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  • TIME for a Sober Look at Marriage

    This week’s TIME magazine cover story, Unfaithfully Yours, dramatically laments the collapse of marriage:

    “There is no other single force causing as much measurable hardship and human misery in this country, as the collapse of marriage. It hurts children, it reduces mothers’ financial security, and it has landed with particular devastation on those who can bear it least: the nation’s underclass,” writes Caitlin Flanagan.

    Flanagan’s clarion call is backed by demographic trends that have now reached a point where nearly four of every ten babies is born out of wedlock and only half of all teenagers live in intact families. Cause for alarm is also found in a bevy of academic studies revealing the impact of the dissolution of the nuclear family on the life prospects and well-being of adults and their children. Research has clearly shown the physical, emotional, and fiscal benefits that married couples experience, as well as the devastating impact that the decline of the intact family has for the next generation. Compared with peers living with both biological parents, children and youth in other family structures fare worse in terms of academic achievement, mental and emotional health, and problem behavior. A father’s presence and involvement can make a lasting difference in a child’s prospects for life.

    A married father is more likely to be involved with his children–as Flanagan quotes our own Robert Rector– while unmarried fathers are “soon out the door” when the demands of family life inevitably occur.

    Surveys have indicated that American adolescents’ attitudes toward marriage tend to be hopeful (76 percent said that the institution of marriage and family life are “extremely important” and 81 percent said that they expected to marry), but trends in their favorable attitudes toward cohabitation and premarital sexual activity belie that hope. Research indicates that cohabiting couples are more likely to experience divorce in a subsequent marriage and premarital sex is likewise related to an increased likelihood of divorce.

    A study sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services, “Pathways to Adulthood and Marriage,” reveals that the quality of parents’ marriages has an impact on what youths anticipate for their own future, declaring that “Teens’ expectations of what a romantic relationship should be are undoubtedly influenced by the romantic relationships of their parents.” The downward spiral of the nuclear family is, thus, likely to continue, unless the concept of marriage is once again linked to personal responsibility, obligation, and a willingness to sacrifice. In Flanagan’s words,

    “The fundamental question we must ask ourselves at the beginning of the century is this: What is the purpose of marriage? Is it—given the game-changing realities of birth control, female equality, and the fact that motherhood outside of marriage is no longer stigmatized—simply an institution that has the capacity to increase the pleasure of the adults who enter into it? If so, we might as well hold the wake now…The current generation of children [is]watching commitments between adults snap like dry twigs and observing parents who simply can’t be bothered to marry each other.”

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to TIME for a Sober Look at Marriage

    1. Andrew, Michigan says:

      I may be a minority but I have been blessed in marriage for 22 years with 9 children. My convictions are Biblical based, one man with one woman (and yes that is it)! Marriage is not an easy course, it teaches an individual that "it is not always about me" which rings so prevelant in todays society for a multitude of reasons.

      The love that can be blessed by God when they are united by marriage is infintesimally greater than that of broken/abandoned relationships. I do not claimed to have reached this, but I am looking forward in this pursuit. In this relationship, I also have used the solidarity gained within our marriage to minister/witness to many additional youths (of broken families) looking for the so called answers in life, they have openly observed both the trials and triumphs within our relationship. They have also witnessed that in marriage you are never alone! We all have the need to be accepted/wanted within this world and in my opinion marriage answers this need.

      I know that there are amoral forces trying to degrade the traditional values of marriage and the nuclear family but I am still able to stand strong for these causes and I pray that those who follow me will do their level best for these same values. I was taught the lesson that "A tree grows where it's roots are planted" which demonstrates my philosophy of not only talking but living these values in the good & the bad times including faith, love, cooperative efforts, belonging and the realization that when it is all said and done what is left on this world is the relationships that we had with eachother and the creator that counts.

      I suspect there are many that are ready to strongly critique this comment, but I stand with this and promote these things whenever I can, So Be It!

    2. Pingback: TIME for a Sober Look at Marriage » The Foundry « Parental Rights

    3. Pingback: TIME for a Sober Look at Marriage » The Foundry - Himanchals Org.

    4. MaryAnne, Pittsburgh says:

      Marriage isn't easy for some of us – ours is difficult. When kids are involved you have to do what's best for them & the adults have to manage as best we can. Responsibility, love, sacrifice and a lot of prayer keep our family together.

      We feel it's our duty to ourselves & society to be independent, responsible problem-solvers. We believe in working toward a "greater good" and we know that "the greater good" doesn't mean "me". Wish more people thought that way…..

    5. Al, The Villages, Fl says:

      Andrew writes"…there are amoral forces trying to degrade the traditional values of marriage …" These forces exist among our government officials, in our schools and with political correctness running wild, our society lacks a sound moral compass. Many people when they speak of marriage have no idea of what marriage is or what it requires to be successful.

    6. Garry, Phoenix says:

      I like what was said about the subject by the LDS authorities back in '95. Check out the link..
      http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?locale=0&so

    7. Rochelle, Colorado says:

      Congratulations to Andrew, Michigan! Marriage is a difficult and rewarding relationship between a man and a women. The blessing of 9 children. That is wonderful! Our culture no longer recognizes the benefit of children or the benefit of a Mom and Dad to children. The statistics keep supporting this.The tax situation does nothing to make it easy for families either. Bravo Andrew!

    8. Ross Writes, Brade says:

      I taught my own children that the greatest decision they will ever make will be who they marry…choose well. Also to never, ever get involved with someone who has more problems than yours…their problems become yours. Finally, there is more to marriage than sex, money, and useless "stuff". The highest price will be developing the priority of meeting each family members emotional and spiritual needs to weather the "good-times" and the "bad-times". Both are equally dangerous for the family for the same reason, selfishness. Marriage is not a 50-50 proportion, never has been. It is a 100% commitment by the husband and wife to make the marriage work. Anything less, the marriage will fail or the family will be disfunctional at best.

