When Barbara Dafoe Whitehead was a girl, her father gave her some rules for selecting a husband.
Dafoe Whitehead has been married to a man who exuded all of these qualities for more than 40 years. The one area in which she rebelled: her husband is an asthmatic.
“Things are different now for girls,” says Dafoe Whitehead. “Both of my girls are single and in their 30s. In college, someone told one of my daughters that to think about marriage shows a lack of ambition.
“The reality is, we have left a lot of teaching about love, sex and marriage to the popular culture – reality TV, celebrity gossip, etc. Young women today hear messages of heartbreak and failure, heartbreak and cheating, heartbreak and lying. There isn’t a lot out there about being successful in marriage.”
According to Dafoe Whitehead, only 20 percent of young adults came from broken homes in the late 70s compared to 40 percent in the late 90s. Many women have personal experience with divorce. These young people gather a lot of misinformation along the way that, if acted upon, will significantly lower their chances of marital success.
“I believe there are five pervasive messages of failure that young women are receiving today,” Dafoe Whitehead says.
These misleading messages are:
“The truth is, young women in their teens and 20s should have tremendous hope for a successful marriage in the future,” Dafoe Whitehead says.
A lot can be done in the teen years to prepare for a healthy marriage later.
Making a Love Connection is an excellent resource to help teens make healthy decisions. At the heart of its hopeful message is the issue of sequence or timing. Young women can significantly improve their chances of having a healthy marriage by finishing high school, waiting until after the teen years to marry and having children after marrying. This sequential order also dramatically decreases the chances of poverty or divorcing.
If you are looking for a committed relationship, don’t settle for any old guy, and don’t settle for living together. Most women want a committed relationship.
Marriage is typically a public ceremony, leaving no doubt regarding the couple’s commitment to each other. Moving in with someone is private, and the only witnesses may be the moving people. One young lady said, “I really didn’t care about wedding vows, but when I lived with my boyfriend we didn’t vow to do anything.”
If you want a healthy marriage, here are some things to consider.