Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Interracial Divorce. A New Study.


Hat tip to Andrew over on his blog "Mr. Laurelton Queens" for pointing out a new study entitled "Broken Boundaries or Broken Marriages?". Andrew references Evia's discussion of this study and her rather comical attempt at discrediting it. It is that attempt that I am going to discuss and how it relates to a certain habit exhibited by her and her fellow IR bloggers along with discussing some key points of the study.


Basically, the recent study by Vincent Kang Fu and Nicholas H. Wolfinger, both of the University of Utah, contradicts a previous study posted in a journal from the National Council on Family Relations by concluding that interracial marriages between black women and white men are more prone divorce than all other marriages involving white men. Evia's reaction to this is as followed:



Anyway back to the study sent to my private emailbox. Another red light
about the linked-to study above was that the women in the study married in
the 1980s and 1990s, were in their upper teens (TEENAGERS!) and early 20s and
typically only had high school diplomas and "some" college.

Really?

The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) research that I
posted first in October 2009 studied couples who were more educated
and more mature in age. Those black women were women like us. The study
referred to the similar education level with their white husbands and the
vetting that went into selecting each other. This is a far cry from the way the
very young select their mates.

The typical bw-ir candidate these days is NOT a teenager and not
even in her early 20s.
The type of bw who I aim my blog at or who
reads my blog is not the type of bw in the study who is a married teenager
or early 20-something with a low education level. LOL! The typical bw who
reads my blog is a college grad and many have 2nd degrees and/or are the
graduates of professional schools, i.e. law, medicine, or have professional
licenses, i.e. cpa, pharmacy.

I would EXPECT for American women who marry when they're teens or early
twenties with high school diplomas or "some" college to not be able to meet the
challenges of marriage. So I'm not surprised if those relationships had a high
failure rate. Successful marriages are helped tremendously
by maturity. So those research findings did NOT contradict what
I've said here. I would venture to guess that those women also had lower
incomes, fewer options of all types, lower social exposure,
lower social standing, etc. than many bw who read my blog or are interested in
dating and marrying out these days.


Now here is the problem. The "NCFR research" is actually research by Bratter and King that was posted in an NCFR journal. Fu and Wolfinger reference the Bratter and King study and compares it to their own study. Fu and Wolfinger note that they themselves "use data from the 1995 and 2002 waves of the National Survey of Family Growth to investigate divorce differentials between endogamous and intermarried couples". Likewise, they note where Bratter and King acquired their date for their research. Can any guess where they acquired their date from? FROM THE 2002 NATIONAL SURVEY OF FAMILY GROWTH.


In other words, all of those surveyed in the "NCFR research" were surveyed in Fu and Wolfinger's research. The difference is that Fu and Wolfinger's research likewise included the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth. This is noted on page 22 of the paper:



"Bratter and King (2008) use the 2002 NSFG, half of the data that we use".


So the question is where did Evia get the idea that the study that she likes had more mature, better educated and more financially able women being surveyed? All of the women from the study she likes participated in the study she doesn't like and the study she doesn't like additionally includes women from a version of the very same survey done seven year earlier. So where did Evia get this notion from? Quite simply, SHE MADE IT UP. She does something that she and the rest of her IR/black female empowerment cohorts routinely do. They simply imagine up things and present them as facts and damn anyone who asks them to provide evidence.


Now the interesting part of study is that it aims to show whether the generally higher rate of divorce for interracial marriages is due to intermarriage in and of itself or more so due to the acquisition of spouses with high divorce propensities. The research explains that black marriages have high divorce rates and the research leans toward the reasoning being that both black men and women have high divorce propensities. Basically, black people in general bring personal characteristics to marriage that increase the likelihood of divorce. The hypothesis is that if divorce rates for intermarried couples reflect a predicted mix of the divorce rates for the two constituient origin groups, then the divorce rate is not due to marriages being interracial. This is the finding of the research with regard to black/white marriages. Marriages between whites and blacks dissolve at higher rates than endogamous white marriages because the intermarriage contains a black spouse and not because they are intermarriages.


