Marriage Songs/Today/ Signs - 1/07

Smartmarriages smartmarriages at
Mon Jan 29 19:50:01 EST 2007


> Diane, 
> Our Marriage Resource Center is celebrating Marriage Week and kicking off our
> community-wide healthy marriage initiative with a Sweet Heart Dinner on Feb.
> 3.  The county commissioners have declared Feb. 7 - 14 as Marriage Week
> Carroll County!  The theme for our evening is "They're Playing Our Song" and
> our entertainment will be an evening of jazz and love songs played by a live
> Trio.  The Trio will be taking requests, so I will send you a list of all the
> songs that are played.
> Our dinner was a sell out.  We had to take the ticket information off of the
> website!
> Amy Gilford
> Marriage Resource Center
> Carroll County, MD

Success stories like this warm the cockles of my heart.  Wonderful!  - diane


FIRST, I've already heard from a few dozen who have decided I'm senile
because 1) I don't know what week it is (I did say to set your Tivo for the
Today show for "next week Feb 6th"), and 2) I didn't mention the marriage
song "OLD LOVE".  We did play it before EVERY plenary session in Atlanta and
several of you said you're still humming it.   I agree it is an example of a
perfect marriage song.  Also, thank you to those cautioning about copyright.
Sharing a LIST of songs is OK.  BUT if anyone is going to create a CD for
sale or distribution we'd need copyright permission and royalty arrangements
with the writers.  Thanks for the reminders and for all the love songs
flowing in. And, I'm not senile, just in a frazzle trying to get the
conference brochure "to bed".    - diane

> I had to click just to hear "Old Love" again. That's the song that waltzed
> us into the ballroom before each of the keynote sessions and became our
> "10th Anniversary" theme song.  Click to hear a snippet, and there is a
> link to order the CD:
> text
>  - diane 
To listen, BE SURE you include the little url tail - the word "text"...diane


> Product Description
> Special Hallmark edition. Songs: Born To Give My Love To You, Valentine, At
> Last, In My Daughter's Eyes, Together Again, All The Things We've Never Done,
> Some Say I'm Running, When You Are Old.
> Hallmark put out this CD for Valentines Day. It includes 8 songs that were
> handpicked by Martina. It went gold in just one week following it's release.
> The song list includes classic Martina Love Songs including
> "Valentine," "All The Things We've Never Done," "Born To Give My Love To You"
> and "In My Daughter's Eyes," as well as the Etta James classic "At Last" and
> Buck Owens's "Together Again" which were recorded especially for the project.
> Although it was never intended to be anything other than a Hallmark promotion.
> This CD, although short, stands on it's own.
> It has gone Gold and is headed for Platinum. Quite remarkable.

And here are the lyrics to the best of them.
> All the Things We've Never Done
> (Craig Bickhardt/Jeff Pennig)
> They drank their anniversary glass
> A silent moment passed
> Then they kissed
> She knows there's something on his mind
> He'll tell her in due time
> What it is
> He says "I've never built
> Your mansion on a hill
> Or warmed you in the Spanish sun
> I simply blink my eye
> And think as years fly by
> Of all the things we've never done"
> She smiles and takes his hand in  hers
> And says "It just occurred
> To me now
> The thought that brings you such regret
> What hasn't happened yet
> It makes me proud..."
> "You never walked away
> When I needed you to stay
> Or made me feel I'm not the one
> There've been no broken vows
> And the reason we're here now
> Is all the things we've never done"
> "We've never grown apart
> You never broke my heart
> With secrets that you've kept me from
> We've never been untrue
> And I'm still here with you
> Through all the things we've never done"

Hi Diane,
I love the idea of a CD of love songs.  When my husband and I got married a
few years ago we gave CDs as the gift to people who attended.  Below is the
song list we used.  Over the years we have heard from many people that they
loved the disc.  It kept the day going long after our vows were said and we
were back to "normal" life... not that anything is normal again after
getting married!
I'd love to read what others have to share on this idea- it makes for a
great play list on my ipod!
Melanie Gorman
Director of Operations & Ask Mars Venus
1.      Kool and the Gang- Celebration
2.      Ani DiFranco- As Is
3.      Bob Marley & The Wailers- Is this Love
4.      Cleptomaniacs vs. Steve Wonder- All I Do
5.      Dave Matthews Band-  In my Life
6.      Edwin McCain- I Could Not Ask for More
7.      Etta James- At Last
8.      Jill Scott- A Long Walk
9.      John Denver- Annie's Song (Our first dance song.)
10.  Johnny Cash- Ring of Fire
11.  Lenny Kravitz- I Belong to You
12.  Sam and Dave- Soothe Me
13.  Stevie Nicks & Don Henley- Leather and Lace
14.  Vonda Shepard- I Only Want to Be With You
15.  Elvis- Can't Help Falling in Love With You

