Book cover
Author and professor Alan J. Watkins advocates a series of feasible societal policies aimed at ensuring marriages stand the test of time.

Family law expert Beverly Willett published a Huffington Post Q&A with BYU professor Alan J. Hawkins on Tuesday. They spoke about some of the societal policy proposals outlined in Hawkins’ new book, “The Forever Initiative: A Feasible Public Policy Agenda to Help Couples Form and Sustain Healthy Marriages and Relationships.”

“Forever is still the dream of virtually all Americans regardless of their social and economic circumstances,” Hawkins said to Willett. “But getting and staying on the road to forever is probably more challenging than it has ever been. Successful navigation of that road provides tremendous personal benefits for children and adults and strengthens the communities they live in. I think I have a feasible agenda that we can implement right now that will help many more achieve their dream, for their sake, but especially for their children.”

Last month, Hawkins told Deseret News reporter Michael De Groote that one reason a lot of young people don’t get married before having children is because they’re hoping and waiting for the sort of perfect relationship that could never actually materialize.

“They have this tremendous aspiration that what they want is a healthy, stable, until-death-do-us-part relationship," Hawkins said. "Unfortunately, many believe that relationship is beyond their circumstances. They go about family-making without the support the institution of marriage provides. They esteem the institution from outside the institution.”

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Hawkins self-published “The Forever Initiative” on June 23. The book’s description states, “Hawkins calls for more state-directed public support for a series of educational efforts to help individuals and couples form healthy relationships and enduring marriages. He outlines an integrated set of feasible and affordable educational initiatives across the early life course, beginning in youth, continuing in early adulthood, during cohabitation, engagement, and through the early years of marriage, as well as for couples at the crossroads of divorce.”