Thursday, March 11, 2010

Survey of Happy Marriages

A new survey indicates that, over the long term, Orthodox Jews have happier marriages than the general public.


According to the Aleinu Marital Satisfaction Survey—an anonymous online study conducted by the Orthodox Union in conjunction, with a program of Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles and the Rabbinical Council of California—

The General Social Survey, was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago found:72% of Orthodox men, and 74% of Orthodox women, rated their marriages as excellent or very good.

By contrast, only 63% of men, and 60% of women, in the public at large, said that they were very happy in their marriages.

The Aleinu results, are consistent with previous research indicating, that couples who participate regularly in religious activities, report greater marital contentment, and are less likely to divorce.

The Orthodox Union, at a press conference last month, highlighted the top stressors to Orthodox marriages:

Common complaints of couples religious and not, are:
Lack of communication, not enough time together, and conflicts with in-laws.
Major financial strain, was also a top complaint.

For the 17% to 25% of Orthodox couples who struggle with infertility, not being able to have children, results in significant marital conflict

Prof. Pelcovitz:
“Perhaps the Orthodox approach marriage, with different expectations. There's a very strong valuing of family, as the center of one's life, which may override individual needs.”

This probably has people weathering storms, that in other couples might lead to divorce.”

Rachel Pill, (a Lawrence, N.Y., clinical social worker with a primarily Orthodox clientele):
“Despite the difficulties inherent in raising children, this family-centeredness, gives couples a sense of satisfaction. They feel they're part of something, really important.”

Mental health professionals often advise couples: to schedule every week a date-night.

Eliezer Schnall, (a psychology professor at Yeshiva University):
“For Orthodox Jews, the Sabbath is a built-in time, to reconnect with one's spouse, without the distraction of TVs, BlackBerries or the Internet.

And maybe the purity laws, that narrow the opportunities for marital sexual intercourse, as well as physical affection, play a role.

Rabbi Weitzman:
There's a time to invest in physical contact, and time to invest in the spiritual relationship between the couple. The Torah speaks about the union between husband and wife, as a holy thing, something G-d is part of.”