Tag Archives: Glenn T. Stanton
This is an interview with Glenn T. Stanton, author of The Ring Makes All the Difference. I encourage anyone already living with someone outside of marriage or considering the idea to read this book. It’s not a book full of pointing fingers or judgments; it’s a resourceful collection of honest facts that will hopefully guide each of you to make the best decision.
Q&A with Glenn T. Stanton
1. What does your book, The Ring Makes All the Difference, set out to do for the reader?
To tell the very important, but little known story of what the social sciences are telling about the impact of living together before marriage. It looks at a person’s current overall well-being as well as the future prospects of a happy, healthy, enduring marriage.
Unmarried cohabitation is most of the Western world’s fastest growing family and domestic form, so this is an important question to answer: “Is cohabitation likely to improve our overall happiness and well-being?” The book explains the “why” and “how” behind this question—and all from the leading science published over the last 30 years.
2. Who is the target audience for your book?
I really had two important groups in mind as I wrote the book. First were individuals who either are or are considering cohabitation. I want to help them determine whether this is a wise choice for them. But I also wrote it for professionals who deal with couples. Those are pastors and counselors.
It is a very informed, but approachable, practical book.
3. Coming from a large family-oriented organization, many would expect that you would say cohabitation isn’t the way to go to have the best marriage relationship. Why do you think this goes beyond what Focus on the Family’s message is to what secular research says?
Primarily because, as the book carefully illustrates, the case against cohabitation is not being made today by preachers and traditionalist grandmothers, but by cold, calculating science. Cohabitation is certainly a moral issue, but as I explain, it is because science tells us in a hundred different important ways that it diminishes our well-being in every important way. With more than 60 percent of all marriages being preceded by some type of cohabitation, this is a story that must be told…and listened to.
4. A recent New York Times article explained the number of Americans who have children and live together without marrying has increased twelvefold since 1970 and that children now are more likely to have unmarried parents than divorced ones. What kind of impact does this have on children and parents?
This is indeed very true. And the impact is tremendous and largely negative. First, children living with unmarried, cohabiting parents are more than three times more likely to live in poverty compared to their peers with married parents. In fact, a child living with cohabiting parents is more likely to look more like a child living with a single parent than with married parents. The marriage of mom and dad matters in profound, practical ways.
Children living with cohabiting parents, especially mom and her boyfriend, are dramatically more likely to suffer domestic abuse, 11 times more likely compared to a child living with his or her own married parents.
Children in cohabiting homes are more likely to have serious problems in a whole host of academic and behavioral situations than children with married parents.
Simply put, there is not one important measure in which cohabitation increases the well-being of children, but plenty of very serious ways in which it harms it.
5. What is the biggest thing that most cohabitating couples don’t realize about the consequences and negative impact of their decision to live together unmarried?
First that cohabitation will not help them avoid divorce, but ironically, increase their likelihood of divorce like few other things can. There is no real debate about this among researchers. The debate is on why. Research shows that cohabiting premaritally can boost one’s risk of divorce from 50 to 80 percent, with a 65 percent increase being the general average.
What is more, cohabitation teaches unhealthy relational behaviors that harm the present relationship as well as future marriage. Men who cohabit tend to be less likely committed to their relationship and less likely to be committed to their marriage if they do marry. This was not seen in women at all, which means that cohabitation is more harmful to women in terms of the kinds of relationships it leaves them with.
6. Many people believe that if you live together before you get married you’ll find out if the marriage is going to last and you can avoid divorce. What are your thoughts?
Scholars have found no support whatsoever for this very popular idea. In fact, seldom has there been something so widely believed by so many, but lacking any support for it. That is a big story in this book. The problem is that you should try out a new car or a laptop computer. But your beloved is not a consumer product. Trying someone out like that is saying, “I’m not really sure about you. Let me give you a spin and see what I think.” That is a very wrong-headed approach to the most meaningful relationship you will ever have. This is one of the reasons why cohabiting relationships don’t lead to happier, better relationships. It qualifies one’s commitment and devotion. And it also makes it more about you than your loved one.
7. Is it true that many marriages now begin as cohabitation? Is this as much of an issue for those who have been raised in a Christian home or are professing Christians?
Not many, most! Over 60 percent of marriages today are preceded by some form of cohabitation. But people with serious religious convictions are shown to cohabit at much lower numbers than those who are not religious. But far too many of our Christian young people cohabit and they need to know they are harming their present and future relationships in serious ways. The real reasons NOT to cohabit are far more than because they violate traditional values. It violates human realities.
8. What do you think the answer is to the issue of cohabitation and what practical advice does your book give on this?
People need to understand that this idea of “It doesn’t really matter what kinds of relationships people enter as long as they really love each other” is a warm idea, but it is simply not true. The answer to cohabitation is helping young people and older people understand they are acting against their own well-being by deciding to move in together. And this applies to all of us no matter how pure our love might be.