(As we get all mushy about love songs, someone wrote in to tell me that 1)
there already exist all kinds of compilations of 'the best love song' CDs,
that they sell them all the time on infomercials; and 2) to caution me to
remember that most "love" songs are all about regret, lost love, and breakup
"Our D-I_V_O_R_C_Eee, becomes final today...."; and 3) that songs are not
going to make any difference, anyway. To which I say 1) send us the list of
"the best" and positive songs off these compilations and 2) a list of mushy
marriage love songs and honoring and celebrating long, happy marriages can't
possibly hurt. Neither can waiting 2 or 3 years before you can get a
divorce. Especially with minor children.  It's encouraging that in the same
month that New Jersey "modernized" its divorce code and reduced the wait
from 18 to 6 months and instituted "irreconcilable differences" as grounds,
there are others trying to slow the process down.  Like this effort in
Virginia (below). Wish someone would write a good song about "no fault"
divorce.  Like it might not be anyone's fault but it sure is stupid.   -
diane ) 

Is it time to ditch no-fault divorce?
Opinion page 
The Free-Lance Star, Fredericksburg, Virginia

Dumping grounds

Is it time to reconsider no-fault divorce?

LET'S FACE IT. We love divorce. Or we act as if we do, anyway. Today, 43
percent of first marriages end in separation or divorce within 15 years,
reports the National Center for Health Statistics. Other surveys put the
number nearer to half.

Divorce laws in Virginia were liberalized in 1972, at a time when most
states were aping California's "no-fault" system. The notion then was that
no-fault would cool contention and help couples end troubled marriages with
civility. The reality has worked out quite differently.

No-fault divorce promotes the idea that marriages are of slight importance,
that "I just don't love you anymore" is an adequate reason to call it quits.
Today some 80 percent of divorces are unilateral--desired by just one
spouse. And while it's true that no-fault has helped spouses in abusive
marriages get out of them promptly, for the unendangered majority of divorce
seekers it has merely provided a quick-exit option--one that when exercised
en masse leaves a long trail of pain and a weakened society.

That's why the Virginia Family Foundation has divorce reform on its agenda
for this legislative session. The foundation proposes that mutual consent be
required for divorce if it would affect children under age 18--except in
certain cases, notably abuse. "Right now, one spouse can unilaterally end
[the marriage]," notes VFF President Victoria Cobb. Not only is the other
spouse unable to stop the divorce, the initiator's act of abandonment
doesn't preclude him or her from being awarded child custody.

Past efforts to reform divorce laws in Virginia have failed. Americans love
"easy outs." Still, it's time for legislators to take a fresh look at a
problem whose mitigations often end up in government's lap. Longitudinal
studies show the grim fallout of divorce, as summarized by columnist Maggie
Gallagher: "Even among advantaged, middle-class white children, divorce
doubles the risk that 20 years later adult children would experience serious
social, emotional, and/or psychological dysfunction." Mavis Hetherington, a
respected psychologist in the field, found that the adult children of
divorce had twice the divorce rate of kids from intact families, and that
only 20 percent of adults who saw their marriages end feel their lives have
been enhanced by the experience.

On one hand, divorce seems like a personal issue, one that the state should
refrain from deterring. On the other, the ripples of divorce are wide. Ask a
teacher who has to deal with angry and insecure kids in the classroom. Ask a
financial counselor who tries advising a divorced woman in her later years.
Ask a lawyer who has to help couples wade through the messy and expensive
divorce process.

No-fault divorce has had a good run. The data are in. No-fault and public
policy should move to Splitsville.



