Marriage rates have steadily declined over the last few centuries and decreased by nearly 50 percent since 1970 (Jayson). Many Americans hesitate to commit to marriage due to a bad experience they may have had with a parent?s divorce or their own divorce. Luckily, I had wonderful parents who instilled good morals and skills like communication and commitment in us as children. I believe those skills are the key to their successful marriage of over 30 years. Marriage, unfortunately, has become an outmoded institution in the United States due to the fear of divorce, a society that has made it common for cohabiting couples, and a lack of communication skills.
Most Americans avoid getting married because of the high divorce rate and the damage and pain a divorce can cause. With 40 to 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, (eHarmony Marriages) the fear of failure is a prominent influence on decreased marriages. During a divorce, the entire family suffers (MoneyMatters). Many people do not know how to deal with the feelings and keep their emotions to themselves. Keeping the fears and feelings silent will hurt people?s confidence and pride and make it difficult to let the past go. With all the struggles that come with divorce, Americans are refraining from a marriage to avoid problems associated with a separation. Many couples that are avoiding marriage still choose to live together.
Society?s outlook on the institution of marriage is no longer of any importance. A couple living together without being married is more popular now more than ever. Cohabiting couples believe that living together will show what their marriage might be like. Some couples also live together because they desire to get married, but their financial status does not allow it at that time. Unfortunately, research show that cohabiting couples are more likely to divorce, be unhappy, and unhealthy (Roback). When living together without being married, couples do not have to commit to a long relationship and do not have to worry about legal cost of a divorce if they decide to separate. Cohabitation is an increasingly popular lifestyle for couples who are not ready to commit to a marriage (Stover).
The lack of commitment to work exceedingly hard to make communication successful is another reason why some people of the United States refrain from a legal marriage. Communication means saying what and how people feel in a non-threatening manner. The majority of conflicts would not occur if we were all completely honest, but that would mean opening ourselves to be susceptible to arguments. Communication is a healthy way to resolve a disagreement. The absence of this key skill can affect the whole base of a relationship. Communication is a critical aspect to the success of a marriage. The commitment to work hard so that everyone feels heard is difficult. When couples are not committed to understanding each other, unsettled issues will remain destructive.
Many factors cause society to think that marriage is no longer practical or important. Communication is hard work, but working hard will prevent the pain that divorce can cause. If there is a serious commitment between a man and a woman, than there should be no reason to cohabit outside of a married relationship. Marriage is simply a statement of commitment, and many Americans are simply just afraid to state their lifelong commitment.