We were honored that Dr. Brad Wilcox sent us a draft of his forthcoming book, Get Married.
Did I like his book Get Married?
I loved it.
I read it cover to cover over two sittings.
Dr. Wilcox is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, where he directs the National Marriage Project and a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies. He has been a research fellow at Yale University, a research associate at Princeton University, and a Civitas Fellow at the Brookings Institution.
The Modern Husbands Podcast
Dr. Wilcox also accepted our invitation to be a guest on the Modern Husbands Podcast. We recorded the episode, scheduled to be released on February 7th, the first day of the U.S. National Marriage Week, 2024.
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Get Married, the Book
His book, Get Married, found a well-orchestrated balance between big-picture policy ideas, pragmatic approaches to successful marriages, and unquestionable evidence supporting the sanctity of marriage. It was easy to read, full of vignettes and simple metaphors.
At Modern Husbands, we pride ourselves on sharing ideas grounded in research that are useful to many types of relationships. There is no singular path toward happy relationships in the hundreds of millions that exist across the globe. We provide a diversity of perspectives for a diversity of people and situations.
The institution of marriage is chosen by millions of couples, including myself, to structure a way of life around family. And the data doesn’t lie; the benefits of marriage are significant for most.
According to research shared by Dr. Brad Wilcox of the University of Virginia,
“Nothing predicts happiness in life better than a good marriage—not even a hefty bank account or a great career.”
To be more specific, married men ages 18-55 are twice as likely to report being very happy compared to single men of the same age.
Tips to Trust and Use Now
A handful of facts and tips for your relationship, founded in research and shared in Get Married:
Fair Share at Home
When men do their share of chores, they enjoy happier marriages, lower divorce rates, and even live longer.
When couples and children do family chores together, they are generally happier.
Related reading: How to Tackle Household Chores as a Couple
Couples who have more date nights are happier and have more stable marriages.
Related reading: 3 Winning Date Night Ideas for a Happier Marriage
We Before Me
Couples who identified more with a “team” mindset, who regularly sacrificed for one another, and who shared the same bank account and last name were more likely to be satisfied with their sex.
Related Reading: How Should Money Be Split in a Marriage?
Marriage is a Wealth Hack
The income differences are significant. Your jaw will drop when you read the book.
Related reading: Why is Marriage a Good Thing (for your net worth)?
Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive gifts that empower couples to manage money and the home as a team. Expect our winning ideas in your inbox every couple of weeks.
Provide, Protect, and Pay Attention
Men as Providers
On average, women still tend to marry men with higher incomes.
In a more pointed example, women generally want a husband capable of being a financial provider, reiterating PEW's findings that 71% of women believe that for a man to be a good husband, he must be capable of supporting a family financially.
This point is particularly salient when there is a job loss. Dr. Wilcox shared on our podcast that the job loss of a wife does not indicate a trigger for divorce, but that is not the case for husbands. Marriages where a husband's unemployment persists are significantly more likely to lead to divorce.
Bringing home the bacon isn't enough anymore. Husbands must be much more than financial providers or at least capable of being financial providers.
The PEW’s findings reporting that 71% of women believe that a good husband is capable of supporting a family financially, also reported that...
"90% of these women believe that a good husband is attentive and compassionate."
Marriage is Not Always Best
Dr. Wilcox acknowledges that marriage is not always best.
Some marriages are destroyed by violence, drug abuse, or infidelity.
But the consequences of divorce are significant. There are significant financial pitfalls and complications if children are involved. Divorce should be of particular concern for men because about two-thirds of divorces today are initiated by women.
The tone and language used will surely be appreciated by those who lean right. But that should not deter folks from reading for fact-based perspectives.
The policy suggestions were specific to strengthening marriages. Dr. Wilcox rightfully blamed both political parties for various policies passed or proposed that penalized poor and married couples.
The Masters of Marriage
Dr. Wilcox identifies five pillars upon which happily married couples are forging strong and stable family-first marriages: communion, children, commitment, cash, and community.
He shares a bit about each on our forthcoming podcast, but to fully grasp each and apply it to your own marriage, you will need to read the book.
Order Get Married
Click here to preorder the book.
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