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Should Marriages Be Forever The Pros

Topics: Marriage, Divorce / Pages: 5 (1498 words) / Published: Dec 2nd, 2014
Should Marriages Be Forever? The Pros And Cons
John Doe

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines marriage in three different ways, “a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage. b: the mutual relation of married persons c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage.” The key points of the definition, to me, are that marriage is an institution and it is a relationship that is recognized by law. Until recently, love had very little to do with marriage. When looking back into the history of marriage many forms of marriage are seen, very little having to do with love. Frist, there were ideas of marriage to strengthen alliances between countries and families. Early historical records indicate, that even in the Bible, there were marriages to cousins in order to keep close family ties. Polygamy was also very popular, especially when looking at the Bible at men like Jacob and Solomon. Love eventually became the strengthening factor behind marriage, and was once seen as a sacred institution. Most wedding ceremonies still include phrases such as “holy matrimony” or an institution “ordained by God”. The major issue, from a religious standpoint, is that religion is not as important to society as it once was. In a 2014 study completed by NBC and The Wall Street Journal, published by The Huffington Post, says that, “1 in 5 Americans say religion is ‘Not that important’”. Unfortunately, marriage is no longer seen as a lifelong commitment. To me, a majority of society views marriage as something as a fad, or like a pair of shoes. With marriage compared to a pair of shoes, what happens with a pair of shoes you get tired of or that get worn out? You just go and get a new pair of shoes! To me, marriage is a lifelong commitment that does take some work from both sides. Sometimes things are tough, but that’s just life, and you have to learn how to work through them together. The Baby Boomers generation is past, and so comes the Millennial generation. With the new generation comes a wide away of socially and culturally accepted practices and norms. Society as a whole, does not get the concept of the typical Western wedding vows, which go something like, “I, (your name), take you (spouse’s name), to be my lawfully (wife/husband), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward, until death do us part.” Marriages are bound by law, through the good times and the bad, until death. It has become socially and culturally acceptable to throw around “Divorce” freely, opposed to those times of “better or for worse”.
Putting society and culture aside, there’s a science behind marriage. Only about five percent of all mammals are monogamous, and within that five percent, fifteen percent of primates, including humans, are monogamous (Dow 2012). When looking at known human societies, only one percent allow polyandrous relationships (woman takes more than one husband), eighty two percent permit polygyny (man takes more than one wife), and only seventeen percent of known human societies only permit monogamy (Dow 2010).
Statistically, according to the 2013 National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends report published by the CDC: Marriage rates are down, and so are divorce rates. In 2011 there were 2,118,000 marriages, or 6.8 per 1,000 total population. This rate repeated from 2009-2011, down from a rate of 8.2 marriages per 1,000 total population in the year 2000. Divorces and annulments in 2011 were at a rate of 3.6 per 1,000 total population. There were 877,000 divorces and annulments in 2011. This was a two year trend from 2010 and 2011, increasing from 3.5 in 2008-2009. Divorces rates are down from the year 2000, which had the highest rate at 4.0 divorces/annulments per 1,000 total population.
Why is divorce so common today? According to Attorneys.com, there’s a few reasons why divorce is common. Until the 1970s, not all states had no-fault divorce laws set into legislation. Today, as of 2010, all fifty states have no-fault divorce laws, which make divorces easier. The male figure is no longer the only bread winner in the home, with women becoming a stronger component of today’s workforce, they no longer “need” to be supported. Independent women can now leave an unhappy marriage without the fear of having nothing. As stated above, divorce has become more socially and culturally accepted, and is unfortunately part of the “norm”. There’s no longer fear of the social stigma of divorce, and no fear of wearing a “D” as a Scarlet Letter.
Now that the statistics and science presented, there are many pros to marriage. Humans, in simple human nature, desire companionship. Marriage can provide just that: companionship. If I were asked why I’m married, there’s many reasons I would list and answer: I want to spend my life with that special someone, not out of fear of being alone or “needing” someone, but I have someone that I can share my life experiences with, someone to grow with, someone to travel the incredible journey of life with. Those are just a few things on why I’m married. Truly, with religion aside, marriage is a commitment and a vow made between two people. Having children and raising a family, as well as continuing to grow a marriage, is an incredible journey. With having children and a spouse, not only do your children grow, but you grow with your spouse as well. Marriage allows you to fill the empty place inside and allows for you to feel complete.
Filling an emotional and physical gap, for essentially and ideally the rest of your life can even extend your life. When making that commitment to have and to hold your spouse, through better or worse, you can truly experience your time together, your laughter, your sorrow, your ups, your downs, your emotions, your faults, true lovemaking, and you’ll have that someone to share and experience it all with, until death do you part! When you have that perfect relationship that leads you to marry, you’ll know your spouse won’t ever judge you, belittle you, criticize you, hurt you, and will always be there as a constant and a guarantee, even when you have nothing left at all.
If what is listed above doesn’t sound like your forte, then you’re leaning towards the cons to marriage. For some people, the thought of commitment to one person forever scares them, and that is what marriage is. Research for finding the negative aspects of marriage proved difficult. Most that don’t marry have numerous reasons: It’s cheaper to stay single or unmarried when it comes to tax time. There’s no fear of divorce if you never get married. The media and Hollywood have placed such a negative stigma on in-laws, to the point where the Millennial generation fears marriage due to the possibility of having “bad in-laws”. Failing marriages can also lead to domestic violence, depression, or even suicide.
Ultimately, marriage may not be for everyone, but marriage is a commitment, not a fad. Unfortunately, with low standards, failing morals, social acceptance, and even Hollywood, divorce is an easy alternative when one makes the phrases, “for better or for worse….until death do us part” null and void. Too many people today simply opt for divorce at the first bump in the road, or the first sign of trouble. Marriage isn’t easy; it requires work from both parties in order to be successful. If marriage was easy and life was perfect, everyone would be doing it. Simply knowing that I have someone, for the rest of my life, that loves me for me, accepts all of me, my faults, my downfalls, and my dreams, is a truly humbling feeling. There’s nothing better in life than raising children and having a family, all while married; that’s why marriage should be forever.