I forgot to mention that Today Show (Feb 6 - 8) has a focus: "the state of
marriage" so it is helpful to have this reminder from Scott Haltzman. The
show is featuring a long list of our Smart Marriages experts, or so we hope.
Many have been interviewed on camera - we'll watch to see who makes it on
who is left on the cutting room floor. Always interesting to see how they
edit. - diane 

> Diane, The Today show has me booked for Feb 6, so you can add me to the list.
> They asked my to write up my opinions on the state of marriage and here's what
> I sent them.  The first few paragraphs are data most of your readers already
> know.  The last few paragraphs are some of my opinions on how and why
> marriages dissolve, and what we can do. Share it with the list if you like,
> maybe someone can use it.
> Scott Haltzman
> The State of Marriage.
> Americans have a love affair with marriage.  95% of Americans still say they
> desire to be married and, in fact, since the late-nineteenth century, about
> 90% of individuals have been married at one point. (The highest rate was 1960,
> when 94% of women had been married.)
> The wish to get married is good news for Americans, since, compared to single
> and cohabitating families, married individuals earn (and save) more money,
> have less health problems, live longer, and have children who are likely to be
> more highly educated and more likely to have intact marriages themselves.
> But there are some trends that are not so encouraging.  Since the mid 1960‚s
> the divorce rate has generally climbed from about 17% to about 50% in the late
> eighties, and have dipped to just between 40 and 50% since the 1980s.
> Readers of these statistics need to be wary though.  The rate is calculated by
> looking at the number of people who married in a year (usually about 2
> million) versus the number of divorces each year (usually about 1 million).
> But those million people who divorce aren't the same individuals who married
> that year, so statistics can't predict individual marriages over time.  One
> statistic, cited by leading marriage researcher Dr. John Gottman, PhD, says
> that the chance of a first marriage ending in divorce over a forty-year
> period is 67 percent.  That is the highest rate I've seen published, but Dr.
> Gottman doesn't cite a reference for that statistic.
> While the number of divorces has been slowly decreasing since 1980, the
> marriage rate has also been dropping. Nearly 7.7% of women over 15 married
> each year in 1970, now just under 4% of women marry each year.  (That's one of
> the reasons that, even though the actual number of divorces has dropped, the
> divorce RATE has not changed much in the last 2 decades.)  Some of this
> decline is simply because people are waiting longer to get married.  In 1960
> women married at 20, men at 23.  In 2004, the age of first marriage was 26 and
> 27.  The decline is also explained by some couples deciding to cohabitate and
> not marry, some people staying single, and some people deciding not to
> remarry. (The majority of people who divorce remarry -- men more than women--
> but the number has fallen somewhat in the last few years.) There are higher
> rates of non-marriage among African-Americans compared to white Americans, for
> instance.  While marriage rates have always been around 90%, demographers
> project that 88 percent of women and 82 percent of men born in this century
> will ever marry.
> Not all Americans share the same likelihood of divorce. The rates are higher
> for African-Americans than for whites, and higher in the West than in other
> parts of the country. But these variations have lessened over time. Since
> African-Americans are marrying less, their numbers of divorces are down.  Now
> divorce rates are equal in the South and Midwest and the West; only the
> Eastern Seaboard and the Central Plains have lower than average rates.
> Teenagers, high-school drop outs, and the non-religious who marry have
> considerably higher divorce rates.
> Cohabitation also plays a role in changes in how Americans view marriage.
> Between 1960 and 2004, the percentage of unmarried couples in America
> increased from less than ∏ percent to more than 5 percent of households. OVER
> HALF of all people who marry now say that they first lived together with their
> spouse.  While many individuals believe that this may help them know each
> other better before marriage, cohabitation prior to engagement actually
> increases the odds of a divorce.
> The reasons for marriage has changed over the last century.  In agrarian
> society, people didn't think all that much about how happy their spouse would
> make them.  Americans lived in small communities, married people they'd known
> their whole lives, and worked together to run a farm and raise a family.  When
> the Industrial Revolution came, there was more clear-cut division of labor;
> women and men evolved more clearly defined roles around work and family.  Some
> of that distinction got blurred in World War II, when many women ended up
> having to take on full time jobs while their husbands were at war, and further
> blurred with the emergence of the women's movement.  Increasingly, the idea of
> a marriage as a place in which two individuals would satisfy their romantic
> yearnings began to take hold in Western civilization. Now, most individuals
> would say they marry for love (not economics), and they have the full
> expectation that love will flourish as a consequence of being married.
> People are drawn to marriage today for the romantic ideal of finding a soul
> mate with whom they will share their lives and grow together.  That's usually
> why courting focuses on seeking out the PERFECT partner who will meet the
> emotional, physical, and economic needs of the other partner. Moreover, while
> most individuals will say that marriage is a two-way street, they often don't
> do enough to meet their partner's needs, and when the marriage gets stressed,
> look to their partner to solve issues.  The reality is, these days, a deal is
> secretly made when the vows are exchanged: I'll marry you, and you will keep
> me happy.  
> In all marriages, though, problems emerge.  Usually, money rears its head as
> the most stressful issue in the first year of marriage.  But, soon, on its
> heals, come issues with a new baby, in-laws, household chores, and sex.
> Disappointment builds when (inevitably) the reality of marriage doesn't match
> with the ideal.  Not everything's perfect, right?
> Well, in today's culture, perfect is what it's all about!  We are bombarded
> with media images that promise that we can buy just about any solution to any
> problem we have.  Americans turn to plastic surgery to make their bodies
> perfect, they buy cars with 100,000 mile guarantees.  We have been taught to
> believe that good enough just isn't good enough.  So when an individual
> doesn't like the way his or her relationship goes, the blame goes to the
> partner.  After all, the agreement was that you'd keep me happy, wasn't it?
> Of course, if there is domestic violence, recurrent infidelities or substance
> abuse, it may be advisable to part ways.  But people are too quick to bow out
> of a relationship when they become dissatisfied.   When people know there's an
> easy way out, they take it.  No shame, no blame.  The problem with that
> strategy is twofold.  First, people don't really know how to make a
> relationship better, and are mistakenly waiting for their partner to fix it
> for them -- marriage education can solve that, but many people don't, or won't
> go.  Second, learning how to get through the tough times in marriage is part
> of the evolution of a good marriage.  Marriages that last to their golden
> anniversary have the same kinds of tough times as marriages that dissolve in
> the first few years; the difference is simply that the long-married couples
> stuck it out.  
> Interestingly, studies demonstrate that the STICK WITH IT tactic really does
> work.  A long-term study of individuals who described themselves as very
> unhappy in their marriages, found that if they stay married (and ≤ of them
> did), 85% of these people became happy in the marriage five years down the
> line.  Just hanging in there can make all the difference in the world.
> Yet when I tell my couples that, they are skeptical. Why stay in a bad
> marriage? they ask.  You don't have to, I reply, you can make it into a
> good marriage.  With an appropriate attitude and realistic expectations, and
> with good tools for asking for and listening to what the relationship needs,
> most couples truly can live happily ever after.>
> Scott Haltzman, MD

