Considering Marriage Counseling or Divorce?

When you are considering who to see as a therapist, counselor, or marriage counselor it is one of the most important decisions you can make. There have been many instances where clients have experienced frustration and disappointment with previous counseling experiences. I am often amazed that they are willing to try counseling again. This is especially true with marriage counseling. Please make sure the counselor you choose has the experience, training, and track record that reassures you of a good counseling outcome.

If you are considering divorce and you decide to try marriage counseling before making a final decision there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all some statistics show that only about 10% of divorcing couples seek marriage counseling before ending their marriage. Couples are making one of the most life changing decisions that affects their children and entire families without consulting a professionally trained marital therapist or counselor. We don't hesitate to consult our car mechanic and even pay them hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to keep our car running. I recently had to replace a clutch in my Subaru for $1800 just before Christmas! Merry Christmas to me!
Please consult an experienced and trained marriage counselor or couples therapist before deciding on divorce. One caveat, beware if your counselor recommends divorce, it probably means they do not know what they are doing. Competent therapists and counselors know how to allow their clients to make their own decisions.

Irretrievably Broken Marriage?

Go to my website,, and check out new video interviews with couples who were on brink of divorce and reconciled! 

These are two video interviews with couples who wanted to tell their story of their decision to pursue marriage counseling and reconciliation. They were part of a two year project in the Fayette County Family Court of Judge Tim Philpot in Lexington, KY.  Judge Philpot, Dr. Wm. Doherty of the University of Minnesota, and myself, introduced measures to help couples pause on the legal superhighway to divorce. The couples' experience is a powerful testimony for that project and Emotionally Focused Therapy, a marriage counseling approach with proven results.

It's Never Too Late

Judge Tim Philpot, Dr. Bill Doherty, and myself (Don Sizemore, LCSW), have worked together for over two years to implement a process whereby couples are given an opportunity to be sure that divorce is their best decision. Three marriages which came to me for the two hour court ordered Discernment Consultations have been reconciled, three families reunited. Families number one and two continue in treatment, going through the therapeutic protocol established by Emotionally Focused Therapy or EFT. The third one that chose not to continue therapy is at greater risk for a return to divorce court, although as of this date they are still married and living together and report their relationship has improved. Three families were ready to divorce, standing before Judge Philpot waiting for his signature on the order. They have moved back in together, giving up their separate residences, and their children have one home.

A fourth couple postponed their divorce and attended 13 sessions, including 5 discernment counseling sessions and 8 marriage therapy sessions of EFT with an unsuccessful outcome. This couple has stopped therapy, lives separated but have not proceeded with divorce. One spouse continues to hold out hope but the other is in a position of stonewalling, unable or unwilling to stop self protecting. I do not think this relationship will survive.

The fifth couple, who is chronologically the first couple referred from the legal system by an attorney, not the court, was seen for 32 sessions of EFT. This is not an unsurprising number of sessions when there is a past history of childhood trauma that complicates developing secure attachment. Their therapy concluded over a year ago; they are still married and report their marital relationship is stable.

Do couples really want to divorce? Or more positive, do couples want to stay married? In my experience as a marriage therapist no one that I have seen is happy about their marriage failing from which I conclude no one really wants to divorce, especially those with children. This has not been more evidenced than with the 20 couples I have seen for the court ordered session. None of them were celebrating a failed marriage and the one common denominator was pain either expressed or repressed but still obvious on their faces.

Some might say that the pain on their faces is due to being forced to endure the Discernment Consultation session that has no chance of making a difference in their resolve to divorce and having to pay money to do it. There were two instances that come to mind where one spouse stonewalled their way through the session, not allowing one emotion to seep through, just a cold wall of protection. What impressed me about the other cases was that their certainty of being done with the relationship was based on their experience of emotional deprivation or rejection over an extended period of time. They were emotionally spent, had given up hope that their partner might change, and would not allow themselves to risk the pain of being disappointed again. It was never because they could not tolerate their partner and just wanted out; those kind of cases would likely not find their way to me and any abuse based relationships are ruled out for referral.

