How are marriages holding up in this recession? The holiday season, filled as it is with family, is a particularly tough time to have empty pockets.

It’s an especially bad time to be a working-class man with no college education. Such men have borne the brunt of job losses since 2007, and new research finds that men are 61% less likely to be happy in a marriage if they work fewer hours than their wives. Meanwhile, women’s contributions to family earnings leapt during the first year of the recession, marking the largest single-year increase in the past decade.

Social scientists fear that the so-called “mancession” will undercut marriage in working-class communities, furthering a “divorce divide” that has been growing since the 1980s between couples with college degrees and those with less education.

Divorce fell during the first full year of the current recession (the first annual dip since 2005), which indicates that the challenges of job losses, foreclosures and depleted retirement accounts may be driving some couples to stick together. If trends observed during and after the Great Depression of the 1930s are once again at work, some of the decline is due to economic factors that lead couples merely to temporarily delay divorce, but there is also another dynamic at work: Tough times foster real family solidarity and encourage many couples to stick together.

Also, credit card debt and financial conflict are corrosive to marriages. Couples who report disagreeing over finances once a week are over 30% percent more likely to divorce than couples who disagree about finances a few times per month. Sociologist Kristin Smith says, “This recession, with job loss in male-dominated industries like construction and manufacturing, has affected men’s employment more than women’s. This translates into a greater reliance on employed wives to bring home the bread.”

No matter what your financial situation, you can count on to bring home the spiritual bread, and we have some special,Christmas gifts for our subscribers. In Whitley’s Room, there are now three short (15 min.) discussions by Whitley Strieber on bible verses. The first covers the meaning of the phrase “because man goeth to his long home” in Ecclesiastes 12:5. It explains this enigmatic phrase in a startling and deeply moving way. The second in the series covers John 13: 34: “Love one another.” When Whitley begins talking about what the imposition of doctrine did at the Council of Nicaea, this quickly becomes one of the most powerful discussions on any biblical passage you are going to hear. These brief fifteen minutes have the potential to free us from thousands of years of unacknowledged bondage to doctrine, and bring vivid new life to the experience of Jesus. The third is on the opening lines of Genesis (you’ve never heard an interpretation like THIS before)!

To learn more, click here and here.

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