With regard to women, the research shows that Hispanic women have the lowest divorce propensity, followed by white women and then black women, who have the highest divorce propensity. Whether married to white or black men, black women have a high likelihood for divorce. Black men also have a high divorce propensity as well as Hispanic men, yet Hispanic marriages have the lowest rate of divorce of all marriages. Seems that Hispanic women's low divorce propensity is able to overshadow the high divorce propensity of Hispanic men.


Fu and Wolfinger also show the inadequacy of Bratter and King's research along with others. They state that:




These studies and others share a conventional approach for assessing the
effect of intermarriage on divorce: they directly compare the divorce rates of
interracial and same-race couples, ascertaining, for example, whether divorce
rates of Black wife/White husband couples differ from those of Black/Black and
White/White couples.

THIS APPROACH IS INADEQUATE because it does not uniquely identify the
effect of racial intermarriage on divorce. In the above example, Black
wife/White husband couples differ from endogamous White couples in two respects:
(I) the presence of a Black wife and (ii) the crossing of a racial
boundary. Either could be responsible for the higher divorce rate.
In order to uniquely identify the effect of intermarriage, a statistical model
must control for first-order racial differences in divorce propensities.
Only then can the effect of crossing a racial boundary be identified.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

@Rocky,

"For a great number of characteristics, including age, education, race, and religion, the
evidence suggests that homogamy promotes marital stability."

It would be great if we could figure out what exactly makes both black men and women liabilities in marriages.

Big ups to Hispanic women... holding it down. Could a combination of Catholicism and immigration status be the bind that keeps Hispanic women so loyal to the marriage?

Most of the marriages in my family lasted.

Kigali

Julia M. said...

Dear Kigali,
" Big ups to Hispanic women... holding it down. Could a combination of Catholicism and immigration status be the bind that keeps Hispanic women so loyal to the marriage?"
I think it does. Most Hispanics are Catholic and I know for a fact that divorces are not accepted among family. I married a Catholic man and I pretty got the "I don't do divorces" speech prior to our marriage. Catholics seem to stay together longer and they are more than likely willing to work out marital problems than to head to a divorce attorney at the sign of a problem.

You also have to take into consideration who is providing for the family. Most of those wives depend on their husband for everything and they don't plan on leaving a man who they have a bunch of kids with and financially provide for them.

I don't know what to say about the study.

Interracial Marriages are a lot harder and therefore it's prone to more divorces than anything.

As for black woman, we don't know how to depend on men and stick through things with him. If something happens , we're ready to jump ship.

I've been through things with my husband and my girlfriends were quick to tell me to leave him. My own sister said it also.
I'm not one to leave at a bump in the road and I never get why people wait for a reason to leave the relationship.

I guess some just don't value marriage the same way others do.

-Julia McDaniels

Anonymous said...

@Julia

I think it was Rashida who mentioned that the more children you have the more likely you are to stay with your partner. Catholics not only dont believe in divorce but they also dont believe in birth control either.

Your husband is Catholic? Is he Irish or Italian?

I think it is just the culture of black folks to be so transient. I wish the study went into more detail. Blacks, unlike other people come from families where marriages either didnt last or never were. If your parents got divorced or were never married than your attitude toward marriage is shaped by that. Youre more likely to throw in the towel if you saw your parents do the same.

Low income of the husband also is a huge factor in divorce and as the study suggested, its the hispanic woman that basically keeps that marriage together despite her husbands low income.

Moral of the story... marry a Latina.

Kigali

Menelik Charles said...

Kigali said:

1) it would be great if we could figure out what exactly makes both black men and women liabilities in marriages.

2) I think it is just the culture of black folks to be so transient. Blacks, unlike other people come from families where marriages either didn't last, or never were.


Menelik replies:


Culture or Syndrome?

African-American are not products of cultural experiences. Psycho-social experiences, yes: but not cultural. My reasoning is centred on the definition of the term syndrome. This has been defined as:

“Any combination of signs and symptoms that are indicative of a particular disease or disorder; or a symptom or set of symptoms, indicating the existence of a condition or problem”

So, slavery was a psychological “condition”, a spiritual “disease”, a social “disorder”. It was a “problem”. It was not a culture!

