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Combating the American marriage crisis

As marriages across the country fall apart, experts and researchers are searching for a solution that will bring stability to families and society as a whole.
Emily Hales, Deseret News Modified: May 7, 2014 at 4:40 pm •  Published: May 8, 2014

Marriage rates are steadily decreasing, divorce rates are steadily increasing and, although experts recognize that failed marriages threaten society, they don't agree on a solution.

According to a report published by the National Marriage Project, "More than 40 percent of first marriages and 60 percent of second marriages are ending in divorce, with lower income and less educated couples especially at risk."

The report quotes writer Michael Potemra, who explored the issue of poverty in the United States while crisscrossing the country in a Greyhound bus. He saw firsthand the effects of frequent divorce and failed relationships among the poor. He drew the conclusion the negative effects were too powerful to overcome through marriage therapy.

Many experts, including those with the National Marriage Project, disagree. They believe that strong marriages and families are essential for creating a safe and happy society, and that strengthening marriage should be the first step for stimulating social change.

The solutions for fixing modern marriages range from traditional to radical.

Clinical psychologist Sue Johnson maintains that only strict adherence to a traditional, monogamous marriage will solve the problem. She believes that monogamy is natural and necessary for an individual's health and well-being.

"We are supposed to live in a rich social environment, and part of it is long-term bonds with special people. It sometimes feels like modern society is just determined to forget this,” Johnson said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “We don’t live in little villages any more. People now often depend on romantic love as their main source of social support.”

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