.
The fight to keep marriage equality in Iowa continues. Support
Iowans like Zach.
We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. - Sam Kenn