Trump made his fortune manipulating tax laws and stiffing small businessmen, creating a few well-paying jobs along the way. Vulnerable people looking to master 'the art of the deal' learned the hard way that Trump held all the cards.

Deciding together to have a child and sharing in child-rearing do not immunize a marriage. Indeed, collaborative couples can face other problems. They often embark on such an intense style of parenting that they end up paying less attention to each other.

In personal life, the warm glow of nostalgia amplifies good memories and minimizes bad ones about experiences and relationships, encouraging us to revisit and renew our ties with friends and family. It always involves a little harmless self-deception, like forgetting the pain of childbirth.

As a child, I was lucky enough to spend each summer with my grandmother.

Establishing a 'livable wage' floor would immediately reduce the gap in average pay between American women and men.

When you can't change what's bothering you, one typical response is to convince yourself that it doesn't actually bother you.

Valentine's Day is a perfect time to reject the idea that the ideal man is taller, richer, more knowledgeable, more renowned, or more powerful.

To my mind, it is better to have regrets about the good aspects of your former marriage because you were able to work past some of your accumulated resentments than to have no regrets because you had to ratchet up the hostility to get out in the first place.

In my work as a historian and in my relationships as a friend, teacher, wife, and mother, I have come to think that the most useful way to understand the past and make it work for you is to look at the trade-offs and contradictions that, however deeply buried, can be uncovered in every memory, good or bad.

Graduating from high school is certainly a good idea, but it's no longer much protection against poverty.

Historically, it has required a combination of favorable employment trends and active government intervention to lower the percentage of people in poverty and raise living standards for the working middle class.

As time passes, the actual complexity of our history - even of our own personal experience - gets buried under the weight of the ideal image.

A primary motivation for introducing no-fault divorce was, in fact, to reduce perjury in the legal system.

Having more education is one of the biggest predictors of women having careers.

Labeling people single parents, for example, when they may in fact be co-parenting - either with an unmarried other parent in the home or with an ex-spouse in a joint custody situation - stigmatizes their children as the products of 'single parenthood' and makes the uncounted parent invisible to society.

No single choice about how to organize work and family life is right or possible - for every family. And every choice has tradeoffs.

Social and economic policies constructed around the male breadwinner model have always disadvantaged women.

In 1992, I critiqued the panic over growing family diversity. My skepticism about the doomsayers has since been proven correct.

Economically as well as emotionally, modern marriage has become like an affluent gated community. It has become harder for low-income Americans to enter and sustain.

As an overly confident college freshman, the first time I received a below-average score on an exam was a needed wake-up call.

Indeed, the spread of 'virtual' communities on the Internet speaks to a deep hunger to reach out to others.

If the ascent of women has been much exaggerated, so has the descent of men.

Over the ages, some societies have accorded far less value and respect to singles than to married individuals.

Especially around Valentine's Day, it's easy to find advice about sustaining a successful marriage, with suggestions for 'date nights' and romantic dinners for two. But as we spend more and more of our lives outside marriage, it's equally important to cultivate the skills of successful singlehood.

Too often, tributes to the home-cooked meal assume every family has a schedule that gets everyone home by 5:30 P.M. And too many recipes treat cooking as a solitary pursuit that requires the cook - still most often Mom - to take time away from other family interactions and chores.

Feminism insists on women's right to make choices - about whether to marry, whether to have children, whether to combine work and family or to focus on one over the other. It also urges men and women to share the joys and burdens of family life and calls on society to place a higher priority on supporting caregiving work.

Nostalgia is a very human trait.

We need to push for work-family practices and policies that allow individuals to customize their work lives according to their changing individual preferences and family obligations, not just their traditional gender roles.

We must recognize that there are healthy as well as unhealthy ways to be single or to be divorced, just as there are healthy and unhealthy ways to be married.

Many alternatives to traditional marriage have emerged. People feel free to shop around, experimenting with several living arrangements in succession. And when people do marry, they have different expectations and goals.

Why do people - gay or straight - need the state's permission to marry? For most of Western history, they didn't, because marriage was a private contract between two families. The parents' agreement to the match, not the approval of church or state, was what confirmed its validity.

As a historian, I've spent much of my career warning people about the dangers of nostalgia.

Hyper-parenting has many pitfalls. Overprotected and overpraised children may develop an inflated sense of entitlement.

When we assume that 'normal' people need 'time to heal,' or discourage individuals from making any decisions until a year or more after a loss, as some grief counselors do, we may be giving inappropriate advice. Such advice can cause people who feel ready to move on to wonder if they are hardhearted.

Liberal politicians, in celebrating the benefits of modernization, free trade, diverse families, and the rise of more women and minorities into political and economic prominence, have often glossed over the pain of white blue-collar communities.

Historically, mass demonstrations have worked best at shifting public opinion and pressuring the powers-that-be when organizers highlighted one concrete demand: 'Bring Our Boys Home from Vietnam'; 'End Segregation Now'; 'Support Women's Right to Choose.'

Marriage is generally based on more equality and deeper friendship than in the past, but even so, it is hard for it to compensate for the way that work has devoured time once spent cultivating friendships.

Investing in living-wage jobs and reducing the inequities between local school districts would give young people more, not less, incentive to postpone childbearing and more possibilities for independence.

Contrary to myth, 'The Feminine Mystique' and feminism did not represent the beginning of the decline of the stay-at-home mother but a turning point that led to much stronger legal rights and 'working conditions' for her.

The closer we get to achieving equality of opportunity between the sexes, the more clearly we can see that the next major obstacle to improving the well-being of most men and women is the growing socioeconomic inequality within each sex.

Parents who obsess about every detail of child-rearing and orchestrate their children's 'resumes' may run themselves ragged while their own personal identities and adult relationships wither for lack of care.

The origins of modern marital instability lie largely in the triumph of what many people believe to be marriage's traditional role - providing love, intimacy, fidelity, and mutual fulfillment. The truth is that for centuries, marriage was stable precisely because it was not expected to provide such benefits.

As Americans lose the wider face-to-face ties that build social trust, they become more dependent on romantic relationships for intimacy and deep communication and more vulnerable to isolation if a relationship breaks down.

During the 1960s, rising real wages for low-income and high-income workers, due in part to rapid economic growth and the spread of unionization, worked in tandem with expanding government support systems to improve Americans' well-being.

I am not arguing that women ought to 'settle.' I am arguing that we can now expect more of a mate than we could when we depended on men for our financial security, social status, and sense of accomplishment.

There is no denying that we have made great progress toward gender equality.

Cohabitation itself doesn't cause ineffective parenting.

It's always seductive to know where one stands in relation to the average.

There's nothing wrong with celebrating the good things in our past. But memories, like witnesses, do not always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We need to cross-examine them, recognizing and accepting the inconsistencies and gaps in those that make us proud and happy as well as those that cause us pain.