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Marriage?

Posted by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 11:24 AM
  • 3 Replies

Marriage Today

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By cherimmhmm

Is Marriage Necessary?

Marriage Statistics Then and Now

Statistics might be boring, but they do show the trends society is taking. Judging by statistics, the typical Beaver Cleaver type, two parent, married households are not so typical anymore. Bear with me, we'll get to the good part soon.

Marriage today is different than it was 50 years ago. In 1960, 91 percent of children lived with both parents. In 2009, only 73 percent did. Back in 1960, only about half a million people lived together as an unmarried couple while in 2009 it was up to almost 7 million. There are also three times as many divorces as there were in 1960.

Women's roles have changed as well. In 1966, 35 percent of mothers with children under 18 worked outside the home. By 1996 that figure was up to 70%. In 1960, only one in seven women were unmarried and now one in four are.

More men are staying home with the kids. It's harder to find exact statistics on that, but society seems to be frowning on it less and less. Some states allow gay and lesbian marriages, some don't, so the statistics have yet to be consistent.

So What Does That Mean?

So with less people getting married, dads and moms reversing typical roles, gay people wanting to get married, we can certainly say marriage has changed. The average age for first marriage was 20 in 1970, but my 2003 had gone up to 25. I, myself, just got married for the first time at the age of 49. Before that, I didn't feel it was necessary for my life.

According to studies, married people are happier, have more money and live longer than their single counterparts. That, in itself, is a convincing argument for marriage. One theory is that happy people just get married more than unhappy people and it wasn't the marriage that made them happy.

So why are people putting marriage off or choosing not to get married at all? Obviously more women are in the work force and don't have to rely on a man for income. Also, many of us have watched our parents get divorced and don't want to repeat that.

How to Have a Successful Marriage

So how do we avoid the divorce trap? A study from the University of Florida showed that havng overly high expectations of marriage was the best predictor for it being unsucessful. Expecting fairy tales, hearts and flowers, and delirious happiness all the time is unrealistic. People have good and bad days. Kids get sick, the washer breaks down, someone loses their job, there are lots of factors that affect daily well being. Being married doesn't make that daily stuff magically disappear.

Humans, in general, though, like to be married. Even after divorce, within 5 years 77 percent of women and 84 percent of men remarry. How do we make the first one stick? A panel of experts came up with a list of what they deemed the most important characteristics of succesful, long-term marriage.

1. Lifetime commitment to marriage

2.Loyalty to spouse

3.Strong Moral Values

4.Respect for spouse as a friend

5.Commitment to sexual fidelity

6.Desire to be a good parent

7.Faith in God and spiritual commitment

8.Desire to please and support spouse

9.Good companion to spouse

10.Willingness to forgive and be forgiven

Couples that had been married 45 years or more said that the most important qualities of their marriage were:

1. Being married to someone they liked

2.They had a commitment to the person as well as to the marriage

3.Sense of humor

4.They were able to reach consensus

Either way, coming from experts or couples, all the points sound like reasonable qualities to shoot for. Some couples believe that living together before marriage is a good way to "practice" and get to know one another, yet couples who cohabitate and then get married have a three times higher rate of divorce.

So, yes, marriage today is changing. Yet it appears that the good old-fashioned qualities such as commitment and love still matter. Your spouse should be someone you respect and like, not just someone you find physically attractive. People can do marriage their own way today and still find happiness.

 

 

So I have these questions:

Do you think people have different values about marriage today since so many get divorced?

Do you think people bail faster on marriage because its accepted more today?

Do you think "traditional" roles contribute to failures of marriage?

Do you think marriage means the same to you as it did to your grandparents?

*when I say "people" I mean as a whole not everyone, as a majority.

by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 11:24 AM
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Replies (1-3):
romalove
by Roma on Jun. 4, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Do you think people have different values about marriage today since so many get divorced?

I think people have different values about marriage today, period.  I don't think it has anything to do with the divorce rate.  It has to do with women working and earning their own money.  Marriage used to be about creating a family with the daddy going out to slay the dinner and the mommy staying home, cooking and cleaning and raising the kids.  Daddy got steady sex out of the deal and mommy got stability for her kids.  Now that mommy is out working and often doesn't need daddy to slay dinner, she can leave if she isn't getting something else from the relationship.  That is what I think has changed.

Do you think people bail faster on marriage because its accepted more today?

I think they bail because they CAN.  When they couldn't, they didn't.

Do you think "traditional" roles contribute to failures of marriage?

I don't think they contribute to marriage failures.  I think people's changing feelings on the family and what they expect from it, their spouses, and their lives are what is changing it.  Look to a return to traditional values as our economic condition worsens, and it becomes harder for people to make it on their own.

Do you think marriage means the same to you as it did to your grandparents?

Not really.

Jacqalyn
by Bronze Member on Jun. 4, 2011 at 11:39 AM

EXACTLY!

Quoting romalove:

Do you think people have different values about marriage today since so many get divorced?

I think people have different values about marriage today, period.  I don't think it has anything to do with the divorce rate.  It has to do with women working and earning their own money.  Marriage used to be about creating a family with the daddy going out to slay the dinner and the mommy staying home, cooking and cleaning and raising the kids.  Daddy got steady sex out of the deal and mommy got stability for her kids.  Now that mommy is out working and often doesn't need daddy to slay dinner, she can leave if she isn't getting something else from the relationship.  That is what I think has changed.

Do you think people bail faster on marriage because its accepted more today?

I think they bail because they CAN.  When they couldn't, they didn't.

Do you think "traditional" roles contribute to failures of marriage?

I don't think they contribute to marriage failures.  I think people's changing feelings on the family and what they expect from it, their spouses, and their lives are what is changing it.  Look to a return to traditional values as our economic condition worsens, and it becomes harder for people to make it on their own.

Do you think marriage means the same to you as it did to your grandparents?

Not really.


Sofiabug
by on Jun. 4, 2011 at 11:52 AM
Do you think people have
different values about
marriage today since so
many get divorced?
Yes people have different values and most do not put their marriages first.
Do you think people bail
faster on marriage because
its accepted more today?
yes
Do you think "traditional"
roles contribute to failures
of marriage?
i think couples not making an effort to work on their marriage and making it a priorty makes divorce rates higher. I know very happle couples where mommy works and daddy stays home because they make their marriage work. I know lesbian couples who have better marriages than some of my straight couples friends because they make an effort to make it work.
Do you think marriage means
the same to you as it did to
your grandparents? No.. My grandparents would have never even thought about same sex marriage. I dont see the big deal.
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