References
Marriage [Def. 1]. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster Online. In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved November 1, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/citation.

Mosbergen, D. (2014, March 13). 1 In 5 Americans Say Religion Is 'Not That Important ' To Them. Retrieved October 31, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/13/religion-poll-nbc-wsj_n_4957886.html

Dow, M. (2012). WHEN ONE WIFE IS ENOUGH: A CROSS-CULTURAL. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 7(3), 211-238.

National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends. (2013, February 19). Retrieved November 2, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage_divorce_tables.htm

Marriage And Divorce Statistics. (2011, January 1). Retrieved November 1, 2014, from http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/marriage-divorce-statistics

Why Have Divorce Rates Increased Over Time? (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2014, from http://www.attorneys.com/divorce/why-have-divorce-rates-increased-over-time/

Brandon, M. (2011). The challenge of monogamy: Bringing it out of the closet and into the treatment room. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 26(3), 281-287.

References: Marriage [Def. 1]. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster Online. In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved November 1, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/citation. Mosbergen, D. (2014, March 13). 1 In 5 Americans Say Religion Is 'Not That Important ' To Them. Retrieved October 31, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/13/religion-poll-nbc-wsj_n_4957886.html Dow, M. (2012). WHEN ONE WIFE IS ENOUGH: A CROSS-CULTURAL. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 7(3), 211-238. National Marriage and Divorce Rate Trends. (2013, February 19). Retrieved November 2, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/marriage_divorce_tables.htm Marriage And Divorce Statistics. (2011, January 1). Retrieved November 1, 2014, from http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/marriage-divorce-statistics Why Have Divorce Rates Increased Over Time? (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2014, from http://www.attorneys.com/divorce/why-have-divorce-rates-increased-over-time/ Brandon, M. (2011). The challenge of monogamy: Bringing it out of the closet and into the treatment room. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 26(3), 281-287.

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