      Before the "Great Society" and early welfare programs of the '50's, Unwed mothers were about 5% in the American white communities, 3% in the Black communities, and even less in the Espanic communities. Most young men found to have "knocked up" a young woman, usually married her or the young woman gave up the child at birth. It was a family matter(considered 'disgracing the family',the whole, extended family!)and decision on the fate of everyone involved. It wasn't perfect but slowed underage sex and unwanted consequences.

      Also families attended church and learned, if nothing else good commonsense approach to life's challenges. Faith in a Superior Being, faith in our families and friends, faith in our country, and more important, faith in the future. Liberalism, Progressivism, and political correctness has destroyed the basic understanding of faith and understanding of commitment and accountability in to many of our fellow citizens. These ill-conceived philosophies are determined to destroy basic building material of the fabric of our society, the family.

      THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE BASIC STRUCTURE OF A FAMILY, A HUSBAND/FATHER, A WIFE/MOTHER, LOVED CHILDREN AND THE DETERMINATION TO MAKE IT WORK WITH LOVE, LONG SUFFERING, AND SELFLESSNESS UNDER ONE ROOF.

    9. Spiritof76 says:

      TIME magazine and all the Progressive-bent publicans derided the traditional marriages as antiquities that should be dispensed with for over 40 years now. The schools indoctrinated the children with that view. The anti-male feminism of Betty Friedan was held up as the new Commandments at academia and its master, the government.

      Now, this article is stating what is obvious. Another "gift of failure" from the Progressives is banishing the common sense and rely solely on the so called experts for everything. Dr. Spok started that going.

      Many states now define marriage between any two people. How would the children of that environment know instinctively who the father is and who the mother is? Simply, how would he know as to who he should send a card on Mother's or Father's day?

      Just like everything else handed down by the Progressives, this is also a failure.

      Progressivism is the blight that has devastated our country of liberty into a new country of slavery and misery.

    10. Pingback: Why fiscal conservatives should support marriage and family « Wintery Knight Blog

    11. Jean,Missouri says:

      We welcomed our first child 10 months and 10 days after our marriage. She is now 52 years of age, has serious special needs, and requires total care. We were joined by a son 25 months later, and another daughter 30 months later. Our daughter's life, as "trail blazer" in the world of autism has brought our family (and kept) our family close, schooled us in love as sacrifice, and given each family member opportunities to overcome the "ME, ME, ME' mentality. Marriage and family will recover with a younger generation that recognizes the pitfalls with all the pain they have endured and witnessed in failed, or non-marriage decisions.

      "BE NOT AFRAID! HOPE! AND PRAY!" … Pope John Paul, II

      Our youngest daughter wrote the following on our 53rd:

      Happy Anniversary! Your love for each other is a shining example of…, Well, it's a shining example to us all! Thanks for toughing it out all these years… and for loving each other so deeply… May your wedded bliss continue well into a second golden age! We love you!

    12. Jean,Missouri says:

      Marriage of a man and woman requires maturity honoring the unique qualities of each while recognizing that commitment is based on the reality that love is a decision… not an emotion. When experiencing severe negative feelings and emotions, even a sense of loss of "love" toward each other… demand of yourselves to "grow up" and find positive reasons to "fall in love all over again"! This may require questioning how GOD loves each of us unconditionally and PRAYING for that GRACE!

    13. Marshall Hill MI. says:

      The Family is under Assault by the LIBS!

    14. Kris, Bx NY says:

      No on ever said marriage is easy. Part of this break down has been the ease with which one can obtain a monthly pay check. Simply lay on your back and make babies. Many who come from poverty stricken countries, come for the free ride. At least if they break with their alleged religious beliefs there's still a way to get a meal, medical care and a roof over your head. I do not believe in these practices and I believe if city, state and the Federal gov'ts get it together these out of wedlock practices will be slowed down and in some instances stopped. I also vote yes to mandatory sterilization for males and females for multiple births they are not fiscally responsible for, paying for one procedure is a lot cheaper than prenatal care, infant/child care, and multiple generation welfare abusers. The very second it is established that there is a pregnancy, no spouse, no knowledge of who the sperm provider is, no education, no job, in some instances no citizenship then wave goodbye and require they (both the male and female) become sterilized after infant is born.

    15. Julie in Washington says:

      I've taught my children to choose wisely when they choose a spouse. They need to enter that union for better or worse, a lifetime partner. Todays marriages are throw away just like everything else. We used to fix things that were broken now we throw them away and buy a new one, that same attitude has carried over into marriage. I have been married for 33 years and had 3 children. We lost our oldest daughter when she was 17. The statistics arent good for parents that lose a child 75% end in divorce. We made it clear from the start for our younger daughter & son that mom & dad arent going anywhere, this is a family and we'll get thru this together. It helps to know that she was a devoted christian and I know she is in Heaven waiting for us.

      Obstacles can be overcome if you work at it and you do have to WORK at it, but in the end it's definitly worth it!

    16. dennis florida says:

      after reading all these responses, i cant think of anything to say.it seems you'll have allready covered it all……..i'll catch the next one.

    17. Pingback: News from the Culture War « Pond’rings

    18. Dave, Japan says:

      Simply put, if people want to stay married and be happy, both parents must throw away ALL their selfish desires and start finding ways everyday to serve their each other and their children. If a person can't do that, they will continue to seek after trivial things while at the same time disenfranchising their families.

    19. Pingback: Weekly Team-Up: Dobbs & Fox A Match Made for Democrats? | thelobbyist

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