I received this book in exchange for my honest review.
The Ring Makes All the Difference: The Hidden Consequences of Cohabitation and the Strong Benefits of Marriage
I read a book a while back and really thought I had written and published the review. I moved on to the next book. I later discovered that the post was not published, nor was it saved! I had so much I wanted to share about this book and along with my memory it is gone!
I went back through the book to refresh my memory enough to tell you what I think of the book. However, there’s not much to this review, so I see myself reading the book again in the near future, so that you don’t miss out on how great the book content is. (Or you could just buy or borrow the book and read it for yourself!)
This Mom’s Review of “The Ring Makes All the Difference: The Hidden Consequences of Cohabitation and the Strong Benefits of Marriage”
The book really does a great job of enlighting the reader about Marriage vs. Cohabitation. Not only do God ‘s standards are given to us for our own good; feminism proves to defeat it’s original intentions! My favorite quote in this book is:
Cohabitation is really an insult to your beloved: ‘I’m not totally sure about you. Can I give you a test-drive first, so I can be sure?’
How more accurately could one state the truth than in the above quote? And a more accurate book couldn’t have been written. God has reasons for his moral standards. Cohabitation does not bring all one would expect it to offer. After reading this book I’m economic more so convinced and saddened by the detrimental results not just for the couple playing house, but for the children witnessing and living it.
About the Book
Cohabitation is hands-down the fastest growing family form in the United States and most Western nations. Most of these couples view the arrangement as a step toward marriage, or as a substitute for marriage. But does living together truly give people what they are longing for’ Author Glenn Stanton offers a compelling factual case that nearly every area of health and happiness is increased by marriage and decreased by cohabitation.How can young couples determine if moving in together is a wise move’ With more than half of American women now cohabitating sometime in their adult lives, pastors and counselors need to be prepared to advise young adults with factual and scriptural truth. With credible data and compassion, Stanton explores the reasons why the cohabitation trend is growing; outlines its negative outcomes for men, women and children; and makes a case for why marriage is still the best arrangement for the flourishing of couples and society.
About the Author
GLENN T. STANTON is the director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs and is directing a major research project on international family formation trends at the Institute of Marriage and Family in Ottawa. He debates and lectures extensively on the issues of gender, sexuality, marriage and parenting at universities and churches around the country. He served the George W. Bush administration for many years as a consultant on increasing fatherhood involvement in the Head Start program. Glenn is an author and contributor to many books and is quoted as a leading spokesperson on marriage and family issues. Glenn and his wife have five children and live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
About the Book
In this eye-opening book, family researcher Glenn T. Stanton offers a clear vision for why gender matters in how we raise our children. His thought-provoking insights expose the problems with stifling stereotypes and damaging cultural assumptions, then highlight a practical pathway for guiding children into healthy manhood and womanhood.
- what gender-appropriate behavior looks like at various ages—and why you shouldn’t panic if your toddler boy plays with his sister’s dolls.
- how to help your daughter become secure in her sense of significance—whether she prefers chasing butterflies or shooting hoops.
- how to inspire your son to compete and take healthy risks—in ways that fit his unique personality.
- how moms and dads complement one another as they discipline differently, comfort differently, and influence differently.
- what you can do on a daily basis to nurture your children’s God-given design and help them resist the pressure to conform to arbitrary cultural rules.
With practical tools, well-researched insights, and real-life scenarios, this book equips parents to launch daughters who are secure in the power of their femininity and sons who are confident in their strength to make a difference in the world.
This Mom’s Review
I got more than what I expected from reading this book. It is packed with information that parents need in this crazy world of gender confusion and false ideas.
As a Mother:
- I better understand the difference between girls and boys, and how God has uniquely designed each child. I also have some guidelines – not rigid rules – but guidelines in helping my children grow to be healthy in their own God-given gender.
- I see where opposite gender play and activities can go from healthy to dangerous – yes, it’s okay to be a tomboy, but it’s not okay to try to hide one’s own gender.
As a Wife:
- I know this book is for parents to guide their children, but I found a wealth of information that helped me understand my own husband. I get frustrated with the way he does things and some of the things he says. The author helped me see my husband in a different light, from a man’s way of thinking. God definitely designed man and woman differently and knowing the details will really help me in my future responses to how my husband operates.
- I also see by changing my responses to my husband, maybe I can be a better example to my daughter, a future wife, and my son, a future husband.
Scripture translations used are the New King James Version, The Message, and the New International Version.
Please rate my review at BloggingforBooks.com.
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. You can read an excerpt, then grab a paperback copy of Secure Daughters, Confident Sons from your local bookstore, Amazon.com or PaperBackswap.com, or the eBook version at Amazon Kindle.