Is Marriage Obsolete?

TIME magazine this week features a TIME/Pew Special Report with the cover asking in big red letters WHO NEEDS MARRIAGE? TIME takes an in depth look at the changing rates, statistics and expectations about marriage in the United States and the world in some instances.  TIME says, “What we found is that marriage, whatever its social, spiritual or symbolic appeal, is in purely practical terms just not as necessary as it used to be……yet marriage remains revered and desired.”(page 49, Nov. 29, 2010 issue)  The article also talks quite alot about cohabitation and makes this observation, “Cohabitation seems to have no negative effect on a marriage’s chances if it’s preceded by an engagement, no previous live-in lovers and no children.” (page 54)  This affirms one of the points in our book My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It, that serial heart marriage relationships are not helpful in creating healthy relationship habits and can actually set the stage for divorce.

We’ll be blogging about this article for the next little bit-  hope you’ll check back in!

Lora & Barbara

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Europe and Marriage

Lots of folks stop us at the grocery store or church or on the street to share their thoughts about our book My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It. Several people have mentioned the statistics that show marriage is on the decline in the U.S. and have pointed out that marriage rates in Europe have declined even more.  There is a term in Europe that describes relationships as “life stage partnerships” and the underlying assumption is that relationships don’t last forever, marriage is unnecessary and romantic relationships last for a season. Hmmmmm……what does this mean for our understanding of heart marriage? We maintain that when couples embrace marriage like behaviors – sex, cohabitation, monogamy- especially early in the relationship, they become deeply bound even if the relationship is troubled and will have difficulty and heart ache when they try to break up.

So, whether you live in Europe or the states, live with intention and don’t rush your romances!!

Lora & Barbara

Unmarried and Single Americans Week! Who Knew?

Since the 1980’s the third full week in September has been recognized as “Unmarried and Single Americans Week“- that is this week for 2010.  It is set aside to celebrate the single life, recognize singles and their contributions to society.  The U.S. Census Bureau reports that there are 96.6 million unmarried Americans 18 and older in the U.S. in 2009.  It is interesting that everywhere one looks though, the subjects of relationship, marriage, love, celebrity and non-famous couples are also in the news.  In our book, My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It, we talk about authenticity and how to intentionally and honestly find lasting love.  For many people, that includes a desire for a happy fulfilling marriage.  How do you get there?  First, you have to know what you want, not just in a partner but in life.  We find it is helpful to actually write down what is important to you and what you want in a partner.  It sounds simple, but it can be very clarifying! It is our wish that you, whether single or not, are happy and content with your life.  If you are not, take some time to figure out what your dreams are and make a plan to achieve those dreams.  Our book, My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It, can help!

Lora & Barbara

Pre-nuptial vs. Pre-marital cohabitation: What’s the Difference?

There is actually a difference between pre-nuptial and pre-marital cohabitation!  And it is not just a game of semantics!  Pre-nuptial living together means the couple has set date for the wedding, the couple is officially engaged, the search is on for the dress and other details are being attended to – that compares to pre-marital or just plain old, straight up living together or cohabiting.  While this couple may hope marriage is in the future, there are no concrete plans to marry.  Statistically, it appears that couples who live together pre-nuptially have the same percentage of success in marriage as couples who did not cohabit. However, where the research shows trouble is for the serial cohabitor- those individuals who live with a succession of partners before marriage have higher rates of divorce.  In essence, these individuals may be heart married a number of times and consequently go through the difficult breakups we call heart divorces before marrying. It is these folks who have higher rates of divorce.

Something to think about….

Hope you are having a great weekend,

Lora & Barbara

Welcome to My Heart Got Married!

Thanks for stopping by.

My Heart Got Married And I Didn’t Know It is our new book due to be released in Summer 2009. It introduces and names the concept of heart marriage as the binding together of the hearts of a dating couple in a profound way; yet they have not clearly and intentionally articulated a desire and commitment to marry.   Heart marriage occurs when couples begin to practice, rather early in their relationship, the typical behaviors of marriage such as monogamy, sexual intimacy and cohabiting, whether part-time a few nights a week or full time by literally occupying the same residence.  With today’s relationship trends, this occurs more and more often and as a result, couples are short circuiting the natural developmental process of getting to know and understand each other that is critical in discerning whether the relationship is right for the long term commitment of marriage.    

To read more and preorder My Heart Got Married, visit our website.