This may explain why slave-descended Africans are unable to function like other (genuine) ethnic groups for self-preservation. Therefore so-called ‘Black’ culture (as transmitted by the slave-descended family) might more accurately be described as a Slave-Perpetuating Syndrome, incorporating the “signs and symptoms” indicating the “existence of a condition or problem”.

Is any of this making sense? Anyway, my point is that African-Americans do not, in fact, have a culture to speak of. They are simply the products of a pathological set of circumstances borne of the historical slave condition.

Menelik Charles
London England

Anonymous said...

if homology is supposed to be a influence of a strong marriage why do blacks still get divorced higher over everyone else? please let me know, and yet there are by far more blacks (M&F) who never been married at all...would enjoy to hear and argument on that email me on your peer reviewed data explaining. dropkickninja@live.com

Julia M. said...

Dear Kigali,
" I think it was Rashida who mentioned that the more children you have the more likely you are to stay with your partner. Catholics not only dont believe in divorce but they also dont believe in birth control either. "
That's debatable. I don't think the number of kids you have is related to how long you will stay together. For Hispanic women , specifically Mexican, they tend to have more kids and they are dependent on their husbands. There is also the Catholic fact.

I've seen couples who only had two kids but are still together. So I'm not sure if they number of kids you have really has anything to do with your divorce rates.
Modern Day Catholics are not as traditional as past Catholics. My husbands' parents had 7 kids and are traditional Catholics but his siblings aren't as traditional in a sense where they forbid birth control. All of his siblings are against birth control pills but they do use condoms.


" Your husband is Catholic? Is he Irish or Italian? "
He's Irish.

" I think it is just the culture of black folks to be so transient. I wish the study went into more detail. Blacks, unlike other people come from families where marriages either didnt last or never were. If your parents got divorced or were never married than your attitude toward marriage is shaped by that. Youre more likely to throw in the towel if you saw your parents do the same. "
True; Kids learn from their parents how to behave and handle situations. Some strive to do the complete opposite and others head down the same road as their parents. I personally grew up in a two parent home and my parents are still together.

" Low income of the husband also is a huge factor in divorce and as the study suggested, its the hispanic woman that basically keeps that marriage together despite her husbands low income. "
It's probably because their husband is the sole provider. When you have a couple of kids and you're not working, you'll try to keep the family as together as possible. Also you have to take into consideration the overall environment. Most of those women don't speak English and are comfortable with Spanish speaking people, therefore they will try to keep the family together for cultural reasons.

" Moral of the story... marry a Latina."
No, not really.

Hispanic Women and Latina Women are two different things. I think Hispanics are from Mexico, Central America, and some of South America.

Now Latinos are from countries that are left such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and more Caribbean Countries.

Also because she is a Hispanic, doesn't mean it will work. If it's an interracial relationship, the rate of divorce is higher and the culture difference will play a part.

So you can't really marry someone based on divorce statistics. If you're an Hispanic man than you're in luck but if you're not, it will vary by situation.

-Julia McDaniels

Rocky said...

Anon 9:58 PM

The recent study being discussed asserts that homology does NOT strengthen marriage when it comes to African Americans because both black women and black men have a high propensity for divorce.

Anonymous said...

Menelik said:
"Anyway, my point is that African-Americans do not, in fact, have a culture to speak of. They are simply the products of a pathological set of circumstances borne of the historical slave condition."

Me:
Not saying I necessarily disagree with this assessment. However, if black Americans (the ones descended from American slaves) are this dysfunctional (and we probably are) why not go our SEPARATE WAYS once and for all?

Why don't all the heterosexual black men just pursue white women and all the heterosexual black women pursue white men (or give white men the so-called "green light") and be DONE WITH EACH OTHER once and for all?

Anonymous said...

@Julia,

Thats true. I always forget about the Carib Latinos. Simply because I just consider them Carib. When I say Latino I am talking about North American- Mexico, Central and South. Interestingly enough, all of the Carib is considered Hispanic with the exception being made probably for Anglo settled island like Jamaica, Barbados, etc. Haiti, being one of the islands of Hispanola. Weird.

Youre right though. Maybe Andrew will help us out being a fellow Carib.

