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LIVING TOGETHER: MYTHS, RISKS, & ANSWERS
SUGGESTED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
1. So, what’s wrong with living together? Everybody’s doing it!
2. Doesn’t living together prepare you for marriage?
3. What are some of the myths of living together?
4. What are the major risks of cohabitation?
5. How many couples are currently living together and how does
this number compare with the 60s or 70s?
6. Why do people live together?
7. You say that cohabitation has helped drive down the marriage
rate by 50 percent. How?
8. Why do couples who live together before marriage increase
their odds of divorce by 50 percent?
9. Isn’t living together better than getting married and then
getting a divorce?
10. Isn’t it a good thing to have a man around as a father image
for your children, even if you’re not married to him?
11. Has cohabitation replaced marriage in America?
12. Has the church actually, if unwittingly, promoted
13. What is a better way to prepare for marriage than living
14. What percentage of churches require a premarital inventory?
Teach communication and conflict resolution skills? Use Mentor
Couples to prepare couples for marriage?
15. If churches took the above steps, can the divorce rate be
16. What should churches do to help married couples who began by
living together so they won’t be another statistic?
New Book: "LIVING TOGETHER: MYTHS, RISKS &
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Marriage Advocates Shed Light on the
Practice and Impact of Cohabitation--And How the Church Can Change It
In today’s culture, the fact that more than five
million couples are living together outside of marriage doesn’t come as
a shock to many. It should. Studies show the mere act of cohabiting
before marriage increases a couples odds of divorce by 50 percent.
Consider these recent statistics: 62 percent of couples who
married in 2002 were living together. Yet 86 percent of all couples are
married by clergy. "I've asked thousands of clergy in scores of cities
if they've ever spoken on this issue from the pulpit,” write Mike and
Harriet McManus in their new book "LIVING TOGETHER: MYTHS, RISKS &
ANSWERS" (Howard Books / A Division of Simon & Schuster;
Hardcover; March 4, 2008; ISBN: 1-4165-5098-4; $19.99). “One in fifty
raises a hand...What explains the church's abject capitulation on this
The McManuses cite two reasons: “Protestant pastors are competing with
one another for new members and are loathe to make demands that might
lose new prospects... (Also) in fairness to ministers, most simply don’t
know how to address the sensitive issue of cohabitation.”
In "LIVING TOGETHER," the McManus’ show how churches can
offer a proven strategy they developed to help couples test their
relationship in a more effective way by taking a premarital inventory,
meeting with a trained Mentor Couple to discuss the issues it surfaces,
and learning how to resolve conflict amicably and thus move into
healthy, rewarding, long-term marriages.
Designed as a tool for church leaders, a guide for parents of cohabiting
adult children and a call to couples in successful, long-term marriages
who can make a difference by serving as Mentor Couples,
"LIVING TOGETHER" is full of statistics and stories to
illustrate the risks of cohabitation and the McManuses proven answers.
"LIVING TOGETHER" addresses every facet of
cohabitation to help pastors, parents, and mentors better reach
cohabiting couples, including:
Common Rationalizations for Cohabiting and How to
Some Underlying Reasons for Cohabiting that Should Be
Risks of Living Together
The Profile of Typical Cohabiting Couples
The Church’s Responsibility
A Proven Way to Help Cohabiting Couples
The Importance and Role of Mentor Couples
"One of our primary goals is to put a tool into the hands of
clergy who feel ill-equipped to address the growing number of cohabiting couples
who ask to be married,” write Mike and Harriet McManus. “Most seminaries do not
adequately prepare students to handle this issue. As a result, many pastors are
unacquainted with how to deal with cohabiting couples -- so they avoid the
issue, unwittingly contributing to our nation’s high divorce rate."
Also included in "LIVING TOGETHER" is a strategy to help any
church to divorce-proof their marriages with thorough marriage preparation and
by enriching existing marriages, restoring troubled ones, helping the separated
to reconcile and stepfamilies to be successful. The last chapter outlines how
the churches of 220 cities have adopted Community Marriage Policies that have
reduced metro-wide divorce and cohabitation rates by a third, and raised
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
MIKE AND HARRIET MCMANUS founded a premarital marriage ministry
that pioneered the training of Marriage Mentors with a 97% success rate, are
co-founders of Marriage Savers, an organization that has worked with 10,000
pastors and priests to create Community Marriage Policies. They have three grown
sons, six grandchildren and live in the Washington, D.C. area. Mike McManus has
written Ethics & Religion, a syndicated newspaper column, since 1981.
By Mike and Harriet McManus
Howard Books / A Division of Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: March 4, 2008
“We are living at a time when the very idea of biblical marriage is under
attack. We need to help our young people understand what true marriage is, and
why they should ‘accept no substitutions.’…Mike and Harriet McManus have a
proven record…Their book is designed for pastors, parents and marital mentors
who are confronted with couples who think they’ll be the glorious exception to
the cohabitation statistics.”
--Chuck Colson, from his Foreword to LIVING TOGETHER