The judge, Tim Philpot, who was ordering discernment sessions was applying scientific advancements in the field of marriage and family therapy developed by Dr. Bill Doherty and colleagues from the University of Minnesota, to make a better assessment of the state of a marriage. Is this marriage irretrievably broken? Is reconciliation possible? Is there ambivalence about proceeding with final separation and divorce? Professional therapists who are properly trained now understand how couples gain and maintain a stable emotional connection, how they lose it, and how to repair it. The legal system has not kept up with scientific and therapeutic advancements and divorce is treated as an inevitable outcome when it gets to a lawyer and then to a judge. If this project has demonstrated anything it is that there is another way forward and simply processing a divorce decree because there are no other options is simply not true.

In most cases the couples I interviewed had not received couples counseling and if they had, it was ineffective. There are only a few research documented marital therapies that have efficacy and one of them is EFT with a 73% success rate. The others that I am aware of are Imago Therapy and the approach developed out of the John Gottman Institute. None of the couples had received counseling based on these approaches and the results were predictable. Many marriages that are in distress can be helped but too easily find their way onto the divorce track where the legal system offers no side track to slow the train down. This is tragic. It is as if we have accepted the inevitability of divorce. And worse, somehow divorce has become a right rather than an option of last resort. But what I have noticed in my sessions with desperate relationships (not just court ordered couples) is that more often than not if they can be shown a way, the couple will follow it to save their relationship.

Another benefit of connecting couples with the therapeutic community of counselors, is that in two other of my cases one of the spouses has continued to seek treatment. They wanted help making the transition through divorce for themselves and their children, how to best interact with their ex-spouse, and hopefully glean how not make the same mistakes again in their next relationship. It is well documented, and common sense, that patterns of behavior continue to repeat unless challenged by a thorough self examination such as that available with a trained therapist or wise mentor.

This experience has been an eye opening one. It is obvious we can affect in a positive direction seemingly hopeless and terminal relationships. Asking the question “Are you sure this divorce is best for you?” is not oppressive, it is compassionate and the just thing to do. To become numb and accept the inevitability of fractured marriages and families is to lose hope for ourselves.

Everything is Connected

I have had two major surgeries in thirteen months, a hip and knee replacement. Both were more involved and challenging than I expected, but in different ways. Sixteen months into this structural makeover has made me aware of a few things but primarily a reminder that we never really know what is going to happen next. And yet the paradox is that we live mostly as if everything will remain the same or at least consistently similar. And most of the time it probably does, until it doesn’t.

This reminds me of a quote by John Muir (naturalist, responsible for the existence of national parks like Yellowstone) who said something like: “When you tug at a single thing in the universe you find it is attached to everything else.” You change the alignment of a body with a new knee and hip and it affects everything else and the consequences are not predictable. You literally are not the same person because you are faced with different challenges, some good, some not so good. The point is you are affected by tugging at a single thing.

I think this is why events like divorce are not good. In my spiritual framework, in Malachi 2:16 a book in the Old Testament, it is said that God hates divorce because it does violence. We often moralize about divorce or same sex marriage which only serves to alienate and separate us into tribal camps, but if we begin to understand that everything is connected, all of us, and that we never really do anything that affects only ourselves, we begin to have wisdom that how we live our lives are not isolated events and these events might do violence to one another. Love one another because everything is connected.