Kigali

Anonymous said...

@Julia,

Not only that but Haiti was in fact settled by the Spanish than taken over by the French. Ok, we are officially Francophone.

Kigali

Andrew said...

Excellent post.

You break it down perfectly. You put the statistics better than I could ever do.

Basically the real issue is keeping marriages together.

Sometimes it is out of your hands if your marriage does not succeed.

But it would only make sense that interracial marriages are difficult.

Whether a black man is with a white woman or the reverse.

I would have to admit that Latinas.

I been with half black/half Latina, second time around "currently" (same type of woman, half black and puerto rican).

They seem more willing to work on the relationship for some reason.

Then again, black women financially are doing a little bit better than MOST Hispanic women. They may feel they don't have to work on it.

Just my opinion, I think Latina women are not usually the "bread winners" so they stay in a bad marriage longer or try to fix their marriage because it "benefits" them. No woman

Black women might not feel the incentive to do so because most of the time they are equally working or the breadwinner.

Somebody said this

"Why don't all the heterosexual black men just pursue white women and all the heterosexual black women pursue white men (or give white men the so-called "green light") and be DONE WITH EACH OTHER once and for all?"

Actually, sometime in the future society will be so "mixed". It might not matter anymore.

However, it is not about letting black women "pursue" white men. It is about "white men" wanting to pursue black women.

Obviously, that is not happening much.

So, if black men took you up on that offer. I figure you would be on television crying and complaining again.

Maybe you might get a backbone and blame white men for not dating you serious.

Anonymous said...

I highly suggest reading the following:

Handbook of African American Psychology Dr. Helen A. Neville

Handbook of African American Health Robert L. Hampton PhD

African American Psychology: From Africa to America by Faye Z. Belgrave

African American Relationships, Marriages, and Families: An Introduction Patricia Dixon

Visions for black men Na'iam Akbar

Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We're Not Hurting Terrie Williams

Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America

Rock My Soul: Black People and Self-Esteem bell hooks

Psychopathic Racial Personality and Other Essays Bobby E. Wright

Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority Tom Burrell

The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality by Cheikh Anta Diop

Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology by Cheikh Anta Diop

Precolonial Black Africa by Cheikh Anta Diop

Destruction of Black Civilization : Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C to 2000 A.D. by Chancellor Williams

Creating Black Americans: African-American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present by Nell Irvin Painter

The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

A Question of Manhood: A Reader in U.S. Black Men's History and Masculinity, Vol. 2: The 19th Century: From Emancipation to Jim Crow (Blacks in the Diaspora) (Volume 2) by Darlene Clark Hine

A Question of Manhood: A Reader in U.S. Black Men's History and Masculinity, Vol. 1: "Manhood Rights": The Construction of Black Male History and Manhood, 1750-1870 (Blacks in the Diaspora) (Volume 1) by Darlene Clark Hine

Race First: The Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (New Marcus Garvey Library) Tony Martin

Blueprint for Black Power: A Moral, Political, and Economic Imperative for the Twenty-First Century by Amos N. Wilson

The Hidden Cost of Being African American: How Wealth Perpetuates Inequality Thomas M. Shapiro

Jews Selling Blacks by Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam

The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Volume 2 by Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam

The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews by Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam

Teaching Critical Thinking: Practical Wisdom by Bell Hooks

Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom by Bell Hooks

Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope by Bell Hooks

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who submitted the reading list now here are my comments:

