Marriage – Is It Becoming Obsolete? Is Open Marriage Replacing Traditional Marriage?

Traditional Marriage; Is It Becoming Obsolete?

Traditional marriages make up less than 50% of all marriages in 37 states and in the U.S. overall.
Traditional marriages make up less than 50% of all marriages in 37 states and in the U.S. overall. | Source
More and more young people are choosing never to marry.
More and more young people are choosing never to marry. | Source

The Number of Traditional Marriages In the U.S. Has Fallen Below 50%

More and more young people, both men and women, are choosing not to marry – ever. Some of these people who plan to remain single all of their lives are having children as single parents, but many are choosing to remain childless also.

In addition to many people choosing never to marry, some people are choosing nontraditional marriages when they choose marriage at all -- open marriage, or same sex marriages, for example. No, open marriages are not new, but they are becoming more prevalent.

The U.S. 2010 Census shows that married couples make up only 48% of all households in this country; far less than in 1950 when married couples made up 78% of households. Only a fifth of today’s 48% are traditional marriages (marriage that includes 2 people, one each of the opposite sex with no agreed upon additional sex partners).

Some people believe women entering the workforce in large numbers is one of the things that has changed the way society views traditional marriage. Sabrina Tavernise writing for The New York Times writes, in the past “ . . . the institution [of marriage] defined gender roles, family life and a person’s place in society . . .” Not so anymore.

Leave It To Beaver and Ozzie and Harriet are no longer the rule. Cohabitation is more prevalent and no longer taboo. There are now many different options instead of traditional marriage.

People with college educations are more likely to marry other people with college degrees rather than marrying down. College educated people are more likely to marry later and stay married.

Women with only a high-school diploma are less inclined to marry the father of their baby. Women with college degrees are less likely to have unplanned pregnancies.

June Carbone, law professor at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, believes the state of our economy is a big part in the decision people are making to put marriage off, or never to marry at all.

In 2000 there were only 6 states where traditionally married couples made up less than 50% of their population. Today there are 37 such states. According to the 2010 Census, the biggest changes in households include a huge jump in households headed by women, and a considerable increase in households that include mostly non-family occupants.

Some Women Are Choosing to Have Children Without Marriage

Many educated women with successful careers are choosing to have children without marriage. They are readily able to support themselves and their children.

Most women who choose to have children without marriage also choose artificial insemination with sperm from a sperm bank.

So in addition to not getting married (half of marriages end in divorce here in the U.S.), they need not be bothered with child custody, visitation rights, child support, divided vacations and holidays, and all the other things that can complicate life in a single parent household with children.

Marriage Is Changing From What Has Previously Been Considered Traditional Marriage

Will open marriage become the new norm?
Will open marriage become the new norm? | