I read this in the Edmonton Journal. Can you see the tie-in to Rotary? Read below about stronger marriages – and the reference to clubs like ROTARY. If you are recruiting – and that person is married – another tool to use!
Meant to be? Maybe not
‘Soulmate’ marriages prove fragile — study
Putting the ‘hopeless’ in hopeless romantics, a new study of more than 1,400 spouses concludes that one of the flimsiest foundations for a marriage is, incredibly, love.
It seems a heretical claim to make at a time when two-thirds of the population believes in soulmates — those rom-com-anointed pairings viewed as “meant to be.” But researchers find marriages based on that ideal, although happy, are so fragile as to be 1-1/2 times likelier to end in divorce than unions steeped in traditional values — think child-bearing, fidelity and interdependence.
“Marriage is about a long-term commitment, thick and thin, kids, money — all that stuff,” says study co-author W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. “But in our day and age, as people have developed more independence, there’s been much more focus on just the emotional dimensions of married life.”
Co-author Jeffrey Dew explains that with the rise of individualism has come an attitude whereby self-satisfaction trumps the needs of the partnership.
“If the relationship isn’t helping them personally, they’re less committed to sustaining it,” says Dew, an assistant professor at Utah State University. “The marriage isn’t really grounded in anything but intense love.”
Simply honouring the “institution of marriage,” however, doesn’t promise a happily ever after, either.
Tradition-focused couples that toe the line without the support of shared social networks and religious participation actually fare the worst in terms of marital quality. That is, even though they stay together, they aren’t happier for it.
The study, which appears in the September issue of the journal Social Science Research, finds that the highest-quality marriages combine the “new” and “old” approaches, leaving neither entirely behind at the altar.
“You can’t underestimate the importance of social support,” says Wilcox, an associate professor of sociology. “Even for people who aren’t religious, it’s important to be involved in voluntary organizations, community groups or networks that both spouses enjoy, that acknowledge them as a couple and that support their marriage.”
This positive effect is attributed to “sharing the load,” and never focusing too narrowly on either the needs of the partnership or the needs of the individual.
“Love by itself is a pretty flimsy foundation for a marriage,” says Wilcox. “But if you define love as making a commitment to one person for life and a willingness to sacrifice for that person’s good — and for the sake of the marriage — that’s a strong foundation.”
The study is based on a survey of 1,414 married men and women in Louisiana between 1998 and 2004.
Read more: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/Meant+Maybe/3560193/story.html#ixzz10JrN2ed3