Several decades ago, marriage seemed to be the ultimate goal. Go to school, get a job, then get married and settle down with a partner. This is how things have been for the longest time, and even now, you can tell that such a belief is still popular among many people. However, since then, the number of people getting married has declined over time.
Facts About Marriage
Most people aged between 27 and 33 no longer believe that marriage is necessary for a family to flourish. In the seventies, only about 9% of people aged between 25 and 50 were married. Gradually, that number has been increasing, and by 2021, itís almost at 20%. According to most people who choose not to get married, they feel that marriage comes with some sort of commitment that you cannot really expect from cohabitation. Also, most of them believe that their kids’ happiness, security, and health are determined by the quality of the relationship the parents have.
Is Marriage Becoming Obsolete?
One cannot say that marriage is becoming obsolete. After all, it is still being practiced by many people. In fact, it is a common belief that marriage will make people happy, but divorce will leave them sad. And while marriage is not as popular as it was before, Americans are still marrying more than other western countries and, at the same time, have a higher rate of divorce compared to other countries. Still, should one stay in a marriage to save face at the cost of their mental health?
When it comes to the point where one is no longer happy in a marriage, some people believe that such partners should file for a divorce. According to a study published in the Journal of Family Issues, about 10.6% of couples divorce due to drug abuse and drinking, while 19.2% divorce due to incompatibility. So, while the institution of marriage may not be becoming obsolete, it is also not as popular as before.
When you ask a married person why they chose that path, some will say it is because of the sense of security and belonging that comes with it. There has been a popular notion that people who choose not to get married are lonely. Therefore, marriage is sold as a package holding understanding, companionship, and assurance as long as both partners are still alive. But while these are some of the feelings people will get from marriage, the notion that you can only get them if you are married is deeply flawed.
It is time for society to stop selling marriage as a prize but rather an option for people who want it. In fact, it should not be viewed as a transaction at all. Love isn’t some super-charged bundle of guaranteed expensive gifts, but rather a commitment of people telling the world they have found someone to spend the rest of their life with. When marriage is viewed as purchasing an item, people are bound to get bored with it after some time, despite their best intentions from the start. About 41% of buyers assume they will not regret a transaction but end up doing so anyway. 30% are neutral before buying, but later they regret their decision. This is a concept that can be applied to a marriage where people are excited initially, but once they are married, after some time, they realize that it is not as it seems.
That being said, marriage in itself is not a bad thing. However, as it has been perceived as a price and the people who are unmarried are considered to be missing, something needs to be changed. Also, couples need to be taught that divorce is not a failure. This would open up the world to learn more about divorce laws, so those hoping to get one are not as lost when it comes time to do so. For instance, to file a divorce in Kansas, you must have been a resident there for 60 days, and many other states have similar laws. While getting rid of this ideal that marriage is a transaction could certainly lower divorces, it would be crazy to think that it would get rid of them altogether. Having a wholly more educated population would only do the country well in the long run.
Choosing to get married does not save one from loneliness, but expanding your view on what love is about can. Also, people who decide to get married need to learn how to communicate, love their family and find strength there.
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