In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 1, 2010 / 24 Kislev, 5771

Marriage hard, but worth effort

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Marriage is hard. That's what I told the guy sitting next to me on the plane Tuesday when he explained that he and his bride of less than a year have split up, despite the birth several weeks ago of their son.

That's what I told a girlfriend in an e-mail, and another over lunch recently when she shared her fear that she and her husband might not make it through a rocky patch.

That's what I tell myself on any given day, and what I remind my husband when we try each other's patience or expect special skills that simply don't exist. Like mind reading.

Lifelong marriage - once a goal held in the hearts of every newlywed couple - no longer is an expectation even for those who enter the bonds of matrimony with the best of intentions. That is, if they enter matrimony at all.

Two recent studies reveal some startling realities about the state of marriage in America and the trends that impact families, children and the communities we share.

The journal "The Future of Children," a collaboration of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, devotes its most recent issue to the subject of "fragile families," defined as families that are formed when children are born of unmarried couples. In the first comprehensive, longitudinal study of such families, a disconcerting picture emerges. Among the findings contained in the journal's summary:

  • At the time of their child's birth, most parents in fragile families are romantically involved and have high hopes that they will get married; most, however, are not able to establish stable unions or long-term co-parenting relationships.

  • Both mothers and fathers in fragile families have low earnings capacities stemming from low-quality education and from physical, emotional and mental health problems.

  • The capabilities and contributions of unwed fathers fall short of those of married fathers and differ in important ways by the kind of relationship the fathers have with their child's mother.

  • Children who grow up in single-mother and cohabiting families fare worse than those born into married-couple households, although being raised by stable single or cohabiting parents seems to entail less risk than being raised by single or cohabiting parents when these family types are unstable.

  • The costs of nonmarital births are high, both to children and parents in fragile families and to society as a whole; reducing births to unmarried parents should be policymakers' primary goal.

Naturally, the journal includes several suggestions for public policies intended to strengthen "fragile families," all of which call for expanded social programs to address the supposed root cause, identified as nonmarital childbearing. As you might expect, emphasis is on avoiding childbirth over promoting marriage, as if a government in a free society could do either.

Sadly, I don't think there's a government program that will turn around our culture's shifting attitudes about marriage.

Unfortunately, perhaps due to our cultural distaste for doing hard things, negative attitudes are evident in our view of the institution itself. According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, 39 percent of Americans now say marriage is obsolete.

More importantly, 34 percent of Americans said the growing variety of family living arrangements is good for society, while only 32 percent said it didn't make a difference and just 29 percent said it was troubling.

Count me among the 29 percent.

The decline of traditional marriages and the families on which they are built is taking an economic, social and spiritual toll on our nation. Reigniting our culture's commitment to commitment - even one that is truly daunting - is the key to revitalizing our families and communities.

Nobody said marriage was easy. But in every way you can measure what is good for people and society, it's worth the effort.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks