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Nationally, faith in the institution of marriage is declining, according to a report published last week by the Pew Research Center.
Day in and out, through lunch-packing and play date-making and bath-running, I am struck by a surprising truth: Though the raising of our children constitutes the central activity of our family, it is the love between Sprax and me that constitutes its ineffable core.

Carey Goldberg is an unlikely advocate for marriage. When she finally got married at 44, she didn't feel a particular need to get a piece of paper from City Hall.

But advocate she is. In a column published by CNN, Goldberg, co-host of WBUR's CommonHealth blog, declares marriage to be "the most beautiful thing" in her life.

Nationally, faith in the institution of marriage is declining, according to a report published last week by the Pew Research Center. Just 51 percent of people are currently married, and fewer American adults are getting married than at any point in the 50 years Pew has been studying marriage. Thirty-nine percent of people said marriage is becoming obsolete.

Goldberg, a former single mother by choice, describes herself as the "typical Massachusetts type who deeply believes that there are a hundred great ways to make a family and that life can also be wonderful without one." Since she married her husband Sprax, though, she said she has gained a new understanding of its benefits.

"Day in and out, through lunch-packing and play date-making and bath-running, I am struck by a surprising truth: Though the raising of our children constitutes the central activity of our family, it is the love between Sprax and me that constitutes its ineffable core," she wrote. "That sounds like a traditional religious point of view, but we are not religious. I've come to this understanding simply as an observer of my own heart and the family dance. It is, apparently, just an emotional fact of life — at least, of our life."

Goldberg admits she was "perfectly able" to raise her daughter without being in a committed relationship but, now that she is married, her relationship with her husband has become "the family's invisible center, the axis of its spokes."

When her 8-year-old informed her she didn't want to get married, Goldberg answered, "I cannot lie: I wish you all that is best in life, and marriage, when it's good, can be one of those things. And if you do get married, at your wedding I'll cry tears of joy — because I'll know that you're about to enter the gates of one of the most magical places in the world."

Read more on CNN.com.

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