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January 8, 2018 3:25 pm
This week on Family Policy Matters, NC Family President John L. Rustin speaks with Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, the founder of the Ruth Institute, a global non-profit focused on keeping families together and helping the millions of people who have been harmed by family breakdown. They discuss how healthy actions and expectations are beneficial for ensuring a successful, lifelong marriage before saying “I do.”
The opposite of love is not hate. Love you, we use other people. Proper attitude is love. This is family policy matters with NC family Pres. John Weston thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters today were going to explore how healthy actions and expectations are beneficial for ensuring a successful lifelong marriage or saying I do. Our guest today is Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse who is the founder of the Ruth Institute, a global nonprofit focused on keeping families together protecting the rights of children and helping the millions of people who have been harmed by a family breakdown and accomplished economist and repeat guest on our program. Dr. Morse is altered or co-authored four books, including 101 tips for marrying the right person I Jennifer, welcome back to family policy matters. It's great to have you on the show again, thanks so much blood now based on your research and generally speaking, of course, have you seen the goals and expectations that people have for marriage change within the last several decades, and if so how have these changes impacted the view of marriage in our culture.
Well I'll tell you I think the other way around. John, honestly I meet the changes in the culture have shaped young people expectations about marriage and your behavior about Mary. So one of the things I see is that young people perceive are less apt to get married there waiting longer to get married and when they I find so awful when they do start thinking about getting there. There are more focused on the wedding and on the marriage while builders saving money for a big wedding but they moved in together. You know, things like that. They're not thinking long term about what's going to help the marriage itself there thinking of that storybook wedding as something that they feel like is really important and they're kind of entitled to and somehow that's the goal of bearer of the preparations and toward a life after the marriage. After the wedding so that I think that's really problematic and I don't think the young people's fault. That's where the culture is pushing people now clearly this, changing attitude, and that shifted focus toward the marriage ceremony versus the wife together is a pretty significant shift in how our culture has viewed marriage. How do you feel that these changes have impacted most people do get married, have impacted the happiness and fulfillment that they experience, especially younger couples while they are married guy should know it. We don't for long time.
The dictation is not good preparation which I mean the social scientists found that out quite a while ago and in fact some years ago that was that the National marriage Project came out with the group cohabitation and it really set no positive contribution cohabitation to marriage has ever been found to report on maybe 20 or 30 years was the and and and I can tell you the people in family studies.
Although the kind of professional areas. They were all thinking, oh gosh cohabitation. This is so modern it so get but so wonderful and so cool all working to be so much better off in all all of our own cool parents work and to be true right and so but but the culture to culture keeps chugging along.
You know with this message that you gotta take her test drive before you make your purchase. And if you don't, you're an idiot and it never got over it okay but the data shows something else. Okay I cohabitation business can be this information surrounding a huge factor in people's behavior and in their expectations that are kind of unrealistic and an end and the ways in which adults are coaching young people well considering this disconnect and looking at as you have set unrealistic expectations that people may suffer marriage once they get into marriages. Do you find that there are increasing numbers of people who were living in unhappy marriages or people simply more likely seek a divorce all or more people interested and willing to to really stick it out and to work to develop a strong life long marriage.
I think there's a very strong tendency for people throwing the towel in LA, particularly if their own parents have been divorced, so you take a couple and a young couple and both of them have experienced divorce that experienced the divorce of their parents. They enter into marriage absolutely committed that they want to stay together for life. Don't want to put their own kids through what they went through but it set a trouble a lot of times there what to do and so they think.
Oh gosh, I picked the wrong person for gosh I don't like I'm marriage material and so they draw the wrong conclusions from the problem where his version of what they need to know always that everybody has problems and and and short of somebody throwing furniture through the wall. You know you can person you need to work with you though, so I think people once again people have the six expectation it's unrealistic. It's as if there are problems that means there something wrong with the marriage and the marriage to Ed and that's really been a lot of assumptions built into that you don't Wheatley have this idea that were supposed to be satisfied. You know the that the customer is always right that circle commercial culture. But we forget that when were in a relationship with another human person found there not a buyer were not a seller, and vice versa.
You know are not objects exchanging here where we were one human being in relationship with another unit of the late great Pope St. John Paul the second is to say that the opposite of love is not hate love love is use we use other people, but the proper attitude towards another person's lungs person. The proper attitude is love not use your listening policy matters a resource for him to listen to our radio show online resources that will be a voice of persuasion in your community to our website family.org Jennifer, I know that you're a person of faith and compassion which are also in economist based on that you find that it's helpful for folks to understand how beneficial marriage is to society. Often a practical utilitarian standpoint. In other words, when people understand how strong marriages and stable families are good for society. Does this provide an additional incentive for them to stay married and to work to foster those meaningful lifelong relationships but I think it's intervention fate let's bring up our our mutual friend St. Paul the apostle long time ago that the good that we would do. We cannot seem to do in the gable which we would not do you somehow keep doing I think that's a very real factor in human relationships and marriage because people can English you in the long term see that what you just said is true that it be better if everybody stayed married to better marriages are stable people to throw in the towel so quickly. When it's your own life in your own unhappiness in your own tension in your own home is very good.
