One of the most basic lifestyles we can imagine is going to school, getting a job, getting a house, getting married, then starting a family. This is the ideal circumstance that many of us grow up believing in. However, as we all know, life isn’t that simple anymore. In fact, the number of marriages that occur in the US is at an all-time low compared to the peak that we saw in the early 1980s. Marriage is continuing to take on a downward trend, but what exactly caused this? Why are fewer people getting married and why does nobody seem to care anymore?
You don’t need to get married to show your love
Marriage has historically been seen as the ultimate form of love. You get married to someone and you’re their partner forever when you exchange vows. But do you really need to get married to express your love? Absolutely not!
This is why many couples are starting to just ignore the idea of marriage and instead, just live their life as they normally have. Getting married just complicates things. The last thing you want is to spend four or five figures on a wedding and go through the stress of planning your big day, only to end up contacting a local divorce lawyer in a few year’s time because of disagreements. At the end of the day, you don’t need to go through the process of marriage if you know you and your partner are in love and are committed to each other.
The benefits of marriage don’t really matter anymore
Marriage has always had subjective benefits. For example, some people believe that marriage can lower your stress, that it can make you happier, and that you’re less likely to engage in risky or abusive behaviors. However, marriage isn’t always a happy thing. For example, dealing with a divorce isn’t exactly a happy situation but it’s exclusive to people who get married. You could lose a lot of your wealth, you could develop a serious sense of distrust in people, and it might create complications with the rest of your family.
While there are certainly some objective benefits to marriage, such as tax and healthcare benefits, they’re often overshadowed by the potential to get burned by a marriage. Nobody wants to invest heavily into a relationship then have it turn into a nightmare scenario where they’re fighting for their child’s custody and losing half of their wealth. It’s for this reason that people are starting to look into alternatives to marriage such as a domestic partnership or cohabitation agreements. These offer similar benefits to marriage but without the huge disadvantages.
With gender roles being more fluid these days, the concept of the average American life is starting to break down. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing–it just shows that life can be unpredictable and that there are loads of unique situations that we can find ourselves in that will ultimately change how we perceive partnerships, marriage, and even life itself.