Common Misconceptions of Couple Therapy

Maintaining a positive, supportive relationship with one’s partner in the face of expected and unusual life stress is one of the biggest challenges many couples face. Not uncommonly, instead of pulling together to face life’s difficulties, partners become disengaged or even hostile. The person you expect to always have your back begins to feel like the enemy. And sometimes it feels like the harder you try to fix the problem, the worse things get. The good news is that a well-trained couples therapist can help most relationships that have hit a rough patch. According to recent studies, 90% of couples who see a well-trained Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist experience improvement and 70% report full repair of their relationship. But here’s the bad news: many couples that could benefit from this therapy are reluctant to get help. Unfounded beliefs and misconceptions get in the way. Here is the truth about six common misconceptions: 1. The therapist will take sides. With some therapists, this in fact may happen. But an Emotionally Focused Couples (EFT) Therapist is trained to recognize how both partners contribute to their dance of anger or disconnection. Successful therapy invariably requires each partner to understand his or her role in the couple’s distress. 2. The therapist will tell us we should break up. Again, there are probably some therapists who would make this judgment, but the role of an EFT Therapist is to help couples understand how their relationship has gone wrong and to guide them – for as long as they are willing to try – in how to repair it. The decision of whether to stay in a relationship always belongs to the couple. 3. We are too far gone; the situation is hopeless. Many couples worry that their problems have gone on so long, there is no hope of improving their relationship. But even long-standing problems can be resolved with EFT therapy. The intensity of anger also does not necessarily indicate that a relationship can’t be improved. The only clear sign that EFT therapy won’t help is if one or both partners have become so disengaged they are no longer willing to try. 4. Talking about our problems will make things worse. Many couples have experienced that their own attempts to talk about their problems have made things worse, so this concern is understandable. They may even have had previous experiences in therapy where talking did make things worse. However, an EFT Therapist is trained to create a safe space where problems can be discussed productively. In many cases, the therapist will be able to help partners see each other’s struggles in new ways that open the door to healing and reconciliation. 5. Couples therapy is a waste of time and does not work. Many therapists who see couples aren’t trained in an effective model of couples therapy, and there is probably a significant risk that these therapists will not be helpful. However, EFT has years of research demonstrating its effectiveness in helping couples improve their relationships, and follow-up studies show these improvements are long lasting. EFT is one of a handful of couples therapies designated as empirically supported by the American Psychological Association. A therapist trained in EFT is guided by a roadmap that has one of the strongest track records in helping distressed couples. 6. We (or he or she) need individual therapy first. A growing body of evidence suggests that successful couples therapy can actually reduce an individual’s symptoms of depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress, and other psychological disorders. At the very least, a stronger, more supportive relationship will reduce the suffering both partners experience when one partner is struggling with a psychological disorder. Couples therapy may not be the only treatment needed when a partner has significant psychological symptoms, but when the relationship has suffered, it is often the best place to start. By Ruth Jampol Ph.D.|July 6th, 2015

Restore Struggling Marriages

What if you could save 73% of the troubled marriages that come through your door?

Marriage is precious. It is the building block of society. If you save a marriage, you save a family and if you save a family maybe you save a culture. This is not hyperbole, it is documented research findings. Every social science study on the affect of marriage for adults and children demonstrates its dramatic impact on health, wealth, and well being. It is virtually indisputable that a good and lasting marriage is the best investment anyone can make, irrespective that we are hard wired to connect and multiply. Married people live longer, are more likely to avoid significant health issues and they build more wealth, and their children are more likely to make life work for them.1

We have the means to restore struggling marriages, and not only restore but form lasting emotional bonds that make us safe, secure, and happy. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a primary tool of restoration as the most researched and documented effective couples therapy. A meta-analysis of several studies found that 73% of couples treated with EFT recovered from their distress and 86% made significant improvement in their relationship.2 These are outstanding results for any type of counseling, much less with distressed couples who wonder if they are sleeping in the same bed with their enemy.

About five years ago, I became interested in EFT. In the past two years I have entered into a training program developed by the founder of EFT (Dr. Sue Johnson). I have been a licensed therapist for over thirty years and this certification process is the most comprehensive, demanding and effective post graduate study training I have ever experienced. This is not attend a seminar, fill out a survey and get your certificate. Dr. Johnson and her organization (ICEEFT) have “protected their brand”. You have confidence in your competency to practice EFT when you complete the certification process.

That is why I am writing you. Seven out of every ten couples you refer will find their way back to each other. Almost nine out of ten will see significant improvement. I invested the time and money to be trained in EFT because marriage is too important, especially today, not to provide the best chance possible for saving a marriage, a family, and maybe a culture.

Introduce your organization to EFT through a “Hold Me Tight” seminar.

Schedule an Office Visit

Is there a couple you know in crisis? A Three Day Intensive may be what is needed.

Definition of Marriage


 Definition of Marriage... “a lifelong monogamous relationship between a man and a women. According to the Bible, God designed marriage to reflect his saving love for us in Christ, to refine our character, to create stable human community for the birth and nurture of children, and to accomplish all this by bringing the complementary sexes into an enduring whole-life union.” (The Meaning of Marriage, Timothy and Grace Keller 2011 p. 16.)


Tim and Grace Keller have given us a great gift in framing what marriage means “according to the Bible”, supported by research in the social sciences, and grounded in their experience as a married couple. The phrase “according to the Bible” might immediately set off fire alarms for many Christian and non Christian alike. Some will quickly discount anything said “according to the Bible”; it is unfortunate that many of us find it difficult to maintain an open mind to things we do not understand. It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of what marriage is and why marriage matters to our human condition.


