Skip to comments.7 Reasons Marriage Is Falling Apart in America
Posted on 04/06/2013 7:32:02 AM PDT by Kaslin
It's no secret that marriage has been in decline in America, but most people don't realize how quickly it has been crumbling. The numbers are staggering and the sea change in attitude that has gone along with them would shock previous generations of Americans.
"In 1960, two-thirds (68%) of all twenty-somethings were married. In 2008, just 26% were." "To get a sense of how different attitudes were in the 1960s, perhaps this will do it. (M)arried women were asked, In your opinion, do you think it is all right for a woman to have sexual relations before marriage with a man she knows she is going to marry? ...Eighty-six percent said no."
The damage to our society caused by this decline in marriage is almost incalculable.
According to the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, children from single-parent families account for 63 percent of all youth suicides, 70 percent of all teenage pregnancies, 71 percent of all adolescent chemical/substance abuse, 80 percent of all prison inmates, and 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children.
A study cited in the Village Voice produced similar numbers. It found that children brought up in single-mother homes are five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape (for the boys), 20 times more likely to end up in prison, and 32 times more likely to run away from home.
There are no easy fixes for this problem, but before we can even begin to consider solutions, we need to get a better understanding of what has gone wrong. Why is marriage collapsing in America? What are the root causes of the phenomenon? If studies show that married couples are happier, more financially secure and generally better off across just about every variable you can imagine, why are there so many people who are reluctant to get married?
1) The Sexual Revolution: There have always been people who've had sex outside of marriage, but there was a time when that was widely considered shameful. Fifty years ago, a book like The Thrill of the Chaste: Finding Fulfillment While Keeping Your Clothes On would have been considered nothing more than obvious common sense. Today, if you write a book like that, you'll end up on TV facing hosts who can't believe there's anyone left who believes in not having sex before marriage. In other words, the promise of easy access to sex used to be a big reason to get married. These days? Fifty nine percent of people polled at MSN Dating said they would have sex within the first three dates and less than 7% said they would wait until marriage.
2) The Inability Of Many Poor Men To Support A Family: There was a time in America where a hard working man with a high school degree and limited skills could still make enough money to support himself, a wife and a child or two. Granted, they might have had to scrape by, but they were able to make it. Unfortunately, as automation and technology have replaced some of those jobs and others have moved overseas to workers in China and India, the economic prospects for many men in this group have plunged. What that means as a practical matter is that a lot of men who would have been married and providing for a family in a previous era are now single and can barely afford to take care of themselves.
3) A "Marrying Up" Gap: Women have always been inclined to "marry up." In a world where female incomes have dramatically increased and there have been more women than men getting college degrees for the last twenty years, that means many ladies believe they have a much smaller pool of potentially acceptable mates than ever before. The male CEO may be content to marry the pretty maid who wants to take care of him, but a female CEO probably isn't going to marry a butler.
4) No Fault Divorce: When Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he signed the nation's first "no fault" divorce bill into law. Later on, Reagan called that act his "greatest regret." It should have been because it led to those laws, which made divorce much easier to get, spreading across the country. As a result, between 1960 and 1980, the divorce rate in America more than doubled. Happily, the numbers have since stabilized, but they ended up almost twice as high as they were before. The more divorces there are, the less attractive marriage becomes because it increases the risk factor. "No fault" or not, divorce is usually a devastating process for everyone involved and the more likely marriages are to end in divorce, the less likely people will be to want to get married in the first place.
5) Increased Economic Options For Women: There was a time when the surest path to economic security for women was to get married. Today, that's not necessarily true. Women on the low end of the pay scale can have the government step in to pay many of their bills. Women with college degrees or in demand skills can make just as much as a man if they're willing to put in the same hours. Those additional economic options make marriage -- and staying in a difficult marriage -- less attractive to women.
