More ar­ti­cles about mar­riage needed

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor -

Th­e­seriesof­fourar­ti­cle­son“TiesThatBind,” (Jan. 1 and Jan. 8 edi­tions) pre­sented ob­jec­tive andthought­fulin­sightsin­tothes­ta­te­of­mar­riage and the fam­ily in the United States.

How­ever,ami­dallofthe­good­in­for­ma­tion­pro­videdinthe­series,we­think­thecom­mentsabout the disad­van­tages of hav­ing chil­dren from Na­tional Mar­riage Project Co-di­rec­tor Bar­bara Dame White­head could have been bet­ter bal­anced(“Worksched­ule­sare­mak­ing­way­for­fam­ily life,” Jan. 8 edi­tion). The ar­ti­cle should have in­cluded views held by many mar­ried cou­ples who­believethathav­ingchil­drenisan­in­com­pa­ra­ble bless­ing and ad­van­tage de­spite the ded­i­cated and de­mand­ing work in­volved in rear­ing them. Suc­cess in child-rear­ing is its own most pre­cious re­ward, pass­ing on val­ues and virtues thatwill­help­fu­ture­gen­er­a­tionslive­bet­ter­lives as part of the vi­tal fab­ric our coun­try.

As pre­sen­ters for Lutheran Mar­riage En­counter (part of the World­wide Mar­riage En­counter ex­pe­ri­ence cre­ated by the Catholic Church) and a cou­ple who have been mar­ried 41 years, we are very much aware of the value and im­por­tance of pro­vid­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools to com­mit­ted mar­ried cou­ples in or­der to help them en­rich and strengthen their mar­riages. Ina­com­plexfreeso­ci­ety­where­so­many choices com­pete for our time and at­ten­tion, spouses­toooften­put­their­mar­riagere­la­tion­ships on­the­back­burner,tak­ingth­em­for­grant­e­dun­til it is too late to rekin­dle what orig­i­nally at­tracted them to each other.

Itis­then­thatthey­be­come­can­di­dates­for­mar­riage­coun­selin­gor,even­worse,di­vorce.We­often pay more at­ten­tion to ac­quir­ing the ed­u­ca­tion and­skills­forour­job­sand­main­tain­ingor­tun­ing up­ma­te­ri­alth­ings,sucha­sour­carsand­homes, than fo­cus­ing time and en­ergy on help­ing our mar­riages thrive and grow in what should be a com­mit­ted,life­longjour­neyasacaringandlov­ing hus­band and wife.

On­go­ing mar­riage main­te­nance ef­forts can help­pre­vent­di­vi­sive­ness,ad­own­ward­spi­ralor merely ac­cep­tance of the sta­tus quo in a mar­i­tal re­la­tion­ship.

Love,con­trary­topop­u­lar­be­lief,is­not­self-sus­tain­ing­butre­quiresworkan­dade­ci­sion­tolove. We­sug­gestafol­low-up­tothe­serieson­mar­riage with an ar­ti­cle list­ing the var­i­ous mar­riage en­rich­men­tre­sources­thata­reavail­able,in­clud­ing Mar­riage En­counter week­end com­mu­ni­ca­tion sem­i­nars.

The few mar­riage “helps” you men­tioned in the se­ries are a good start, but there are many morethat­could­be­of­ben­e­fit­to­cou­pleswhowant tomaketheir­mar­riages­bet­terand­more­vi­brant. Alan and Ar­lene Fraser Gaithers­burg, Mary­land

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