Today marriage is not what it was when some of us were a lot younger. But, there are ways to make marriage last and it is worth it!
Historically, relationships and marriages were formed for different
reasons, some being to form alliances between two families or to
ensure successors. Young couples entered relationships because they
were headed for marriage and to do otherwise was “living in sin”.
Moreover, many cultures have promoted marriage as the only venue
for having children recognized by society, culture, civil and
religious laws. Simply, people got married (or committed to one
another in different types of cultural arrangements) to have
children and to provide these offspring with a stable home
These days, that perspective has radically changed. People are
having fewer children. More and more couples are living together
without marriage. Statistically, a study shows that 70% of
Americans believe that marriage has purposes other than that of
creating and nurturing children.
What’s more, even the presence of children does not guarantee that
a couple will stay together, unlike 40-50 years ago when our
parents and grandparents believed that children were enough reason
to stay in a marriage.
In the past, many entered in to relationships or marriage to ensure
financial security. In our grandparents’ time, the woman was
usually dependent on the man, hence, she had more reason to stay
with her husband. In later years, couples touted the benefit of
having two incomes where one income can be a fallback when one
partner loses a job or becomes ill. Today, young men and women want
to strive for financial success independently before considering
marriage. This means that financial reasons are no longer reason
enough to stay in a marriage or enter a long term relationship.
Religious beliefs also played a huge role in keeping marriages
together. Things have changed, however. Today, fewer couples share
religious views, thanks to religious intermarriage. Many
individuals don’t believe in religion or its authority in their
lives at all. To many, God is no longer part of the equation of
marriage. As a result, there is a lessening of the power of
marriage vows to hold a couple together.
Today, the stigma over divorce and being single has been reduced
significantly. Concepts such as cohabitation, dating and extended
“singleness” have provided people with alternatives to their states
in life. As a result, we marry later or not marry at all.