Is Marriage Going Out of Style?

18 Nov

I promise that I write about more than love, sex, and relationships, but I ran across this article in USA Today.

Basically, the article says that nearly 40% of Americans say that marriage is becoming obsolete.


-Among the 2,691 adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center last month, 39% say marriage is becoming obsolete, up from 28% who responded to the same question posed by Time magazine in 1978.

-Census data reflect a declining percentage of married adults: 54% in 2010, down from 57% in 2000 and 72% in 1960.

-Blacks are much less likely to be married (32%) than whites (56%), the report finds.

(sigh) Marriage and black people take another hit. Makes that 72% of black babies being born to unwed mothers make more sense doesn’t it? Personally, I want to get married one day, but I’m not dependent on it. Whether I get married or not, I’m going to be happy and living the American dream. That dream would be much sweeter if I had someone to share it with, but I’m going to be living the dream either way. I think that mindset alone is a reflection of the shifting tide of our generation. I think we still believe in marriage, but women are making almost as much as men and no longer need to marry a man to enjoy a nice lifestyle.  I think this is a byproduct of equality.  Now that women work and make comparable (not quite equal) money to men, they can be career-driven just like men. I just think times have changed and we’re not living in ’50s anymore. Perhaps our generation is trying to figure out how to balance a career, children, and a spouse. -23


Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Relationships


14 responses to “Is Marriage Going Out of Style?

  1. Leilani

    November 18, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    This hurts my heart a bit because I find myself constantly having discussions with my friends about the state of relationships and the value that marriage SHOULD hold. Now all I seem to hear about is couples getting divorced. This had led me to question the steps taken before people got married. To me, it appears that people date for a few months or a year and decide to get hitched. Can you really know someone within a year? Think about the few friendships that have gone totally left field in the same amount of time. I just don’t see it possible. I see rushing into things being an issue and the fact that people give up way too easy. What happened to working things out? Praying about situations? Don’t get me wrong, some actions are unforgivable but there seems to be no fight or faith left in the picture of marriage anymore… I one to get married one day and if it happens, I plan on going in with the mindset of this is it and it has to work. There are no other options and I’d want my potential husband to be on the same page… *sigh* everything in society today seems so screwed up

    • Leilani

      November 18, 2010 at 10:58 AM

      *I want to get* (please excuse my typo)

    • primemeridian11

      November 19, 2010 at 1:52 PM

      I think you can know someone enough in a year to marry them. Everyone has their own rules, but mine is : I need to be with you through 4 seasons first (a year). I have friends that got married in 6 mos and some got married in a year and some got married after. All except 1 are in happy and healthy relationships. They all went through premarital counseling first and took divorce off the table. I think that makes a difference. When divorce is simply not an option, you work harder to get along and really enjoy each other because who wants to be miserable all their life? No matter how long you are together before getting married, you need to be willing to do the work. Be selfless and humble. Fix what needs to be fixed before it starts to seem impossible. People do not want to commit the way they used to because quitting is always an option.

  2. primemeridian11

    November 18, 2010 at 11:52 AM

    Sigh. Maybe I am idealist or just naive, but I do not want to believe that marriage is becoming obsolete. The sanctity of marriage has been declining for a while. The numbers of people waiting longer to get married has been increasing for a long time. I think those statistics may reflect some people’s implicit beliefs about those things. My generation, is not rushing to the alter, but I think most people want to get married eventually (agree with you that we are less dependent on marriage). We are just more concerned with degrees and education first.

    Also, my generation has seen failed marriage like none other before us. It shapes our view of what marriage really is and the importance of it. Some people are just down right scared to get married. Happy homes has not been our normal; divorce is the new normal for us. I think some have just determined that it is easier, less expensive, etc to just stay single. That doesn’t mean they don’t secretly long for companionship though…the fear just has them caught up.

    I for one, want to get married one day. I know that I can and would take care of myself if I had to. That’s not the issue. Companionship is important to me and I think the so called “independent” women and self proclaimed lifelong bachelors are playing themselves if they think it doesn’t. We were formed for’s our nature. Career driven or not.

    And I do not understand, why people do not think they can be career driven, get degrees, post graduate degrees, etc and have a mate. WTH did that come from? Didn’t our parents have jobs and still take care of home?

    • realist23

      November 18, 2010 at 12:03 PM

      I agree with your points, and I like your point about divorce being the norm for our generation. I think we’re saying the same thing. Let me be clear. I don’t want people to think that I don’t value companionship. Once again, I want to get married. I just don’t NEED to get married in order to lead a happy and successful life. Marriage would be an added bonus. Also, I think people believe they can be career driven, get degrees, post graduate degrees, etc. and have a mate. Our parents have exemplified this. However, half of our parents have exemplified failed marriage as well. Like I said, our generation is stuck with trying to figure out where the generation before us has gone wrong. I think it all stems from our “get mine” mentality. Everybody has the opportunity to get theirs now. Not just men. I’m not ready to give up on my generation yet because I think we’ll eventually figure out how to balance it all, but I think this is the backlash.

  3. utpipeline

    November 18, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    I was just watching a topic like this on “Baisden After Dark” last night! (Shout out to TV ONE!) I do plan to get married one day, but our society has changed so much that it’s not the norm. I think it comes from the fact that it is not taboo anymore to do the things that only married people should do. (i.e. have sex, live together, raise family) Marriage is the foundation of the nuclear family. Yes I understand that things happen, but we want our cake and eat it to. Of course marriage is a bonus because your lifestyle has already adapted to getting the “good” things out of a marriage before being married. I believe solely that the lack of marriages (and hard working people in our generation and the generation coming up after us) is because we’ve been plagued with the deadly disease of instant gratification. To get to the point of marriage (if done the right way) is a long and hard process. It may not be as long and hard as actual marriage, but no decent relationship has everything fall into place and ready for the “knot” to be tied on top.

