The July, 2009 issue of Time magazine published an essay by Caitlin Flanagan titled, “Why Marriage Matters.” According to Ms. Flanagan, “marriage can be a vehicle for the nurture and protection of each other, the one reliable shelter in an uncaring world–or it can be a matchless tool for the infliction of suffering on the people you supposedly love above all others, most of all on your children.”
Ms. Flanagan reminds us in the past 40 years the American family has changed profoundly. She refers to Sociologist Andrew J. Cherlin in his book,”The Marriage Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today” who says the difference between contemporary American families and those of other nations is their combination of frequent marriage, frequent divorce and the high number of short-term cohabiting relationships which creates a coming and going of partners. This lack of commitment creates hardship and hurts children.
People today still hope to be married forever, to still be loved and cherished as we grow old. We want to achieve a soul mate relationship, but are we willing to do the work and make the sacrifice it takes? Those of us who have been together fifty plus years will tell you it is well worth the effort. Our family gets together because we delight in each other’s company. We feel loved by each other and by our children and grandchildren. We are experiencing the payoff of years of sacrifice and hard work. Aging is without question the most difficult stage of life. Love of family gives us the strength to accept the losses. Family matters!