Our fearless leader Nataly sent me the link to a Huffington Post article titled “On Second Thought, Don’t Get Married.” Being someone who believes wholeheartedly in marriage, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading. The first two paragraphs had me wondering where the article was heading.
More than 2 million couples will get married in the United States this year alone. Several hundred thousand of these couples should reconsider, postpone their weddings or not get married.
Shocking new statistics released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau suggest that Americans may no longer need marriage. For the first time ever, fewer than half of the households in the United States are married couples. In the past decade, the number of unmarried couples increased 25 percent as more people chose to cohabitate. A Pew Research Center study last year put it more succinctly, finding an increasing number of Americans now believes marriage is “becoming obsolete.”
But then! It turned positive!
This is a dangerous conclusion. It’s true that far too many marriages, as currently constructed, end up disastrously. But with some common sense societal changes at the front end, marriage can still serve a vital purpose for a vast majority of adults.
Interestingly, around the same time the Pew study came out, the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, in their annual report on the health of marriage and family life, affirmed that more than three-quarters of Americans still believe marriage is “important” and that more than 70 percent of adults under age 30 desire to marry someday.
So it’s clear that a majority of us still crave to be married. It’s like we are hard wired to search after that person with whom we can spend the rest of our lives — even in the face of these dire marital statistics.
And then, I started nodding my head.
I’m not trying to say that marriage is not in trouble. I am trying to say that there are some clear answers to the question of how marriage can get uniformly more satisfying for the people involved. And this I firmly believe: When done right, marriage can be the greatest institution on earth.
There’s a lot of good stuff after that which saw me continuing with the head nodding. He then finished with this:
When two people have a relationship which is predicated upon broad-based compatibility, there is every reason to be optimistic about their long term prospects. A marriage of this type has virtually no chance of becoming “obsolete.”
If all of us together can focus on the challenge of getting the right persons married to each other, it just might change our society more than anything else we could do. Goodness knows, when marriage is right, little else matters nearly so much.
My husband and I have a great marriage. We share the same beliefs, goals and sense of humor. We rarely fight because, well, we both balance each other out and there isn’t much to fight about when you have, as the article labeled it, “broad-based compatibility.” We have that in spades. We just get along, and laugh a lot while doing so.
I can tell you truthfully that while I love my girlfriends, a night out alone with my husband would trump a night out with the girls any time. He is my favorite. And I am his.
That last line hit home for me because I believe it to be true.
Goodness knows, when marriage is right, little else matters nearly so much.