6) Marriage has become a much less attractive option for men: There was a time when the man was expected to provide for his wife and kids and in return, he was treated as the king of the castle. Now, men are often treated more like partners than kings. Moreover, if there's a divorce, men know they may not be treated fairly by the court system. Almost every man knows a guy who has had access to his child used as a bargaining chip, who has to pay Draconian child support payments or who has otherwise been generally treated unfairly because of his gender, not the merits. No man wants to end up as the guy paying a huge chunk of his income to a woman who broke his heart while he wonders if he'll be allowed to have access to his own child.
7) Children have become more of an economic hindrance than a help: There was a time when having children was essentially an insurance policy. If you became disabled or too old to work, your kids took care of you. Today, the government fulfills that role. Additionally, the cost of raising a child has skyrocketed. You'll now have to take $235,000 out of your wallet to raise a kid to 17 -- and that doesn't even include college costs. While a married couple can bear this expense much more easily than a single parent, as a practical matter what it means is that less Americans are having children. If you take away the need to have a partner in raising a child, you've removed one of the biggest reasons for marriage to exist in the first place.
OTOH, look at the tables for almost any gummint freebie. The bennies go up with the number of dependents. So it pays to have children out of wedlock and claim to be unable to afford them. Two different names means two different benefit flows.
Marriage is falling apart because virtually every new so-called hip and exciting TV program today has a queer in it, a slut/whore, two people living together without benefit of marriage, complicated with a pattern of the usual actor diversity-inclusion standards now the network norm.
Religion, marriage, morals are regularly ridiculed for the hip characters trying to ‘hook up’ their queer friend with some other queer - never dwelling on any of the buggering or other unnatural acts that accompany such.
These contrarian lifestyles have been so homogenized, so diluted, so milquetoasted, I’ll bet you a normal 8 year old who’s been told ‘gay marriage’ is a right couldn’t tell you what these ‘gays’ actually physically do to ‘consecrate’ their unions. It is just sick sick sick perverted degeneration gussied up with network bandaid.
Imho, no fault divorce is the number one destroyer of marriages.
The government has created a disincentive for marriage. It takes money from you to pay the people who don’t get married but create more and more dependents.
“Do you think it is all right for a woman to have sexual relations before marriage with a man she knows she is going to marry? ...Eighty-six percent said no.”
I remember those days very well...
Oops! You forgot the illegal aliens.
Yes definitely one of the prime reasons for the decline in marriage is the MEDIA.
I do not watch any of the current TV shows except a few police sagas. Only others I watch are the old westerns, notably The Rifleman and Have Gun Will Travel.
Reading today in our local rag, a Jax kindergarten teacher was fired for failing to properly supervise her classroom. Seems while she was away from keeping an eye on her charges, one male was giving another a BJ. I had to re read it twice to make sure I had it correct. Now then, where does one suppose one picked up that idea? So, they fire the teacher, frankly I would have melted down the kids and their parents, if they could be found.
What makes this so comical is that "same-sex marriage" has been front and center in the national spotlight even as "heterosexual marriage" is sliding into irrelevancy. To me, this would be the equivalent of the NAACP clamoring for segregated areas for black passengers at the back of all public buses. LOL.
The lack of morality.
It’s falling apart because it’s very legally disadvantageous to men. The deck is so heavily stacked in favor of women that it’s tantamount to involuntary indentured servitude for a term triple or more in comparison to the term of indenture for actual indentured servants historically.
And, men can lose everything they have on a whim, in addition to having their potential future earnings attached, and I say potential because actual future earnings have no bearing on the amount deemed due, unless earnings increase, then hold onto your hat because here comes babymama demanding more.
Out of work, sick? Too bad, off to debtor’s prison you go if you don’t pay tribute to the all-mighty babymama who impoverished you, alienated your children from you and owns a high percentage of your income for years to come.
What’s not to like? /s
They left out the myth of the needed 2-income home.
