More articles about marriage needed
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