People say oh well, whatever.
And and and throw in the towel and so when we're when were not in those long and no short-term moment. You know where the discomforts are interfaced. That's why we have to really engage that practical reason side of things that you just mentioned, which is that it be better if we would all agree to do this and so now that I'm mostly saying my spouse is driving me crazy. I'm to think ahead now as to what I would do when he drives me crazy and that might include advocating for better, more stable public policy and public policy that encourages life alert mug rather than the opposite unit which is you know your travel notes which are organizations in business to do is to deal with that but we just I think it's very important that that men women laypeople clergy public policy people regular people that you understand that were at war with ourselves.
Some of the time and end to have in mind that the long-term good is sometimes very difficult to achieve.
That will help us know that we need to have some constraints around us in the short term and that we need to have people supporting us to get over those humps, you know, so that so that we can have a better public library love so that our kids can have that benefit to the leaks can make sacrifices for the good of the kids actually work it Jennifer, how have shifts in gender when expectations are particularly related to career and parenting responsibilities affected our marriage culture well to look at it this way okay. The vast majority of people listening to be married to a person of the opposite sex okay to appear there to personally opposite sex. I tell you this time but when you think that y'all are kinda crazy and comprehensible to know a lot of the time, so I'm getting at is that we going to marriage. If you could you have the idea that gender is something that is not very significantly, and kind of solving kinda pasted on by cultural expectations.
We can really rip it all off and be up and underneath it all will really all the same. If you enter into without expectation to be really disappointed because I promise you, your spouse is going to look at things differently.
It's going to feel differently is assigned different importance to different things other than you do. And if you expect your spouse to be the way you are.
It's not fair to you, it's not. Your spouse, you know that the Bible doesn't demand absolutely rigid gender roles.
You know that that's something that we kinda do paste on you know and and the fact is that there's nothing with the husband and wife working out for themselves.
Who's going to take out the trash and everything like that change the diapers and how much time you get to spend with the kids and so there a lot of that a husband and a wife working together to make work but you have to you still have to respect the fact that men and women are different dad that men need to be respected and women need to be loved. We both legal but relatively speaking, it's more important to a man to be respected and more cordial woman to be loved and so if we if we disregard that for each other and L and of course no one enters into marriage wanting to hurt the other person right so that's why I think it it it really is fascinating and important to be aware of the ways in which men and women in general differ from one another because it makes it easier for us to be respectful as we conclude our discussion today what what do you consider to be the number one thing marriage minded people should focus on before getting married.
Well, well, if you've already got a spouse already got somebody picked out in your and your focusing looking towards marriage. I would absolutely say at that point that you need to be focused on your life together after the wedding is way more important than the wedding itself and make sure you got that right in the marriage ceremony is very important, but is not so important that you should go into debt for it, or that you should think that you have to live together for a while so we can shape the money to ceremony. No, no, just go get married now but there's really the right person.
You don't have to spend a lot of money to go before a duly appointed clergy and have a valid marriage and that's valid in the eyes of the law. That's valid in the eyes of God. You don't have to do anything fancy or special to do that. What I was thinking you got the right person get on with it fine with that. Just do it if you don't have the right person in mind, I would say that that you need to be looking in the right places, and don't be hanging on singles bars and expect you to find a good Christian girl.
There are good Christian guys there and we talk about this in our book 100 chips for marrying right person you'll go look in the right place and make yourself the right kind of person who's going to be marriage material. Those are great, great point to great recommendations and before we leave Jennifer I want to give you an opportunity to let our listeners know where they can go to learn more about the reason Institute and also to get a copy of the book that you just mentioned 101 tips for marrying the right person. Yes L written center.org is our website, you can join us and by signing up for our weekly newsletter and you'll become part of the Ruth tribe and or you can go see us on Facebook we have a very active Facebook page periodically. You'll see little tips coming out of the books of the logistical pages, you can easily get yourself a copy that wages will not Jennifer about you also want to thank you so much for your time for being with us on family policy matters and for your great work to help people build happy life or marriage truly grateful and thank you so much. You're very welcome. You've been listening to family policy matters production NZ family to listen to our radio show online, and for more valuable resources and information about issues important to families in North Carolina website and see family.org and follow us on Twitter and Facebook