This definition of marriage, once considered so obvious no one even had to state it,(even though most probably did not reflect on its deeper meaning), is now a provocative statement for many in our polarized society. To define marriage as a “lifelong monogamous relationship” seems out of touch with what really goes on in our culture yet there are deeply profound reasons and affects on our identity and well being. To even consider that “God designed” means that someone other than you has a plan and a purpose for marriage and for your life. This goes right against the current culture impulse that life is about a personal journey of individual discovery and fulfillment and means we have to listen to something other than our own will and desires.


The idea that marriage is “to reflect (God's) saving love for us in Christ” is a statement so full of meaning and import that we skim over it without comprehension, and yet it is a profound spiritual truth that radically changes who we are. It is so important that we take the time to glean what this means because it directly affects every facet of our lives; our health, wealth, and contentment. Any one that desires to experience His saving love needs only enter into relationship with Him.


That marriage affords us the opportunity “to refine our character” may seem quaint and catchy until we reflect on how much living with and loving another human being of the opposite sex demands. We literally cannot stay the same person we were when we got married if we want to stay married. Marriage demands that we grow and change in ways that do not trample on the needs and desires of another human being. Character, in this sense, is a moral condition that includes trustworthiness, loyalty, respect, fairness, caring and responsibility. Any one of these qualities is a treasure to possess as a part of our nature and has obvious ramifications for how others view and respond to us. Of all the character education programs that our institutions provide, marriage is probably the most effective with its intimate connection to our everyday life.


The importance to “create a stable human community for the birth and nurture of children” is well documented by social science research. Most of us are well aware of the disastrous effects of divorce on our children. The operative words here are “stable” and “community”. It means we provide a consistent, secure and safe place for our children to grow and develop in the company of parents who love them and are there for them. This requires of us to put their needs before ours, that we do this together as husband and wife, and in so doing we reflect the sacrificial love of God. The sense of gratification that parents experience from this is rewarding, even overwhelming.


The thought that all this is accomplished “by bringing the complementary sexes into an enduring whole-life union” is difficult to understand. Complementary here means that male and female are different but equally necessary and provides what the other lacks in a way that completes us. That is a mouthful of meaning. In a simple sense it means that we need each other in a similar way the physical world is composed of atoms. You and I and everything else in our physical world is composed of atoms. .The opposing charges of electrons and neutrons serve to attract and hold each other together forming an atom. Opposites attract and complement each other; the very nature and composition of our universe is based on this principle and so is our marital relationship. An enduring whole-life union

is the result of a successful marriage. To have another person who is different and unique commit their life to you is a blessing beyond expression, it is an experience so sublime, full of disappointment and wonder that poets struggle to capture it.















A Vision of Marriage and Family as the Great Mystery of Union


We(Western culture)have lost the vision of human relationships that supports a stable, secure society.


"For the first time in its history, Western civilization is confronted with the need to define the meaning of the terms 'marriage' and 'family.'" So states author Andreas J. Kostenberger who, with the assistance of David W. Jones has written God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation.

As Kostenberger observes, "What until now has been considered a 'normal' family, made up of a father, a mother, and a number of children, has in recent years increasingly begun to be viewed as one among several options, which can no longer claim to be the only or even superior form of ordering human relationships. The Judeo-Christian view of marriage and the family with its roots in the Hebrew Scriptures has to a certain extent been replaced with a set of values that prizes human rights, self-fulfillment, and pragmatic utility on an individual and societal level. It can rightly be said that marriage and the family are institutions under seize in our world today, and that with marriage and the family, our very civilization is in crisis."

“In one sense, the statistics tell the story. The great social transformation of the last two hundred years has led to an erosion of the family and the franchising of its responsibilities. The authority of the family, especially that of the parents, has been compromised through the intrusion of state authorities, cultural influences, and social pressure. Furthermore, the loss of a biblical understanding of marriage and family has led to a general weakening of the institution, even among those who would identify themselves as believing Christians.” (Albert Mohler)

These are sobering statements and the condition of our marriages and families should be a call to action, at least in the Christian family of churches where statistics indicate the family is no better off than secular families. The popular discussion of cultural wars with Judeo-Christian values pitted against secular ones seems to have swung decidedly in favor of the secular.

