Marriage rates in the United States are plummeting
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of marriage per 1,000 people dropped to 6.5, its’ lowest point since 1867 which is the first year national marriage data was tracked. From 1982 through 2009, the marriage rate fell at a steady pace before settling at around 6.8 to 7.0 through 2017. Then in 2018, it plunged to a dreadful 6.5 percent clip.
There can be a myriad of reasons for the dip. Obviously, women are working more and taking it upon themselves to be their own bread-winner. For some women, the idea of marrying a man just to stay home and raise children doesn’t sound all too appealing as far as life-goals go. There’s also the economic challenges that have been lingering since 2008, regardless of how many politicians and government officials talk up a “recovery” and the stock market numbers. Marriage is an expensive proposition, and if one doesn’t feel as if their finances are in order, they are more likely to delay walking down the aisle and taking on even more responsibility and debt that comes from starting a life with another person, that’s more than likely going to include kids ($$$) at some point.
There is another factor that may be at play in this scenario. More men than ever are deciding that the prospect of taking on a wife is just not something that is worth all of the potential headaches that come along with it. The traditional roles on both sides have been blending for some time now, and we’ve possibly reached a point where a lot of men don’t see the benefit in taking a risk by walking down the aisle, when the reward is not what it used to be even 30 years ago. Not to mention you have an influx of women looking to wait until their early to late 30s to think about marriage, which means you’re seeing more retired (or semi-retired) party-girls trying to get hitched before the clock runs out. And no man with any common sense wants to take on that endeavor.
If you really sit down and ask what the average man gets out of marriage, the list would be woefully short and filled with a lot of items that cannot be measured.
For instance, a typical pros list would look like this:
- A life partner
- Love and affection
- Tax breaks/ incentives
While the list of cons would look like this:
- Child support
- Listening to meaningless babble (from the wife, not the kids)
- Removal from the home and seeing your kids less upon divorce
- Unrealistic expectations
- Her lawyer fees
- Less sex/ oral sex
- Less time for yourself and your hobbies
- Less freedom
- Higher cost of living now that you have extra people to worry about
Now, a lot of people may say that the items listed on the cons list may not even happen, but they are actually more likely to happen than not since:
- More than 50% of marriages end in divorce
- Women initiate around 80% or all divorces
So for men, the chances of getting married and staying married is very small.
Even if you did manage to stay married, what is the actual tangible benefits that a wife brings to the relationship (besides sex) that a man in the year 2020 cannot do for himself? Men are very capable at cooking and cleaning now compared to the past. So that’s not really something one needs a woman for, especially since many women nowadays will cringe at the thought of having to consistently cook and clean for a man. When men want to have a meaningful conversation, more than likely he’s not calling his girlfriend or talking to his wife. The support/ companionship angle is very fragile at best, since there’s no way to measure if a woman is actually doing either. Children are great, but I rarely hear a childless man complain about not having kids. The tax incentives are tangible and measurable, but do they offset those penalties on the cons list like divorce costs, alimony and child-support? Then on top of that, depending on when you marry you may be getting a woman who has been out and about for a good 15 – 20 years dating and being used up by the time you get hitched to her.
The fact of the matter is, a lot of men would opt for marriage if the marriage laws were not so severely stacked against them, and that fact no doubt has a bearing on the 2018 marriage statistics. If men could have a marriage more akin to how marriage functioned in the past, there’s no reason to see being single as the more desirable option. But here we are, and from all indications the younger generation will probably keep that trend going in the same direction for the foreseeable future unless society and government makes the institution of marriage more equitable, and stop making it a risk where one party has much more at stake than the other.