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Amy Winn

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What can we teach our children about marriage, using advice from our successes as well as our failures, to teach them how to be a good mate?

Why is it that with each passing generation of marriages, there is an increasing likelihood of failure? Why is it that our grand-parents and great grand-parents went through wars and the great depression, and stuck together? They had no cable, no interenet….so perhaps it is because they actually spoke to each other. In this “me” world, it seems that newlyweds don’t have patience, understanding, empathy and tolerance. These things are the necessary foundation of a good and long lasting marriage. Where have they gone? So my question to everyone, is how can we change this? What can we teach the next generation from our own experiences, good and bad, that may improve their chances of maintaining a long term happy marriage?

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  • Aug 13 2013: Hi Amy!
    You know, I think it all comes down to the understanding and patience of building a solid foundation. I encounter couples regularly who don't even know why they're together in the first place. metaphorically speaking, it's as if they're trying to put the chimney on the roof of a house for which they haven't even begun to build the foundation for. They're building on thin air, which is what their relationship is based on.

    We live in an age that is materialistic and very focused on outward appearance. There is very little space in our culture these days for internal growth and development, which is where I personally think the problem lies. I am convinced there is a correlation between the importance of building respect, communication, and empathy, and building solid, long-lasting relationships. You just can't have the latter without the first. When I see marriages gone wrong, it seems clear to me that these important traits are not people's highest priority...

    I try to set an example to my kids, together with my husband. And I stress the word 'example'! We form a solid unit, and have worked hard at our relationship to become that. We show our kids that all emotions are okay to feel, and that we stand by each other no matter what. We voice our opinions, we share our frustrations, we talk things out and we do it with unconditional love for each other. It all comes down to respect and communication, yet again!

    On the one hand, I consider myself lucky to have found someone I plan to be with for the rest of my life, my soul-mate, if you will. On the other hand, the foundation of our relationship was not something that came effortlessly. We both consider genuine communication and respect priorities in our relationship with each other, and with our children. We take one another seriously, and I can already see, by setting this example, that our children are building these essential traits as well in how they treat each other.
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      Aug 13 2013: Hi Lizanne, Your comments were so very true on so many levels, some of which I never even considered. The materialistic part also comes into play with people getting together because the other is beautiful and the sex is great. They just see the outside and never have real talks that may reveal the inside. There is a saying that I hear Judge Judy say often "Beauty is skin deep, dumb is forever". I wonder how these "pretty" people would hold up in the face of tragedy or illness. If they were scarred or in a wheelchair, would they stay together? This all goes back to foundation. When you truly love someone for who they are as a person, and respect everything that you know about them, (whether you agree with them or not), then you can face anything together. The comments about the kids was also great. What they are seeing is essential in who they become and how they get along with their partner later in life. We must set a good example, or they will never know how to handle the tough times.

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