If marriage is obsolete, why do I know so many happily married couples?
Apparently I'm almost in the minority. A recent poll reveals that 4 out of 10 people think marriage is obsolete and that the new norm is living together out of wedlock and even raising a family.
According to AOL:
"Americans are also more likely to believe people can come together to form a family without being married," said Andrew Cherlin, a professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University. "Marriage is still very important in this country, but it doesn't dominate family life like it used to," Cherlin told The Associated Press. "Now there are several ways to have a successful family life, and more people accept them."
It makes sense. Marriage has taken quite a beating in the last few decades between the insane divorce rate and the struggle to make sure that all people have the same rights.
For anyone thinking that gay marriage will ruin straight marriage, we need to look no further than this poll to see that straight people are doing a fine job in messing marriage up all on their own. Among the four who hate marriage, you might see these people:
- Children of divorce: This isn't always true, but some kids who watched their parents go through a bad divorce aren't interested in doing the same thing.
- People who are happy living together: There is a whole movement of people who are asking why they should bother. They live together and have all the trappings of marriage (commitment, love, children), so why bother?
- Serial monogamists: Some people doubt that they will ever want to be with one person forever, so they move from one relationship into the next and so on.
- Players: These people just want to party and have fun and they know marriage ruins the good time. This is far superior to the people who want to have their cake and eat it, too (party and be married -- yuck).
Marriage is not for everyone and it shouldn't be. It's a big decision and a big commitment that people take far, far too lightly in this day and age.
But when marriage is good, it lends stability and support. It offers legal recognition of one's union and officially, in the eyes of the courts, makes you a family. For some, that symbol still means something that matters.
It's upsetting that during this time when so many are unable to gain the basic right they want so badly that others are taking it for granted. Marriage isn't the only way to create a family. But it will never be obsolete.
Why do you think marriage is becoming obsolete?