Many marriages end in divorce. In facto, 50% of all marriage end shortly after they begin. There are many theories as to why the number of divorces has risen so drastically. Is it the timeless tale of miscommunication between a man and a woman? Is generation X simply a group of less tolerant people, unwilling to deal with slight imperfections in a marriage? What solutions are there to prevent these frequent divorces?
There are many theories as to why current marriages frequently end in divorce. Is it still that men and women simply do not understand each other’s needs and wants? Is there a lack of respect for each other and for marriage in general? Has social, economical, political, and interpersonal change left this generation so they don’t know how to understand the opposite sex? Has changes in marriage roles been so drastically changed, a man and woman are unable to make a matter work? Is generation X so emotionally scarred by their parent’s failed marriages that they are unable to have a successful, intimate relationship? Are people marrying out of a fear of loneliness? Is generation X unable to “make the best of” a situation? (whY divorce?)
“There is a consensus that the overall I U.S. divorce rate had a brief spurt after WWII, followed by a decline, then starting to rise in the 1960s and even more quickly in the 1970s and leveled off [in the] 1980s and [has since] declined slightly.” (Divorce Statistic Collections) The Barna Research Group interviewed 3,854 adults from 48 states and determined that 11% of the adult population is currently divorced. However, 25% of adults have been divorced. This means that second marriages are a viable option. (U.S. Divorce Rates)
The same research determined that there was a relationship between divorce rates and faith denominations. Baptists have a divorce rate of 29%, and people of the Jewish faith have a divorce rate of 30%. However, it was found that Catholics, Lutherans, and Atheists have a divorce rate of 21%. Is is possible that religions with specific, strict gender roles may force marriages that end in divorce? (U.S. Divorce Rates)
Generational gaps also seem to play a major role in divorce. Marriages of people in generation X have a divorce rate of 50%, while Baby Boomer (now age 33 to 52) have a divorce rate of 34%. People from the Builder’s generation (age 53 to 72) have a slightly higher divorce rate of 37%. Seniors, age 72 and older have a divorce rate of just 18%. It is possible that morals and gender roles have so drastically changed in the past 50 years, that marriages today simply can’t work. (U.S Divorce Rates)
It has also been determined that divorce rates are related to location. Marriages in the south and the Midwest have a 27% chance of ending in divorce. Marriages in the west of a slightly lower risk of 26% resulting in divorce. However, marriages in the northeast have a 19% chance of concluding in divorces. The change in divorce rates due to locations may be due to the fact that the common age of marriage is younger in some areas. Also, in these areas household incomes are lower, putting a financial burden on a straining relationship. (U.S Divorce Rates)
There are many proposed solutions to the problem of increased divorced rates. Should people not marry at all, but rather live together only? Should grounds for divorce be stricter with divorces rarely given? Should marriages be a contract with the option to renew after 2, 3 or 5 years? If couples were given the option to allow the marriage contract to simply expire, less effort would be put into making marriage work. Marriage would just be a convenient alternative to dating or living together. There would be more children living in single-parent homes, and the trend would continue. By making marriage a renewable contract, it would be considered a game or,a product, like a car which one can lease until they are ready for another. Marriage, a union of people in love, would be made a mockery.
A better solution to the divorce issue is to have a mandatory period an engaged couple must live together. This would allow a couple to see how they relate to each other and if a successful marriage is possible. Then, a couple should have the option to marry. If they found it impossible to live together, than perhaps, marriage is not an ideal relationship for them. However, if they found their trial period was successful, marriage may be an option.
There are many reasons why marriages are unsuccessful. Age, location, morals, communication, and faith all effect the success of a marriage. Many solutions to this divorce issue have been proposed, including an option to marriage: a renewable contract. This solution would not only result in more failed marriages. Communication needs to be improved upon, as well as the reasons a couple feels they should get married, should be closely examines before a commitment is made.
“Divorce Statistics Collection: Summary of findings so far,” Americans for Divorce Reforms, at http:www.divorceform.org/results.html
“U.S. divorce rates: for carious faith groups, age groups, and geogrphapical areas.” Religious Tolerance, at http://religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm
“whY? divorce,” Anonymous, at http://members.aol.com/WhyPage/divorce1.html
My name is Sara Campbell. I am a 24 year old teacher in NJ. I was recently married and currently live with my husband and our two cats. View profile