When you are a little girl, you are bought baby dolls, a Barbie dressed in white, a Ken in a matching tux, and a plastic kitchen set. You grow up saying that when you get big, you want to be a stay at home mom.
As a child, nearly every little girl is told “You are going to grow up, graduate high school, have a great big wedding and have babies.” It is something we that are taught to look forward to and to aspire for from age five, but does it really make us happy?
The average wedding in the United States costs thirty-thousand dollars (Hicken). Couples and their families spend thousands of dollars on everything from hiring wedding planners and florists to buying decorations, the dress, the food, the rings and the party favors. That thirty-thousand dollar whole in your pocket doesn’t even include the honeymoon, which usually costs at least a few thousand more. We all rationalize this ridiculous, frivolous spending by referring to it as “that one special day”. Often, this is not the case with how high divorce rates are, which is at about fifty percent. It could possibly be your second or third “one special day”. And really, what’s special about beginning your new life with someone thirty-thousand dollars in debt?
In 2006, married couples were outnumbered by single people for the first time in well, basically ever (Roberts). This could have to do with the growing number of people who just live together as partners, the amount of gay and lesbian couples who cannot legally marry, and the fact that people are getting married later in life and having longer engagements. It could also have to do with how much longer people are living. With most people living well past the age of seventy, thirty isn’t so “middle aged” anymore (Crittenden 799). There’s no rush to find a partner or tie the knot. So really, it is not that less people are finding satisfactory relationships, but that fewer people are ‘making it official’.
However, studies have found that couples who cohabitate and stay unmarried are less happy in their relationships than married couples, even married couples who have children, who tend to be the unhappier than married couples without kids. (Doughty) This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. It makes sense, as cohabitating is a good ‘trial period’ to marriage. If the trial period doesn’t go well, obviously the couple is not going to stay together and get married. So perhaps these unhappy cohabitating couples are not meant to last. This ‘trial period’ could prevent an unsavory divorce for many.
In less modern times, cohabitating was not an option because it was frowned upon in society. This lead to many unhappy marriages with unrealistic expectations due to gender roles during these times. Obviously anyone would absolutely love for someone to cook for them, clean their house, and take care of their children, but not everyone wants to do these tasks. (Brady, 803) Expectations are a big reason that some marriages fail. Longer periods of...