Various false narratives about marriage and divorce have gained significant influence in our culture over the past few decades. Among the most prominent is the idea that “moving on” to new sexual relationships, and new marriages, is healthy and good. The “moving on” narrative has not only impacted the way in which our culture, including the Church, thinks and communicates about marriage and sexuality. It is also a central mechanism by which the generational cycle of divorce is sustained. Dr. Towers will argue that acknowledging the devastating impact of this widely-held belief on our ability to understand and communicate the truths of marriage is an important first step toward implementing practical solutions to the marriage crisis. She will describe the role of individual and community commitment to and within marriage, the subject of a growing body of social science research, as an antidote to the “moving on” schema. In particular she will focus on the vital mission of young people – and especially adult children of divorce – in the fight to revive and sustain lifelong, faithful marriage.
Hilary Towers, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist and mother of five children. She conducted her doctoral research at The George Washington University’s Center for Family Researchin Washington DC., where her focus was behavioral genetic analysis of individual adjustment factors and marriage and parenting relationships. Her work in behavioral genetics appears in a variety of academic journals and books. Dr. Towers currently writes and speaks on the subjects of marriage and spousal abandonment, especially as those issues are treated within the Catholic Church. Her work in this area has been published in a wide array of online journals, including:Public Discourse, CatholicVote, National Catholic Register, Ethika Politika, Family Studies, First Things, and National Review Online. She and her family live in Northern Virginia.