Changesin Past Marriage
Sharpand drastic decline and several other changes have been witnessed inmost marriages throughout the years. However, there are still somenoticeable similarities between today’s and traditional marriages.Transformative trends throughout the years have contributed to theobserved decline and changes in marriage. This has given rise to newforms of families. Marriage is less prevalent and common amongindividuals who live in poor socio-economic ladder however, itremains a norm for adults with a good income and college education.There is a strong linkage between education and marriage rates in thecurrent society than it was in the past. Nowadays, approximately 64 %college graduates have a higher likelihood of getting married ascompared 48 percent of those who have never attended college (Little& Price 408). People in less-disadvantaged group have a lesslikelihood of involving themselves in marriage since they considereconomic security as the key determinant of marriage. In fact, manyyoung individuals are inclined to cohabitation without marriage andto other new family forms like interracial and same sex marriage.Again, some people no longer consider marriage as a prerequisite forparenthood. Little et al (411) findings show that a dramatic increasein the number of children born to unmarried mothers in the last 50years the number has increased from 5 % in 1960 to 41 percent in2008. As a result, there has been a sharp decrease in the number ofchildren living with two married parents this number decreased from87 % in 1960 to 64 percent in 2008. From the above underpinningevidence, it is justifiable to say that past marriage has drasticallychanged over the years.
Economyhas also contributed to various changes witnessed in marriage. InAmerica, only a small percentage of adults experience the economicgains that are associated with marriage. Several transformations haveoccurred in economy over the past 50 years. For instance,information-based economy has replaced the manufacturing-basedeconomy in most parts of America. Additionally, there has been a highincrease in the number of women in workplaces. Blair (1) findingsshow that 47 women constituted the overall workforce in 2009 ascompared to 33 percent of women in workforce in the 1960s, inAmerica. Likewise, most women have made significant gains ineducational attainment. In fact, women have composed the majority ofnew college graduates in the past two decades. Undeniably, thedramatic changes in women economic status have enormously contributedto several changes witnessed in their marriages. Many women(approximately 71 percent) with children who have not yet attainedthe age of 18 years are part of the workforce in U.S (Blom 154). Inthe past, however, only a few women were in the workforce. Some womenadhere to the traditional view of which their husband should be theprimary breadwinner, in spite of the gains they have made in theeducational arena as well as in the workplace.
Intoday’s society, there is a dramatic change in the way people viewsex outside marriage especially, after the introduction of birthcontrol pill in the early 1960s. Majority of the public believe thatit is not wrong to have sex before marriage. Again, people’snotions on marriage has continually evolved and changed throughoutthe years hence, creating many false pretenses. False pretensesinclude marriage make people happy, marriage end a person’sloneliness, conflict means a lack of love, and married couples faceless problems if the truly love each other. It is lucrative and falsefor one to think that his or her partner will ever be the singlesource of happiness. This is because happiness emanate from withinoneself hence, marriage should bring a complement type of happinessamongst couples and it will never be a single source of happiness forthem. A person’s own individualistic life and their children alsoconstitute their happiness (Blom 162).
Inthe past, most couples hoped to find tranquil affection and love inmarriage however, they did not have the same recipe for maritalhappiness that is evident in today’s societies. Nowadays there is ageneral agreement of what constitute a happy marriage. For instance,they must love each other in a deep manner, put their relationshipabove any competing ties, remain faithful to each other, be bestfriends, and talk candidly about their problems. To some extent youngadults’ behavior and attitudes also contribute to witness changesin marriages rates (Austen 67). Young adults delay marriages andenter into less-traditional family arrangements. Undeniably, manyyoung couples live together and sire children out of wedlock hence,they find themselves in long-term unmarried relationships. In fact,such couples find themselves running a two-parent household, eventhough they are single in legal sense.
Nowadays,personality relationship plays a key role in determining thestability of marriages. In the past, couples put a lot of seriousnessin their relationships as compared to the modern marriages. In thepast, personal relationship between couples counted less in marriageas compared to current generation. Political and economic interestsof the couples’ background were the most vital in marriages, in thepast. Nowadays, individuals freely choose their partners based on thelove that they feel for each other however, in the past, such an actwas considered irresponsible and most parents and communitiessuperheaded this process. In fact, couples were required to conformto a marital model that was based on wifely subordination and maledominance they were prohibited from constructing a relationship thatfocused on mutual fulfillment (Cherlin 64). The elite married toforge business deals, conclude peace treaties, or acquire influentialin-laws people from middle class looked for wives who had thecapacity of bringing handsome dowry at marriage. Future financialstability and social respectability were the key factors that drovewomen into marriage.
