Real Talk w/Terry

Is Marriage An Antiquated Concept?

Adam Levine

My guess is this; it depends on who you ask. Singer, Adam Levine recently stated in an interview for men’s fashion magazine Nylon Guys, “if you don’t get married, you can’t get divorced.” Levine is not alone in his theory. While doing research for my book, working title “Always a Bridesmaid ~ Never a Bride” [scheduled for release in May 2013], I stumbled upon an interesting fact courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, that in recent years the divorce rate was going down. I was pleasantly surprised considering I have heard too many times to count that the divorce rate, especially among Christians, was in fact going up. Contrary to popular belief, statistics show that the divorce rate has actually decreased from 7.9% in 1980 to 5.2% in 2008. In line with that, could the divorce rate statistically be going down because the marriage rate has also gone down over the years? In 1980 the marriage rate was 15.9%, in 2008 10.6%.

The “if I don’t get married, I won’t get a divorce” mindset is very prevalent in this generation of adults; with more than half of U.S. adults not married, a record low has been set according to Pew Research: Social and Demographic Trends. The Pew Research also reported that the median age for first marriages has never been higher for brides at 26.5 years and grooms at 28.7 years. In 1960, 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married – today only 51% are married.

Happy Old Couple

Why are adults now-a-days waiting to get married? When asked, some adults have said they wanted to focus on their education and career first, then get married and start a family. Others cite finances as a reason to delay marriage; and then there are those who cite the divorce rate as their reason for delaying marriage. I personally, wanted to focus on my education prior to even thinking about marriage and kids – and many fellow Generation X women are of the same mindset. I however, knew that at some point that I would want to marry and have a family – I just didn’t think I would marry at the ripe old age of 33. Decades earlier, I would have been viewed as a less than desirable candidate for marriage in my thirties. In the 1950’s most women were married by the time they were 20. Marrying much later than our predecessors is not only the norm but almost expected since now, many parents have an expectation that their child will attend college or obtain some form of post secondary education. Now-a-days a twenty year old about to marry will hear, “you are so young, why are you getting married at such a young age?” more times than they will care to count.

Happy Couple-3

Although statistically the marriage rate is doing down, marriage is still a well respected institution in society. So much so, that now same sex marriages are being debated in court. Back to my original question, is marriage an antiquated concept?  Do you think so? What are your thoughts? I’d love to know.

2 thoughts on “Is Marriage An Antiquated Concept?”

  1. I have been in a wonderful relationship with my high school sweetheart for several years. And we have absolutely no intention of getting married. We are in our sixties. He is widowed and I am divorced. We live on opposite ends of the country and when we get together its always like a new date. We enjoy each other very much.

    I think what contributes to our peace is maturity and experience. Our society pressures young people to unite in marriage before they even have knowledge of who they are. They enter into a relationship many times not fully aware of their aspirations, limitations, and fears. Unable to get a grip on themselves, it becomes massive to save a relationship. But, society has sold them this “Santa Claus” concept of life, that a 300# man can come down a soot-filled chimney with a bag full of toys and make their dreams come true. Only in never-never land. In the same way, couples go into marriage believing that the sexual and emotional high will be enough to weather the storms of poverty, too much debt, living beyond their means, inevitably children, and the multitude of adult situations. Lets give our children dreams of marital bliss, but we must couple it with the need for maturity and emotional as well as financial stability. That is truly the antiquated concept of marriage that will perpetuate the plummeting of what can be potentially a prosperous and loving relationship.

    Only after they are equipped with this information can they even begin to know if they are prepared and willing to make a lifetime commitment to their intended. The question must be asked to themselves first before they can ever ask or accept this from someone else.

    1. I could not have said it better! I love when you said that the antiquated concept is the perception of marriage that young people have. You are ABSOLUTELY correct, a person should know who they are before entering into a marriage with another person. Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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