Interesting discussion.
I am an African American woman married to an African man. We’ve been married a decade. My parents are African American, Catholic, middle class, and have been married for over 30 years. My parents adopted 8 African American children and 1 bi-racial child from a white woman who personally asked them to take the baby because she couldn’t do it on her own anymore. Most married couples of any race or class are more likely to stay together and live in peace if both exact the same degree of devotion and literacy of their said faith tradition. Catholicism, Islam, and Judaism are religions where rights, roles, and responsibilities are clear cut: there is no way to misunderstand the commands from the sacred law and scriptures. Conservative and orthodox interpretations of these traditions also provide resources, and support to keep their families and communities intact. Respectfully, IT IS NOT the race of a people that determines the make or break of their family it is several contributing factors.
Secondly, these interracial evangelists for BOTH genders are misdirecting their anger, rage, and apathy. They are using methods from The 33 strategies of war, The 48 Laws of Power, and have re-appropriated the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad as a platform for the faux activism. They claim to be living well, content, and in peace yet they spend their entire time in public and private humiliating, disparaging, and denigrating the ENTIRE black community. They have told their followers who are vulnerable to dispose of their family, all black social settings, and to tolerate abuse from non-black men because a segment of black men are engaged in the same behavior. They deliberately misdirect conversations, distort reality, and stoke fear, hatred, and enmity in the hearts of black women in order to use them as cannon fodder for their self-serving platform. These so called leaders are pimping the pain of black women by selling those books, dating services, and access to networks that supposedly increase the odds. My father has a saying: some people are so mart till their FING stupid!” These women are actually cutting of their nose to spite their face. Based off their constant online raging against NOT ONLY black men but the entire race they are decreasing the likelihood of attracting in their own words a quality non-black man.

Anonymous said...

That is just the strangest suggestion that I have ever heard. Really? All black men and black women should just go off to other races? They should just be done with each other? I swear, anyone who suggests that is a fucking fruit cake. The only people (sellout) black women who suggest this no longer want to defend the indefensible. Their pathetic.

Incidentally, anytime I am in San Francisco, Berkely, or Oakland, I get the impression that white men no longer date/marry white women due to the high number of them who are with Asian women.

Kigali

Menelik Charles said...

@Anon,

you forgot to list Malcolm X On Afro-American History. When I worked in an Afro-centric bookshop, it would be the first book we'd recommend to 'beginners'.

Anyway, your reflections on marriage, religion and family chime nicely with those in previous posts by Kigali etc. I suspect that a combination of social-class status, and religion can somewhat compensate African-Americans for not actually have an ethnic-specific, cultural basis for marriage like language-based ethnicities (all genuine ethnic groups have their own language) e.g. Italians, Koreans, Poles, Jews etc.

I guess marrying into an African culture has extended your roots beyond the snobby, conservative confines of the African-American middle-class to the community-based culture of your husband's African homeland. Right? If so, my mother was in a similar position (we're middle-class, Caribbean Catholics) when she married my step-father who is from Ghana.

The result is that I have more of a cultural affinity with the Motherland than I do with Trinidad & Tobago. I am proud to be African because I grew up from the age of four in an Afro-centric family. This made me so much more distinct from other Brit-based Trinis' I can tell ya lol

Menelik Charles
London England

PS Anon, don't be a stranger; click Name/URL before posting and then type in your 'name'. It's easy!

Spread Peace Not Hate said...

“you forgot to list Malcolm X On Afro-American History. When I worked in an Afro-centric bookshop, it would be the first book we'd recommend to 'beginners'.”

My Reply: Based off the dehumanization, denigration, and disparaging I see on this blog from several of your readers including a black man vent blogger I truthfully wanted to publish more books in my comments. This is why I listed the books about African American Psychology first in order to make a point: both camps are displaying some serious psychological pathology about their personhood, parentage, lineage, identity, and culture on top of complete historical illiteracy. Out of anger, rage, shock, and fear black men have reacted negatively and are exhibiting the very behavior that they have been stereotyped with for so long: psychological violence and physical violence. This response has been immature and unwise by leaps and bounds… I’m 100% certain that Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad or Malcolm would NOT have responded the way modern black men have to this movement( by the way which isn’t anything new learn the history of Creole/Cajun people of LA). You cannot fight hate with hate or rage with rage. It only works for so long. A more mature and appropriate response would be something created like Black and Married with Kids.com. That’s mature.


Anyway, your reflections on marriage, religion and family chime nicely with those in previous posts by Kigali etc. I suspect that a combination of social-class status, and religion can somewhat compensate African-Americans for not actually have an ethnic-specific, cultural basis for marriage like language-based ethnicities (all genuine ethnic groups have their own language) e.g. Italians, Koreans, Poles, Jews etc.