Accordingto Kennedy & Bumpass (47), marriage has continually declined foryears and rate of divorce has dramatically increased. Fewer marriageswitnessed in the contemporary world, has paved way for the formationof more non-traditional family by single or un-married who getchildren out of wedlock. Additionally, there are no longer cleardefinitions of the role of marriage women play roles that werepreviously assumed by men and vice versa. For instance, in somefamilies women are the sole bread winners while men take care orhandle domestic chores. Although there today’s marriages face someproblems as past marriages, there have been new evolving problems inthe present marriages. The high rate of divorce can be attributed toinfidelity, conflict, early marriages, and lack of propercommunication in marriage. In the past, couples married at tenderages including 16 years however, in the present generation men getmarried when they have attained at least 28 years old while women getmarried at about 26. This can be attributed to the fear that manypeople harbor of getting divorced. Therefore, many couples wait forlong periods before they indulge in marriage. Kennedy et al (47)argues that most couples who get married between the age of 20 and 25years have a high likelihood of getting a divorce. This is becauseany individual in this bracket age have higher risks for maritalproblems since they lack enough life experience required to sustaintheir marriages. In other cases, many people in committedrelationships end up not marrying each other. Some women cannot standthe idea of being married hence, they would rather remain partnersrather than wives. Other fear the risks involved with marriage due totheir past experiences. In most cases, young married couples arepressurized to indulge in actions that lead to divorce since theysometimes feel as outsiders with their single friends hence, theyfeel that marriage make them miss a lot of fun of being carefree andyoung.
Mostpeople, in the past, also got into marriage in order to have childrenand wealth they considered this to be the most vital factor thatcemented their relationship. No wonder, polygamous marriages werecommon in most societies. Blom (165) findings show that a couple thatcould not get a child lived unhappy life and in most cases ended upmarrying more wives in an effort to get a child of their own. Intoday’s’ society married individual also consider children to beimportant however, they are not considered to be the mostsignificance element in their lives. They are many married coupleswho stay for long in marriage before they decide to get children andthey are happy. Again, couple who cannot sire children of their adoptchildren and they live happily without conflicts andmisunderstanding. Again, marriage is no longer accorded high level ofimportance as it was in the past since one does not have to bemarried for them to survive. This is because women no longer need menfor financial support and men no longer require wives to clean andcook for them. In today’s society, it is extremely easier for bothwomen and men to walk away from marriage since their roles havecontinually evolved and become different. This is highly attributedto the fact that men and women are no longer dependent on each other.The high rate of divorce is sometimes attributed to the new earningspower of women coupled with the liberalization of divorce laws. Womenpursue careers and indulge in take up careers that were earlier onconsidered to be solely for men. Indeed, the role of women ashomemaker is a thing of the past.
Indeed,the institution of marriage has undergone notable and significantchanges throughout the years mostly because of the actions of womento outpace in earnings growth and education. Reversal of gender rolesin economic benefits of marriage coupled with spousal characteristicshave enormously accompanied the witnessed unequal gains. In today’sworld a larger share of men get married to women whose income andeducation is higher than their own. In recent years economic gainsthat are associated with marriage have been greater for men ascompared for women. On the other hand, marriage played a key role inenhancing economic status of women in a greater way than of men, inthe past. Despite the many changes that marriage has undergone, thesignificance of family has not diminished in the process. Most peoplestill value the importance of family. A family remains a source ofimmense satisfaction amongst many people in the world. Indeed, 76percent, in America, believe that family is the most significantelement of a person life.
Austen,Jane. Persuasion.New York: Penguin Groups, 2011. Print.
Blair,Peter. The Rational Superiority of Traditional Marriage. Retrievedfromhttp://www.loveandfidelity.org/online_journal/the-rational-superiority-of-traditional-marriage-by-peter-blair/.Web.
Blom,Svein. Marriageand Cohabitation in a Changing Society: Experience of Norwegian Menand Women Born in 1945 and 1960. EuropeanJournal of Population.10.(2005): 143-173. Print.
Cherlin,Andrew. TheMarriage Go-Round. New York: Knopf, 2009. Print.
Kennedy,Sheela & and Bumpass, Larry. Cohabitation and Children’s LivingArrangements: New estimates from the United States. DemographicResearch. 19. (2008): 47. Print.
Little,Kenneth & Price, Anne. Some Trends in Modern Marriage among WestAfricans. Journalof International African Institute.37.4. (2007): 407-424. Print.