Who Needs Marriage?

Is Marriage a Failing Institution?

Some statistics may suggest that marriage is a dying institution. According to recent Pew Research Center findings, only around half of all Americans are currently married. This may sound fairly normal until you realize that in 1960, that percentage was much closer to three-fourths. What’s causing the steep decline in interest? Financial burden isn’t having much of an effect, according to Pew.

Some naysayers claim the purpose of marriage is becoming obsolete in a modern society where people can maintain what they need for themselves with technology. Scientists speculate that by 2050, we may become so in love with our computers, that we may actually marry them—in other words, a handful of men and women may prefer robot companions to that of human. According to statistics, a portion of couples are already happy with long-distance Internet relationships rather than physical relationships, which isn’t all that different.

According to PEW researchers, there are a couple of reasons why some people might be losing faith in marriage:

Social Obligation. Society helps dictate how people live, and with a much more open attitude towards single parent adoptions and same-sex marriages, the idea of becoming a husband or wife is no longer necessary to be an accepted member of society.

Independence. Both men and women, age 18 to 35, and age 45 and older, are enjoying their freedom. Sure, they still have the need for some companionship. However, when they get tired of their company, they are glad they can boot them out the door, reclaim their own bedroom, and get some private, quiet time to themselves.

Financial freedom. While some couples still combine earning power to enjoy more wealth, many singles are proud of the fact that they are completely financially independent. On the opposite side of that coin, more 20 and 30-something’s are living at home, extending their childhood well past adulthood.

Education. Young Americans who are attending a university to boost their career potential are putting off settling down until later in life. Maintaining relationships without marriage, perhaps gives them more opportunities to hold onto their sanity and wealth without fear of losing it to divorce.

Satisfaction. With comfort brings stability, and with stability decreases the justification to settle. More and more singles are waiting for their soulmate. If he or she doesn’t come along, they are satisfied with the idea of remaining single.

So, who still wants marriage? Let’s see what a few different groups have to say about it.

Single (never been married). 61 percent of singles do believe in marriage, and hope to one day be a part of that institution. Out of the Americans who are not so enthusiastic about the prospects of marriage, 47 percent say that they would give it a try if the opportunity arose.

Divorced. Only 27 percent of this group says they would attempt marriage again. The majority of these men and women report in surveys that they are much happier being single.

College educated. Statistics suggest that the college graduate is still very much in agreement with the institute of marriage. While they may be putting it off longer (median age 28.7 for men and 26.5 for women), 67 percent of this group will eventually get married.

High School Educated. Only 48 percent of Americans who are high school educated (or less) are getting married, and they are also more likely to consider marriage as obsolete.

Age. While the number of 18 to 35-year-old Americans getting married is decreasing, especially the 18 to 24 crew, who are 91 percent single (up 36 percent from 1960); the 36 to 45 age range continues to marry more than ever.

Race. White Americans make up 55 percent of all married couples, compared to 48 percent of Hispanic Americans and 31 percent of black Americans. Reporters also mention that this disparity may be explained by the relatively young age of the latter groups.

The remaining, trend-setting married couples are clearly waiting longer, which means they are better prepared, more financially stable, and less likely to be a part of divorce statistics down the road. Who needs marriage? Nobody, other than those who are certain they have found their love of a lifetime. Even those who are fairly certain they have discovered their happily ever after, certainly don’t need to spend a couple hundred dollars in fees just to profess their devotion to each other.

However, I do not think that marriage has become obsolete, but rather is being reserved for those who are ready to take on its pledge with eyes wide open. Marriage may be becoming something to aspire to, rather than something we have to do. There is something peculiar that happens when a society puts a certain type of relationship on a pedestal. It becomes something we strive for. The fact that nobody needs marriage, may be the best thing that ever happened to it.

“Relationships magnify the human experience.” – Quinn ext. 5484

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8 thoughts on “Who Needs Marriage?

  1. tammy

    I realized that being married to the wrong person wasnt worth the heartache so after 18yrs i divorced my husband. Recently i met a man who i wish i would have met 20yrs ago and have actually considered remarrying. I am grateful to have my kids but appreciate past mistakes and dont take this great guy for granted! It is called maturity..

  2. marc from the uk

    Something that came to me from a wise lady friend of mine! MARRIAGE in the old days was becouse people lived in dangerous times, life spans were short, disease was high, health care was in its infancy, people needed people around to survive. Fast forward a hundred years or so…… all that has changed, people are capable of living and taking all that life has to offer with the comfort of knowing life is disposable!!! One day when we have lost all the excesses of life it will go full circle, and we will evolve yet again as the ape man!!!

  3. Rose O.

    First thank you for this article. And second I don’t agree with
    the scientists as far as substituting a robot for the sex.
    I myself do believe marriage is dead. I say this because being
    single all of my life and people keep telling me the following: don’t
    give up, it will come when you least expect it etc…etc.. For petes
    sake I am 52, hearing these things over and over does make you give up and doubt. Also seeing and hearing everybody divorcing
    makes it scary. As we know marriage is a contract only, I don’t
    think people look into this. They only see the white dress and tux and party. What about the commitment the vows?
    Anyway I have been on dating sites for about 2yrs and all I have
    been getting are cheaters, players and guys wanting your citizenship.
    They say they want a relationship but does not turn out this way.
    Anyway this is my experience thus far, I am sure some of you out there can agree to a couple of my comments.

  4. marc from the uk

    I have been married, and I would say that I married for life on both occassions! Ok so life happened and I am single now, however at the time it was importaint for the stability of the relationship and the childrens stability which was paramount. Life has changed and peoples perceptions of what is acceptable is changing by the day. What is normal anymore? people are becoming self absorbed and less concerned about morals and principals. However my mantra is so long as no one is being hurt or upset by how we live our lives now, does the old fashioned way apply? We are after all more educated, aware, and becoming more enlightened to who we are and what we NEED!

  5. Chuck

    I live being married also. I am a widower who has a much younger girlfriend. She has good points why people don’t need to be married. one is past bad relationships, I think we can all relate to that. I do think she wants marriage because she makes sure I know her ring size and cut she wants and even goes as far to tell me she would wear a fake ring.

  6. -quinn ext.5484

    just had a thought. with gay marriages on the rise i wonder if the % of broken marriages will go down?
    for those forbidden to marry do to laws from three millions years ago perhaps this is going to change things as the marriage will be of a spiritual sacred union of two people who love each other.
    time will tell.

  7. Delores

    The state inserts itself as a third party to the institution by way of licenses and fees. However,it offers some legal degree of protection to both parties.


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