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What’s Real — Myths & Facts about Marriage

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What’s Reel? The Myths & Facts about Marriage

The last few decades have seen significant changes in the meaning and functions of marriage in the United States. For example, the increase in expressive individualism, the shift towards a postindustrial economy, the rise in women’s social and economic status, and the relative decline in the social and economic functions of the family have all reshaped the nature of contemporary married life. In today’s world, the institution of marriage faces new challenges, and new opportunities.

Among these is the need to educate youth about marriage, and to begin that task at an earlier age.For most teens, the idea of marriage may seem like a distant event – not something that they need to worry about right now. However, most research tells us that 90% of teens in the U.S. expect to get married someday. Yet, these teens are not so optimistic about their chances of succeeding in marriage. These teens are bombarded with images of failed relationships and marriages all around them. Each year, one million American children will witness the breakdown of their own parents marriage.

Of those who parents stay married, many will not be good role models of healthy relationships. Another million America children are born each year to unwed mothers. Situations like these do not give many teens much hope for their own relationships and marriage. Yet consistently, teens will rank having a happy and lasting marriage as one of their top personal goals in life.

It is important for teens to know that there are many things they can learn to help improve their chances for successful marriages and relationships in the future. Learning these skills now will help guide them in making better decisions. This curriculum does just that by starting to break down the many myths and half-truths in the minds of teens when it comes to marriage.

In seven hour-long lessons, teens will explore several myths and facts about marriage based on current research. Teens will also learn some valuable tips to help them deal with the relationships they are in now as well as prepare for a happy, lasting marriage in the future.

  1. In Lesson One teens learn how the media can influence our thoughts about marriage and relationships. Teens today consume an average of 10 hours of media every day. This amount of media plays a great role in forming youthful views and attitudes about marriages. Teens are challenged to really take a deeper look at the media messages they are soaking in.
  2. In Lesson Two  teens are presented with many myths and facts about marriage along with the research behind these beliefs. They are challenged to make decisions for themselves about marriage.
  3. In Lesson Three teens begin to identify the benefits of getting married as an adult. Due to the negative light in which the media portrays marriages, it is no surprise that many teens see marriage as a real drag. Marriage is often viewed as a “ball and chain”, boring, and a negative way of life. However, research shows us that there are actually significant, measurable benefits to being married
  4. In Lesson Four  teens identify qualities that help make a marriage strong as well as learning some skills that can help strengthen a marriage or relationship. No one is born knowing how to be the perfect mate. The good news is that these skills and qualities can be learned.
  5. In Lesson Five teens take a look at cohabitation. A popular myth in our day is that living together before marriage is a good way to make sure your relationship is right and to prepare for a successful, healthy marriage. Teens examine this myth and learn that if marriage is their goal, cohabitation may not really be the best choice for them.
  6. In Lesson Six teens learn the importance of marriage education and the rewards of participating in a marriage preparation course before getting married. A common misbelief about marriage is that it is a natural part of life. There is no need to prepare for it in order to be successful. It will come naturally! However going into marriage unprepared is not a good way to start the marriage.
  7. In Lesson Seven teens end by reviewing ten points that they should know about marriage. Regardless if they do or do not decide to get married, these tips will point them in the right direction for preparing for a successful and healthy marriage.