After a while, when both parents work they have am LLP, not a family. It used to be the man worked, came home, and was doted on by his wife. Now they both come home exhausted, take over from the REAL parent — the nanny — and exchange a few grunts about work.
That isn’t a marriage.
Over time, the lack of intimacy leads to end of the family.
What is sad is when you do the math, 2 incomes doesn’t net very much money at all. Not worth ruining your family.
Unrealistic expectations. Poor preparation.
“...contrarian lifestyles ...homogenized ...sick sick sick perverted generation ...”
I have recently read 2 books written by gays - very good writers, I might add. The gist of it is that the average American has no idea that gays DO NOT have the ability to commit to one man (this applies to most of them, 90% or so)
Part of the personality disorder causes the “chase” to be paramount. THe ones in so called committed relationships usually have an agreement that at least one is cruising/hooking up. This mindset is spreading to the heterosexual population too.
I have 3 20 something daughters and I can tell you their peers are mostly NOT getting married or are having baby daddies outside of marriage. Thank God none of the daughters are buying into it. Still, the hooking up lifestyle is the norm (gay or not) and I don’t think the so called moral majority (now minority thanks to TV as you point out) are even aware of how bad it actually is.
You forgot contraception.
A whole generation of young people will look back someday and notice they had no real childhood, no real innocent childhood sweethearts, no real romances-just meaningless hookups and nothing to have fond memories about....
I dont think they will be too happy about it
I've seen many of my friends dumped by their wives when they found boyfriends they considered less boring or more prosperous.
That, combined with the ability to get sex without marriage, makes marriage unattractive to men with options.
“...pay the people who don’t get married...”
I was recently looking at houses in a city on the metro north train line out of Manhattan. This house was an incubator for Mexican anchor babies. There were at least 25 children living there from 6 months to roughly 5. I cannot describe to you how shocked I was. I am fairly sure that all of the maternity costs were paid for by US taxpayers at some type of maternity clinic.
The demise of this county has already happened. Only fools are maintaining any illusions (republican party?? Joke!!)
WOW!! So right- the idea that women are downtrodden is completely the opposite. Colleges are well over 50% women. I am a woman and the men must wake up.
"All I had to do was have a kid. I never have to worry about a man or a job for the rest of my life. The more kids I have, the more money I get on my EBT card. I don't even have to raise those kids myself. The state does it for me.
Now, excuse me. I have to go get my nails done. I have a date tonight."
“Its falling apart because its very legally disadvantageous to men. The deck is so heavily stacked in favor of women that its tantamount to involuntary indentured servitude for a term triple or more in comparison to the term of indenture for actual indentured servants historically.”
We are already indentured servants on our jobs. They have taken Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, and Good Friday away as holidays to make us work. Wages and benefits stink, and it’s hard to find a job at all. Who would want to face the crapshoot marriage has become in their private lives and add to our misery? And I’ve been married almost 36 years.
The government wrecked marriage and the courts and society killed it off.
Happily divorced for 10 years. Why own when you can lease skilled workers for less money?
Men and women no longer need each other to survive. Back when civilization was more agricultural women needed men to plow and plant the fields, hunt the game, build the cabin, etc.
Men needed women to help harvest the crop, can the vegetables for the winter, bear and raise the future farmhands (the children), cook his meals, etc.
Now we can get everything we need at Wal-Mart and McDonalds.
No one has to buy the cow today. There's free milk everywhere. Because of the morning after pill, a man can ride 'em hard, put them away wet, and move on to the next critter.
Easy women are a dime a dozen. They're disposable. Use 'em, and then throw 'em away!
I can’t recall a more depressing thread in all my years with FR.
No argument with any of the opinions expressed in these posts; they’ve all been insightful and accurate.
The calamity that has befallen our culture is beyond reckoning.
“No fault divorce is the number one destroyer of marriages.”
You mean, automatic “his-fault” divorce.
...a more depressing thread...”
ALL of the threads could be tied into this cloth, sorry to say...
This thread has attracted great minds, as well.
