Bend Marriage Counseling: The Changing Attitudes on Marriage

April 14, 2016 by

Bend Marriage Counseling: The Changing Attitudes on Marriage

Marriage is constantly evolving. And because of this evolution, the ideas, thoughts, and attitudes on marriage might look a lot different than they looked 50, 20, or even just 10 years ago.

Here in the United States, the marriage rate continues to steadily decline. Need proof? Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in this country were married. Today, that number is at 52 percent.

So what has changed for single men and women – and even couples – that has altered their view and approach to marriage?

People aren't ready to settle down so quickly anymore. Marriage used to be the starting point for many young people. They would meet someone, get married early, and begin to build a life together.

Today, many people want to establish themselves on their own before even considering walking down the aisle. People are choosing to focus on their career and becoming financially stable before getting married. In essence, marriage has taken a backseat to one's personal pursuits.

There are plenty of alternatives to traditional marriage these days. People are choosing to live together and even raise children as a couple without getting married. Ages ago, these lifestyles might have been seen as taboo, but they're becoming more common and normal.

Many couples are realizing that committing to one another and committing to a family doesn't necessarily have to include marriage. It's not seen as the ultimate sign of commitment that it once was.

The idea of marriage seems dated. Historically, marriages were transactional in nature. A couple would get married in order to join families, businesses, or property. That history takes the romance out of marriage for some. And while marriage doesn't necessarily look that way anymore, it can still feel like a dated institution.

Additionally, many people still view marriage with conventional gender roles. Couples feel that their relationship works as it is, but throwing marriage into the mix – simply becoming a "husband" or a "wife" – might change the way they interact.

Marriage is a choice instead of a requirement. In the past, many people got married because it offered stability and the chance to have a family. Marriage was seen as a box that needed to be checked off in order to continue on your life's path. Today, however, many people are turning away from marriage and choosing to explore other paths.

And if a couple decides to marry – eventually – they are choosing to get married instead of thinking that they have to get married. They're marrying for love, commitment, and companionship, and because they believe they've finally found the right person.

The bottom line is that today’s couples aren't completely turning away from marriage, but there isn't the same emphasis on it as there used to be. Instead, people are considering what would work best for them and their partner to make their relationship the best it can possibly be.

If you and your partner have disparate views on marriage, or if you are interesting in exploring what getting married – or not – might mean for your relationship, get in contact with Bend marriage counseling to learn more.