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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 June 8, 2007 / 22 Sivan, 5767

Celebrating marriage

By Linda Chavez


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This week marks a milestone in my life: I'll be celebrating my 40th wedding anniversary (two days after I turn 60). I've been thinking a lot about marriage lately as I've been researching marriage, divorce and out-of-wedlock birth rates in my ongoing debate about Hispanic assimilation.


Marriage is in trouble, among all groups of Americans. The divorce rate is down slightly — about one-third of all first marriages will end in divorce after 10 years of marriage — but it's no time to pop the champagne bottles. Marriage rates are down even more sharply. Fewer Americans are marrying today than anytime in the past, and cohabitation is on a sharp increase.


If you look at the factors that predict who will marry and who will divorce, my marriage didn't stand a chance. My husband and I were both 19 when we married — still teenagers, whose divorce rates are sky-high (nearly half of all teenage brides divorce within 10 years). He was Jewish. I was Catholic. His father was a doctor, mine a house painter.


His family was comfortably upper middle class; mine struggled to make it through the week on paychecks that weren't always there, especially in winter months when work for a painter was spotty. We were both in college, but the birth of our first son 18 months later could have doomed our education plans, especially mine. We both went on to complete college and attend graduate school.


So why did we beat the odds? By refusing to give up on the relationship, even when things were tough. Every marriage goes through patchy periods. But if you have kids — we have three sons, now grown — you owe it to them to do everything in your power to work it out. (Of course, physical abuse, drug addiction or severe alcohol abuse can't be tolerated, but most marriages that end in divorce don't do so because of these factors.)


My husband's personal commitment has led to professional passion, as well. He has spent the last several years promoting healthy marriage — first in the Bush administration as a deputy assistant secretary in the Administration for Children and Families and now working to get federal and state money to strengthen existing marriages and help low income couples learn skills to form better relationships and promote healthy marriages.


Marriage is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs there is. The poverty rate for black children overall has been stuck at about 40 percent for decades, but only 13 percent of black children being raised by both parents live in poverty, and this rate has been going down over the years, even though it is still higher than the national average.


But promoting marriage is an uphill battle. We have become, in so many ways, a disposable society. Don't like washing dishes or (heaven forbid) diapers? Replace them with paper, which can be thrown away. Last year's car isn't as shiny or cutting edge as the new ones? Trade it in for this year's model, even if it puts you greater in debt.


The wife is getting a little thick around the middle, or the hubby is losing his hair? There's always someone younger, better looking or more successful out there. In the past, there was social stigma attached to divorce. Now, the pressure on married couples is not to settle for anything less than perfect spouses and uninterrupted bliss.


Marriage isn't like that. It's hard work. Few of us can count on looking as good as we did in our wedding pictures. People change, for better or worse. Traditional marriage vows recognized this. Spouses pledged to honor each other in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death. The Catholic Church still uses this pledge.


But the trend today is to write hip, even funny, vows, which aren't really vows at all, like these suggested on a popular wedding website: "I promise to always make your favorite banana milkshake," or "I vow to split the difference on the thermostat," as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston did when they married. And look how long that union lasted . . .


Marriage is a serious — dare I say, sacred — endeavor. It is also the foundation of our society. If children are to thrive, we must do more to encourage and celebrate marriage. I'll be doing my share this week.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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