This is from this week's UK Marriage Newsletter:
Might as well share it, it's raining today anyway....

> Two's family, three's a pain
> Redefined as “childfree”, couples today are choosing not to have children says
> the Times <,,17909-2565850.html> .
> These are not the tragically-unable-to-conceive; they are contented women and
> men who have opted not to become parents. Their numbers are growing, says the
> Office of National Statistics. One woman in five now remains childless, with
> nearly one degree-educated woman in three never becoming a mother. In the US,
> according to a census in 2003, 42 per cent of women don’t have children.
> “The question that perplexes many people is why. The obvious answer, one that
> upsets the child-free, is selfishness: children are demanding and require
> attention 24/7. This appears to be the view of the Catholic Church. Last
> month, the Pope said that Europe no longer seemed to want to have children and
> blamed “the wish to have one’s whole life to one’s self” for people choosing
> to be childless. “

This one kind of fits in the "which do you want first, the good news or the
bad news?" category....  - diane

> Hello Diane, 
> Here's one for your 'signs of the times' category:
> **A local magazine had a picture of a recent bridal show.  The "bride and
> groom" models were standing in front of a sign that read:  "You're busy
> planning a wedding...Pause for a day to plan the marriage" ("Preparing for
> Life Together" was referenced on the poster)
> **And in telling a friend about the quote, he said he's been shocked when
> he's heard so many first-time marrieds now referring to their marriage as "my
> first marriage" - as if they already have the expectation for more to come.
> Lawrence

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