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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Is Marriage Dead Or Dying?

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Is Marriage Dead or Dying?

Divorce is very common in the United States and in other parts of the world where divorce laws are lenient. Almost half of all first time marriages in the USA end in divorce or permanent separation. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages are even higher. Most couples say they marry for love but is love enough to keep a marriage alive?

Commitment not merely love is a clear factor in why some couples stay together when others end in divorce. There are definitely times when divorce is necessary. But in other circumstances, often months or even years later, couples indicate they wish they would have tried harder before divorcing.  

There are many factors that place a couple at higher risk for divorce. Divorce has always been a part of American society. Divorce has become more common in the last 50 years.  Changes in the laws have made divorce much easier. 

The highest divorce rates ever recorded were in the 1970s and early 1980s due to stagflation in the 70s and recession in the early 80s. Divorce rates began to decrease with improved economic stability since that time but still remains high with more couples choosing to live together without the benefit of marriage than ever before.

Is Marriage Dead or Dying?

Over the years, researchers have discovered certain factors that put people at higher risk for divorce. The more common reasons given are marrying young, limited education and income, living together before a commitment to marriage, premarital pregnancy, no religious affiliation, coming from a divorced family, and feelings of insecurity. 

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Marriage at a very young age increases the likelihood of divorce, especially in the early years of marriage due to unrealistic expectations of what a marriage is. Education can also be a factor. Research shows that those with at least some college education (vs. high school or not finishing high school) have a lower chance of divorce.   All problems have a way of showing up in the marriage bed. Financial hardships as much if not more than infidelity have been the root cause of a large number of divorces. 

Couples who live together before marriage statistically have a much higher risk of divorce, especially for those who have cohabited with multiple partners.  A common belief is that living together before marriage provides an opportunity to get to know each other better, but research has found those that who live together before marriage has already developed leniency towards divorce.

  However, there are some caveats to these findings. Research suggests couples who get engaged and then move in together are not at any higher risk for future divorce than those that did not move in together prior to marriage. However, pregnancy prior to marriage significantly increase the likelihood of future divorce in couples not emotionally prepared for parenthood. Shared religious affiliation compared to those who belong to no religious group are less likely to divorce.

Children of divorced parents unfortunately are significantly at a much greater risk of divorce. This does not mean you are predisposed to having your marriage end in divorce, only that you may need to be more aware of your marriage trends and work harder for a successful marriage.

Is Marriage Dead or Dying?

In conclusion, my research has led me to believe the most common reasons people give for their divorce are lack of commitment, too much arguing, infidelity, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of equality in the relationship, lack of preparation for marriage, and abuse. Common reasons people give for their divorce seems to fall under the umbrella of no longer being in love.  

In researching why marriages fail I have learned love changes over time and couples need to be prepared to embrace that change and change with it or grow apart. If you feel as if you have fallen out of love, marriage counselling may help offer a new perspective that will help you rediscover that love.

Love is truly worth fighting for! Before involving a divorce attorney do your best to rekindle what brought you together in the first place. Marriage isn’t 50/50 it’s 100/100. A good tip for keeping love alive is “never stop courting each other”.  Now you decide, is marriage dying or dead? 

Written By Londie Jones

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Marriage is more of a selfless sacrifice but then, there are factors that contribute to it success . Expectation of everlasting fairytale-joyous romantic marriage isn’t realistic or meant to go through some sort of turmoil. Just like the waves of the sea or the dunes of the desert so as the turbulence in marriage. Curves and roughness will definitely emerge but it’s survival depends on how the couples involved level out things . I couldn’t agree more with the writers point of view on marriage. Nice piece of article.

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