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David and Amber Lapp, research associates at the Institute for American Values, have written a provoking piece for Public Discourse that dismantles popular myths about successful cohabitation and fragmented family life entitled ” What Marriage Means in Today’s ‘New Normal’ “:

How do working class young adults think about marriage today? Do they still revere it even while they choose to delay it, or are they jettisoning marriage altogether? . . . as much as young adults express hopes of permanence and commitment, those ideals crumble against the specter of unhappiness. What should the unhappily married person do? A common response went something like this: “It probably means that you married the wrong person and were never in love in the first place. You might have married for the wrong reasons—maybe because the person had money, or just because you got the girl pregnant.” As one roofer put it, “Maybe they was never in love at all!” What is this enduring love that promises perpetual happiness and for which young adults are searching? Brandon’s response was a common one: “Love is a feeling that you just get when you just know, man. I don’t think there’s a word for it. Like, if you like look into that person’s eyes and it’s, like, you just feel it.

Read the rest here . The article seems to be particular fruit gleaned from the Institute for American Values’ more probing study of today’s new, alternative family structures and their consequences, ” One Parent or Five: A Global Look at Today’s New Intentional Families “, conducted by Elizabeth Marquardt.

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