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Why Be Married? For Your Kids and Grandkids

Dr. Norval Glenn, sociologist at The University of Texas at Austin, with Elizabeth Marquardt, recently surveyed 1,500 18 to 35 year olds and interviewed another 70 in depth. Half were children of divorce, half were not.

No more than a third had their lives improved by their parents' divorce. Norval reports, "if there is violence or extreme conflict, or if the marriage is so bad it leaves the primary parent, usually the mother, so depressed she can’t parent effectively, the children are usually better off after the parents divorce."

But for the rest, probably more than 2 out of 3, the consequences were negative, both as children and in their own relationships. Children from these "good" divorces had less successful marriages than those from happy marriages, those from divorces that protected them from harm as children, and even those from unhappy marriages.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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