My Reply: I respectfully disagree. I believe here it would depend on how the individual views the impact of slavery and segregation on our ethnic group: the catastrophic view, the assimilation view, or the survivalist view. Based off my own supervised study of history I have concluded that even the slaves valued the concept of marriage or family. Slave men ran away to find their wives and children—even murdered in cold blood for trying. After slavery, those up from slavery searched high and low for their loved ones. Most AA’s are familiar with the jumping over the broom. That actually happened so I disagree that having ethnic specific language is what creates the unity necessary for marriages and families to exist. This is not to undermine the degree of language its impact on ones identity. This is also why I listed the literature by Darlene Hine Clark about the study of black masculinity. If you have a catastrophic view of our experience I could understand your comment—I do not. I believe that our grandparents, great- grandparents, and great great- grandparents had an extraordinary degree of self-determination—something that is from within. That it was this self determination that compelled them to rebel against their master, escape, fight in the civil war, and plot one of the greatest strategies in history for civil rights. I prefer to focus on the strengths, achievements, and victories of my people. I believe that if you teach people some basic self-esteem, ethnic self-respect, discipline, values, hard work, integrity, and offer a community you would see our population reverse many of its dysfunctions. As a supporter of the Nation of Islam I’ve seen this to be true. I’m NOT God. I will not try to play God by condemning my entire race and secretly wishing for them to be annihilated so that I can mate with a non- black man or any man because I desire to punish the entire black community for my loneliness and misery. This is so sick on so many levels I don’t know where to begin.

continued...

Spread Peace Not Hate said...

Families and Freedom: A Documentary History of African-American Kinship in the Civil War Era Ira Berlin


Ensuring Inequality: The Structural Transformation of the African American Family Donna L. Franklin


The Strengths of African American Families: Twenty-Five Years Later Robert B. Hill


Climbing Jacob's Ladder: The Enduring Legacies of African-American Families
Andrew Billingsley
_________________________________



I guess marrying into an African culture has extended your roots beyond the snobby, conservative confines of the African-American middle-class to the community-based culture of your husband's African homeland. Right? If so, my mother was in a similar position (we're middle-class, Caribbean Catholics) when she married my step-father who is from Ghana.

My Reply: Yes and No. There are also many snobby and ultra-conservative African families. There are Africans who despise black Americans and see us a threat to their ability to compete. The same feelings of disdain that black women have for black men who marry out of the race is the same feelings that many African women have for men who marry out of their culture—in fact it can be worse because their communities back home count on the money the male relative makes here. For us it’s more about family. My heritage is respected because I respect it. I focus on the strengths, and achievements of my people. I refuse to allow anyone to stereotype me or false present the dysfunctions of the poor as the dysfunction of the working/middle class. We don’t insult each other’s people or country. I appreciate his culture and he appreciates mine. When thanksgiving comes we have traditional west African food on natural wooded bowls and plates along with healthy modern soul food that he and his relatives have learned to prepare. We didn’t require each other to dispose our personhood when we married.
I am actually very traditional and conservative! I personally think conservativism is the solution to many of the endless gender, and class wars that have paralyzed the black community.

The result is that I have more of a cultural affinity with the Motherland than I do with Trinidad & Tobago. I am proud to be African because I grew up from the age of four in an Afro-centric family. This made me so much more distinct from other Brit-based Trinis' I can tell ya lol

My Reply: I’m glad to hear that you respect and appreciate your parentage, lineage, and culture. Now what I’d like to see you do is use that training, and life experience to be of service to humanity-specifically your own people by striving to spread peace, compassion, tolerance, and respect instead of hatred and war.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

@Menelik

Youre Trini? COol.LOL I always ask
Trinis if they like to party and drink Red Stripe. Cheers.

Kigali

Menelik Charles said...

@ Kigali,

well, I wouldn't say I was a typical Trini since I'm way to African-centric for most Caribbean-Africans but I do like a red Stripe and a wine with my woman at carnival time lol

Menelik Charles
London England

PS @Spread Peace Not hate. I am somewhat confused by your msg. Are you suggesting I spread hate? Just asking

d.blake862 said...

Luckily I haven;t had to deal with divorce in my family, however some of my friends did. They'd sometimes come to me seeking advice for divorce or someone to talk to. It was a tough time for them...