Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Family Matters

Did you hear about Gregg Herman, a family lawyer in Milwaukee, who had a 96-year-old client who wanted to divorce his 89-year-old wife? It was a second marriage of 19 years.

He told Herman: "I don't want to live the rest of my life being married to her."

Today we are living longer and having fewer children than ever.  This is the foundation of a very nice piece of writing done by Abigail Trafford  of the Washington Post.  In her article entitled “The Kids are Gone.  Now What is Marriage All About?”, she discusses the challenges of the aging American Family. 

Some startling statistics from her article….

Today, the majority of families do not have young children at home, according to a population survey released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau. In the early 1960s, almost 60 percent of families had children younger than 18 living at home; that percentage has now dropped to 46 percent.

Contrast those figures with 1880, when researchers estimate that 75 percent of couples in the United States had children at home.

The huge demographic shift, the result of longer life spans and falling fertility rates, calls into question some basic wedding mystiques

Cheryl and I began our marriage with a simple question and premise, “What is the possibility of family"?”  During these years we have worked to fulfill on that vision.  Now that our children have moved on, we find ourselves in a transition time.  Not completely ready for full retirement and playing with grandkids, but not completely sure with what to do with ourselves with each of our children wither completely out on their own or soon to be.

Questions come up for us, such as “How much guidance do we give our adult children?”  “What does it mean to be about family, when there are no children in the home?”  These and other questions will be explored over the coming years. 

One thing we remain committed to, even after 23 years of marriage is “What is the possibility of family?”

Let us know your thoughts.  More on this later.

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