    And with divorce, I think what hurt marriages is the “unreconcilable difference” plea people can file when getting a divorces. Couples use to have to have a significant reason to get a divorce. They couldn’t walk up to the judge and be like “I don’t like him/her anymore”.

    What value is quick and easy? Then why do we want it in our life. Share your life with someone! I dare you to!

    • realist23

      November 18, 2010 at 12:25 PM

      “Of course marriage is a bonus because your lifestyle has already adapted to getting the “good” things out of a marriage before being married.” <–you don't know that. I could be a childless virgin who lives by himself.

    • primemeridian11

      November 18, 2010 at 12:27 PM

      “Of course marriage is a bonus because your lifestyle has already adapted to getting the “good” things out of a marriage before being married”

      Well, damn…that’s so true though. The freeness of sex has definitely had it’s place in redefining marriage. Great post, pipeline! I completely agree.

      “Share your life with someone! I dare you to!” Love this!

  4. justinfication

    November 18, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Here’s my theory.

    I think the state of marriage in our society is due to our declining value of relationships and growth of idea of self-dependence.

    Cliche & Broad Response, I know.

    Q: Am I saying that our generation/pop culture doesn’t care about relationships?
    A: Not at all.

    I think people nowadays plan/look forward to getting married as much as they did back then. There are prehaps differences in the priority of marriage for most due to careers/education/the “I just wanna fool around” phase. I still feel that folks today desire to love and be loved and get married.

    I don’t think that relationships in the 50’s or earlier are any better than they are now, but I feel that our satisfaction/pursuing “happiness”-based culture isn’t down for the commitment of marriage.

    Commitment to love, resolve conflict, grow together, stay faithful, respect, etc.

    Sure, We all want to get married.
    But I don’t think we all have the will/strength of character to stay married.

    I use ‘will’ and ‘strength of character’ very broadly. Pretty much, I’m saying that folks ain’t got the aptitude to avoid and fix problems that will occur in the marriage; thus, allowing it to manifest and break up the relationship.

    Allow me to make an analogy.

    Think about when a mother has a child. What are the chances that she will care about and take care of that child?

    You SEE where I’m going here.

    I could go all day long with this analogy.

    ‘When the child/relationship is in the infant stages, it is adorable. Sure it craps on itself, but it’s still precious’
    ‘When a child reaches it’s adolescence, issues arise naturally, but this doesn’t deter the love that the parent has for that child; nor .

    As natural as it is for a mother to invest in and love her child, is how one should regard marriage once they are in it. I would say 99.9% of mothers would not neglect their child. regardless of their mishaps cause no mother/parent is perfect, the love is always there. Ya’ll see what I’m saying… I don’t need to milk this point.

    I know I left gaps in the analogy.

    “What if the mother abandons the child in a trash can?”
    “What if the child run aways from home?”
    “What if the child grows up and is abusive to the parents?” (c) Menendez Brothers
    “what if the parents disown the child mutally?”

    That ain’t the purpose of my point. I’m trying to analyze what I feel the root is.

    I feel marriages are unsuccessful because people don’t treasure them and invest into them, and we live in a culture that gives a pass to those who want to stop being married just because they are unhappy and/or unsatisfied, or found something better. (c) Eat, Pray, Love (c)Jennifer Aniston

    Marriages have probably never been perfect And just to put it out there, I do feel that there are instances where marriages need to be divorced. But I think the core of the problem is our will to sincerely commit to someone through thick & thin.

  5. MichaelYoungHistory

    November 18, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    ATMSC, Marriage is still a great institution and isnt going anywhere. I cant wait to get married. It’s gonna be great.

    I think people get divorced so often because weddings are so fun, and they wanna have more of them. I’ll probably get divorced at least 5 times. I really enjoy weddings…

    • justinfication

      November 18, 2010 at 1:18 PM

      Agreed. Marriage isn’t going anywhere.

      This debate is about how divorce isn’t going anywhere either.


      I will only get you 1 wedding gift. I’ll be sure to get it specifically for you though so that you can keep it through all your marriages (heaven for-bid)

      P.S. The toast at each of your weddings are just going to get messier and messier, and I’ll be sure to reference your past wife(s) in each one.

  6. fnasty

    November 19, 2010 at 2:02 AM

    1. “I’ll probably get divorced at least 5 times.” …who says sh*t like that?!

    2. Unlike Justinfication, I won’t skimp on the gifts. You shall receive a different colored Shake Weight for each bride.

    3. All those weddings better not be destination weddings

    4. I’ll need your pre-nup attorney’s contact info

  7. mznaturalhigh

    January 7, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    I know at least 10 couples who have gotten engaged or married in the last 6 months. I know there is a national trend and all but at least in my network of people I know, everyone is getting hitched (the professionals, the uneducated etc.). I personally am nowhere getting close to be being married but that is mainly because I haven’t really seriously considered getting married until this year. I haven’t been prayerful about find a man or anything. Call me crazy but I just want to have all my ducks in a row before I become one with another person. When the time is right, my man will find me and I will be ready. I agree with Realist23, If I never get married I’ll just be living the American Dream with Me, Myself and I.

    • realist23

      January 7, 2011 at 7:31 PM

      Thanks, mznaturalhigh!


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