Building a Stronger Marriage Culture in America

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A new survey reports that 38 percent of couples considering divorce or separation have now put off those plans due to the recession.

In response to the growing need to strengthen marriages, the National Marriage Project, located at the University of Virginia, has launched National Marriage Week USA, a week-long campaign leading up to Valentine's Day, from Feb. 7-14.

As part of this effort, the organization released "The Great Recession and Marriage," research that show how the flagging economy has affected marriages in the country.

"This new survey tells us that the Great Recession has had a double-edged impact on American marriages," Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, said.

"For some, the financial stresses associated with the Great Recession have hurt their marriages," he said. "But for others, this recession has fostered a new commitment to marriage that appears to have improved the quality and stability of their marriages."

Chuck Stetson, chairman of National Marriage Week USA, spoke more about how the breakdown of marriages impacts the nation and what the church can do to better strengthen families. Click play to watch.

Also, click here to watch an extended interview with Stetson on other ways couples can work to strengthen their marriage.

The group is working to highlight the need to build a stronger marriage culture, which in turn would help curtail poverty and benefit children.

"We want to get the message out that marriage is beneficial for both personal and national economic stability and for raising more well adjusted children," Chuck Stetson, chairman of National Marriage Week USA, said.

"Marriage breakdown costs taxpayers at least $112 billion a year. Forty percent of all American babies are now born outside of marriage," he said. "Combined with our 50 percent divorce rate, family breakdown is costly to the nation."

"In these days of economic hardship, policy leaders and individual Americans need to get serious about our efforts to strengthen marriage."

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