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Unmarried Couples Starting Families: Argie Allen Discusses the Trend on the TODAY Show

July 29, 2013

Argie Allen, PhD, shared her expertise in couple and family therapy on The TODAY Show on June 24 and July 5. In her June segment, Allen spoke about the rising number of young people living and having children together without getting married. Marriage rates are now the lowest they have been in more than a century and the number of cohabitating couples is up from 440,000 in 1980 to 7.5 million in 2010. “People are getting married later; they have more choices. They’re choosing to cohabitate and have a family,” she explained. “People are accepting, people are looking at [having kids without marriage] from a different perspective and people are not as judgmental as they used to be about people making choices for their lifestyle,” she continued. Allen also said that more people are choosing to engage in couple and family therapy because they want to get their relationships right. She is not worried about the trend because she thinks that “people really want to be committed to each other and I think they’re going to do it in time.”

In Allen’s July 5 appearance, she was part of a panel discussion with Lori Zaslow, co-founder of Project Soulmate, and Hal Runkel of The ScreamFree Institute about how to avoid arguing about the same things time after time. Allen’s advice for couples in a rut is to have fair discussions about your needs. “The problem is that they’re not having good communication,” she said. “I always say talk, talk, talk. If you’re not communicating in a healthy way, ultimately that’s going to be problematic for the relationship.”