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.
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.
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.