So, let’s go stoic with Marcus Aurelius and get real.
"With the transfer of the means of production into common ownership, the single family ceases to be the economic unit of society....The care and education of the children becomes a public affair; society looks after all children alike, whither they are legitimate or not."
Libtard government policies that cause the collapse of marriage plus homo marriage are causing Engels' prediction to be coming true, which is their goal anyway. When the government raises all children equally, that is the way to achieve their goal of equality of opportunity.
see my #19
I saw a commercial for Sprint a while ago where this hot girl gets on a lounger next to a guy and says something like she loves her I-Pad on Sprint and he says "yeah so does my husband". They must have gotten many e-mails like mine because I never saw the commercial again.
Yep. And I'll add Religions have ignored sin.
“...the government wrecked marriage and the courts and society killed it off...”
Amen. The whole gay marriage issue is a canard. Marriage has NOTHING to do with government - so let them wreck it. Let it go.
Commitment not every can do it.Only the strong can.
The reason that Gay marriage has gotten so much traction is that traditional marriage has become de-linked from child-rearing already. IOW’s society no longer accepts the basic assumption of the family unit based on a married couple. So why not Gay marriage? (or any other alternate interpretations of the institution?)
I think the hip-gay on the hit TV sitcom is more a symptom of family decline than an underlying cause. But going forward you might be more right. Everything is a feed-back loop.
Scary and true. Ok, unless you have daughters and you really care that they find someone who can commit.
“...why not gay marriage..”
We are done. Christianity attempted to raise women to equal status. Even if a person is not Christian, that capital rode for many centuries for the benefit of many, even if they had not clue as to why.
And that is why the Catholic church requires Pre-Cana classes before you can marry in the Church.
Get rid of the "Set up for life" social programs, and people will start needing and wanting each other again. Neighbors will start needing neighbors again. Nation and nation, kingdom and kingdom will start working together again.
The politicians, who like playing God, have sold the people of the world a lie for the sake of their own power and privilege (and their tower of socialist Babble is just about ready to fall).
Agree the politicians are a big part of the problem they make people weaker not stronger.
For it’s all about votes and power.
I remember the Murphy Brown/Dan Quayle exchange.
We conservatives need to push back harder. Quayle and others (Bill Cosby) have been severely beaten after they have confronted the mainstream on unwed mothers and the very obvious causes of poverty.
For anyone to be attacked for the number one cause of all of the social issues in our society is ridiculous.
Poverty and violence in the inner cities can be traced to a broken home.
We have 6 children 3 boys and 3 girls.Nobody was allowed to move in with someone.If you did you could leave your partner at home because they were not welcomed in my house.They also knew to marry in their faith and commit to it.As a family we back them up and we all help.If you have children we help watch them.If you buy a house do it based on one salary.The kids all stuck to it.Biggest thing is your faith.Go to church.I have a 30 year old daughter,most of her friends live together.She is married with a child.Her friends say they are afraid to have children.I can’t figure it out.
Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:
Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.
“... Catholic church Pre-Cana, etc...”
All true, except the Church has given up since Vatican II. The Chruch quit its true teaching (magisterium) role in the 60’s.
Thanks. You add the missing ingredient. There has been a lot of good points made on why marriage breaks up. You have made the point of what keeps marriage intact forever.
Children with a stay at home mom and an involved dad is hard to beat.
When asked are YOU brain washed to some extent.?...
If you say NO, then you surely are... and maybe delusional as well..
Propaganda is a scientific fact... “Logans Run” is a metaphor of reality..
Intimacy no longer has meaning beyond the pleasure of the moment. A man no longer needs to win a dame’s heart with chivalry and sonnets of love.
On free milk everywhere, as Aristotle observed that which is ubiquitous is deemed less valuable than that which is rare.
I agree, albeit with a heavy heart, with the poster who saw all of this as merely symptomatic of the broader collapse of Western civilization.
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