Most people believe only half of U.S. marriages make it. But a leading researcher is announcing the true divorce rate is much lower and always has been.
Shaunti Feldhahn received her research training at Harvard. She and her husband Jeff help people with their marriages and relationships through best-selling books like, For Women Only and For Men Only.
This Atlanta-based couple often quoted in their writings and at conferences what they thought was accurate research: that most marriages are unhappy and 50 percent of them end in divorce, even in the Church.
“I didn’t know,” Feldhahn told CBN News. “I’ve stood up on stage and said every one of these wrong statistics.”
Then eight years ago, she asked assistant Tally Whitehead for specific research on divorce for an article she was writing. After much digging, neither of them could find any real numbers.
That kicked off a personal, years-long crusade to dig through the tremendously complicated, sometimes contradictory research to find the truth. The surprising revelations are revealed in her new book, The Good News About Marriage.
“First-time marriages: probably 20 to 25 percent have ended in divorce on average,” Feldhahn revealed. “Now, okay, that’s still too high, but it’s a whole lot better than what people think it is.”
Shaunti and Jeff point out the 50 percent figure came from projections of what researchers thought the divorce rate would become as they watched the divorce numbers rising in the 1970s and early 1980s when states around the nation were passing no-fault divorce laws.
“But the divorce rate has been dropping,” Feldhahn said. “We’ve never hit those numbers. We’ve never gotten close.”
And it’s even lower among churchgoers, where a couple’s chance of divorcing is more likely in the single digits or teens.
What do the data below from the study suggest to you?
Read it all and see if your conclusions mesh with the author’s.
Very interesting, especially coming from the Toledo Blade. Personally, I couldn’t agree more. See what you think.
What makes Mr. Kasich much man, in my estimation, is a willingness to jeopardize that presidential possibility by going to bat for medical care for the poor and their children.
I also respect him for this: After 18 years in Congress and 10 years as a TV host and commentator and making big money in the corporate world, Mr. Kasich decided to run for a job that, if you do it right, requires you to make decisions every day, and many of those decisions make you enemies. He could have spent the rest of his days second guessing, pontificating, and counting his fortune. But he thought he could contribute, build something. His tremendous impatience with political pieties, cul de sacs, and promises makes him a rare bird. A former Washington colleague says: “He’s not a beltway thinker.”
In the end, Mr. Kasich is a political maverick trying to get things done. That means checking ideology at the door. He’s not only green, and compassionate, but he supported an assault weapons ban when in Congress. He also wants to keep taxes low and reinvent welfare.
What makes Kasich highly electable nationally probably makes him unnominatable. He doesn’t seem to much care.
Mr. Kasich had a conversion, or reconversion, experience before he re-entered politics. He doesn’t talk about it. It’s private. But he is serious about his Christian faith. “Nothing much bothers me,” he says.
Mr. Kasich is also a “gym rat.” He works out every day. I ask if he attends to his inner life daily as well. He gives me an extended caveat: He is not saintly, has many flaws, and on most days feels closer to Gandolfini than Gandhi. “But,” he says, “only a fool doesn’t.”
When most politicians say they got into politics, or came back to politics, “to give back,” I reach for my Rolaids and check for my wallet. When this guy says it, I believe him. He’d be a fine neighbor.
McKenzie’s experience at UW was generally my experience at Miami and it should be worrisome to anyone who values real academic freedom. Conn and his ilk have no such desire to support real academic freedom (and that should also concern those who pay for the tuition). Once again, McKenzie cuts to the chase. Good for him.
If I were to characterize my experience since coming to Wheaton four years ago, these are the words that first come to mind–divided no more. Wheaton is not a perfect place, nor did I expect it to be one when I came here. But I can honestly say that I have experienced much greater academic freedom at Wheaton than I ever did at the secular university that I left. Conn’s assertion that, in leaving UW for Wheaton, I have necessarily abandoned reason for dogma also mystifies me. That he assumes such a trade-off suggests that Dr. Conn is not entirely free of dogma himself. I could tell Conn about the intellectual excitement that abounds at Wheaton, about the brilliant colleagues I am privileged to work with (trained at places like Harvard and Yale and Duke and UNC), and about the extraordinarily gifted and motivated students that fill my classes, but I doubt that such a reasoned argument would sway him. Reason is rarely helpful in changing an opinion not grounded in reason to begin with.
Right now I just want to post this and just want you to read it all. I will comment later, though.
The other day my wife Cindy came across a hand-written letter from her uncle, Frank Keaton, that was written to his parents on February 8, 1944. Mr. Keaton landed on Omaha Beach before D-Day, one of a preliminary group to secure an area for the medics. He held the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, Two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Purple Heart. Shot while crossing the Rhine, he refused to go back behind the lines because he did not want to leave his company (he was part of the “Old Hickory” Division). He survived the war. His letter follows:
What better thing can a man ask for than a chance to fight for what he believes in, fight to give the new generation and the generations not yet born a chance to live a life like my own has been, a chance to play, to go to school and learn about the world, not just one race and one creed; a chance to love and be loved, a chance to see the greatness of the world that God has given us, and a chance to add a name to the long line of great men and women who have made names for themselves in every line of endeavor.
When I think of this my heart swells up and chokes me. Here, early in life, I’m given the opportunity to serve, to make the living of my life not in vain. Some men live a full lifetime and do not achieve this one distinction. This world conflict has given me an easy chance and a big opportunity.
This, then is the way I want you to look at it. You both have given me everything that it was in your power to give me. Give all the kids a big hug and kiss for me and say good-bye to all my friends. My last request of you is “Do not pray only that I shall return, but that I will have the power to do my duty.”
See what our brave new world has wrought.
From there, I learn, the hook-up – a face-to-face meeting – occurs, which usually entails sex. ‘‘Usually just oral,’’ one young girl reassured me, seeing no irony in the ‘‘just.’’ ‘‘Everyone does it!’’” she added with eye-roll upon witnessing my obvious horror.
‘‘Why would you meet up with them if you’re not going to have sex?’’ another says, in a tone that implies I am way down the spectrum of coolness. ‘‘That’s just teasing.’’
‘‘But, don’t you worry that this is all too much, too soon? That you’ll wind up jaded or regret your choices?’’ I splutter, unable to contain myself. Rightfully, I receive an earful in response.
‘‘And you call yourself a feminist!’’ one young friend admonished. ‘‘Now girls are acting like men always have, there’s supposed to be a shame around it. How hypocritical!’’
It is true I find this issue a conundrum, one that tests my own moral boundaries and ethics. As a feminist, I agree I should be supporting young women to live their lives the way they wish; reinforcing the idea that it is their bodies and their choices.
But, perhaps because I have also have been talking to a lot of young men lately who are either participating in or witnessing hook-up culture, I must confess I am left in despair.
From what I’m hearing, young men are happy to participate in casual sex and claim they are still friends with lots of girls they have ‘‘been’’ with. However, ask if they would consider any of them as girlfriend material and a vast majority respond with a vehement ‘‘no way’’.
‘‘I would never go out with a girl who’s been with my mates,’’ one 17-year-old told me. His friend, 19, agrees. ‘‘No guys go out with girls who screw around.’’