One does not really need to look to the experts or statistics to tell us we are in trouble. Just look at your friends and neighbors, their family and your family. Ask yourself, “Is this the way it is supposed to be?” broken marriages, broken lives, unfaithfulness, betrayal, drug abuse and overdoses, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, abandoned and neglected children, bankruptcies, bailouts, and broken promises; and the list goes on with incidences not decreasing but increasing even among the economically advantaged, the socially responsible, and the believing Christian. It makes no difference, we have all been affected by a cultural virus that is destroying us from the inside out.

Christians, of course, call this virus sin, but in this postmodern anything goes don't offend no authority but me world no one really uses this word to describe anything serious or complicated. After all, you cannot trace sin in an MRI to show where and how it effects the brain, as if that “explains” anything. We are so seduced and enamored by our technological prowess. No matter how exquisite and complex the description is there is a difference between something that describes and something that explains. And the only thing that explains our self destruction is sin, or in other words, you and me making our self master of the universe. It is our break with God and the subsequent path of independence from the created order that leads to the chaos we see in marriage and family relationships and in the individual lives it affects and in the society we form.

To paraphrase a well known verse of scripture(Proverbs 29:18), without (true) vision (hu)man perishes. The Christian vision of marriage and family is rooted in God's union with his creation (hu)man. All of Christian vision of reality flows from God, in Jesus and the Holy Spirit, having union, becoming one with, (hu)man. And all of human destructiveness begins with separation from that union. What a breath taking vision this is and we can scarce dare to believe that this is true. Even those calling themselves Christian don't seem to believe or even know that they are supposed to believe that this is true, yet the story told in the Scriptures is precisely this. Everything Jesus did with his life, with his disciples, with those he encountered, with those he healed, with his death, resurrection, and ascension was and is so that we may be one with God and with one another (Jesus' prayer in John 17). This is God as love and it is the driving creative force in all of creation and marriage is an expression, a human to human experience of this profound reality. This is central to what makes marriage unique and special. Consider what Paul says about marriage in Ephesians 5 21-33 where he seems to barely distinguish Christ's relationship with us as our Lord and Savior and our relationship as husband and wife. In verses 31-32 he says “As the Scriptures say, 'A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.” We are the Bride and he is the Bridegroom, he marries us and we become one with him like we become one with our spouse in a loving union. Such a vision of marriage is central to what makes it so unique and special and one our contemporary society, Christian and non Christian, has largely lost.

We usually focus on evaluating marriage by how well we get along or how happy we are, or how we manage finances, or how secure we are with one another. Those things are important, some very important, but unless we understand something of marriage as a great mystery of union, becoming one in a dance of love, we can never fully experience security and happiness with each other because we limit who we are. Once one begins to grasp,have a vision that each individual marriage is part and parcel of a divine dance of loving union and communion, it changes how we view ourselves and one another. This high, uplifting, challenging, hard to believe vision of marriage helps us focus on something beyond our selves, something bigger and greater, a mystery we are taken up in that elevates us as divine beings “what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:4-5. We have our vision to see what is really happening, what marriage and family relationships really are, who we really are, and we no longer settle for less.

There is much that needs to be done to help stem the destructive tide that is sweeping us away but one thing we need to do is hold fast to such a vision of marriage.


Unity Sand

I attended a wedding of one of my wife's co-workers this past weekend and I do not know how most wedding ceremonies are conducted or even if there is a “usual” wedding ceremony. This one took place in a church that I assume is a traditional Christian church and so this one is probably similar to most Christian wedding ceremonies. This couple included a “Unity Sand” ritual that I was unfamiliar with but similar to the “Unity Candle” ritual my wife and I used in our wedding. The ritual is simple with each mother of the couple pouring one of the different colored sand into a larger glass container to symbolize the uniting of two families and the couple pouring the rest of the sand in so that a pattern of alternating colors is evident. Christian weddings are all about uniting two into one and I assume most weddings have some symbolism that emphasizes the same thing. The advantage of unity sand over a unity candle is that the couple gets to take the mixed sand home with them as a reminder.

As a marriage counselor who sees couples that are having great difficulty staying united I could not help but wonder how much power these rituals have. Of course by itself ritual has no power unless it has meaning so how important is it to the couple to stay united is the question. There are so many other forces during a life that compete for unity like making a living or having a successful career and mostly plain old selfishness. I like this image of sand pouring in to make a new and different entity because it makes one think about two people pouring their lives into each other to make something other than just themselves. This image of mixing lives together is obviously something that makes marriage unique.
We must be willing to give up something, and sometimes a lot of our self in order to stay together. That is often really hard to do.

I hope this couple makes it through a lifetime of staying together and as we all know divorce is more common, somewhere between 40-50% even though there is a lot of disagreement over this number (Scott M Stanley, “What is the Real Divorce Rate”). And the point for each one of us who are married is not what the divorce rate is but how important and meaningful is your marriage? Do you really believe uniting two lives into one is essential? Is this something you really want to do? Does staying together mean enough to you to do it? Do you know what it takes and how to do it?

One of the great things about attending a wedding is the witnessing of two people making a commitment to be together and the ceremony is all about making promises to each other to do just that; it is a moment filled with hope. I wonder if a wedding ceremony reflects more than just the hope for two people remaining joined together. Maybe it is a metaphor to remind us of what we must do as a larger community. Maybe it reminds us that we must pour and mix our lives together, that we cannot keep our sand separate from theirs. There is a great amount of discussion in this country about how we have become a divided nation. It has become very difficult for our governing bodies and political parties to agree on much of anything. We are hardly able to accomplish much of anything together; unity seems to have become an elusive goal. So many social issues divide us from gay marriage to abortion to income distribution that it seems unresolvable. Many of us do not want to pour any of our sand in with their sand. I do not know if there is a connection between becoming and staying united as a couple and being united as a nation but I suspect there is. Maybe our country needs a unity sand ceremony to remind us of what it takes to be “one nation, indivisible.”

The Unfettered Self

In reading writings on the state of the American marriage and family it is difficult not to feel discouraged if you believe in the sanctity of marriage, or the sanctity of life, for that matter. Sanctity has to do with something done before and with God. Marriage then becomes something more than a legal act, it becomes a holy union made in the presence of, and under the authority of God. It is not just “you and me” getting together, we are joining together as a witness to God's nature. The love between a woman and a man in marriage is representative of God's love. The love I have and express for my wife, and her love for me, is to be something like the love of God.

Current writings on the state of marriage seem to agree that a focus on individualism or an individual's right to express their unique selves is a major factor in the increasing divorce rate. In other words, our culture is placing a premium on my right for what I need, what I desire, what I want to become; paraphrasing Me and Bobby McGee: “individualism is just another word for what I want to do.” The other person then becomes nothing but a means for meeting my needs and when that no longer happens, I move on. Barbara Whitehead in her book The Divorce Culture refers to this as the “unfettered self”.

This same line of thought and behavior affects the sanctity of life. If life in a womb is not something I desire or is an inconvenience for my current plans, I stop it from becoming a life, I abort it. The right of a woman to determine what she does with her body is an expression of the same cultural impulse of the unfettered self. The individual decides and acts in his or her best interests, the rights and needs of the other takes second place.

I often listen to political conversations from media pundits and their guests. I happened to catch a segment of a conversation on the radio, I think with David Gregory on Meet the Press. He had Mayor Bloomberg of New York City, the past Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan, and the current Governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell. They were discussing problems with our economy and the associated political environment and potential solutions. One of the conclusions they reached was that the divisive rancor between political parties contributes to an inability to make decisions for the common good. David Gregory asked what can be done and none of these distinguished and brilliant men had an answer; they all agreed they have never seen anything like this in their lifetime. No one will give an inch to work together for the good of all; it is about maintaining, representing and winning a point of view. It is the same cultural impulse of doing what is best for me, for my party, or my position, not what is best for our country.

It is of course nothing new in history that the individual acts in his or her own self interests. What is different is how embedded it is in the laws of the land. We have legislated no fault divorce to make it easy to dissolve unwanted unions and it is legal to abort unwanted pregnancies. We even bail out institutionalized greed, holding no one accountable; doing what is in the best interest of me is both legal and profitable.

So what is an the answer to David Gregory's question? Restoring our culture to an ethic of love is one answer. The ethic of serving or deferring to the other over me is the basic position of love; love is always other directed, not self directed. Our society is losing this ethic, the impulse to serve the other, to sacrifice and dutifully meet the obligations we have in marriage, family, and country. We have lost the primacy of the obligated self developed from the presence of love; and I believe it is destroying our country.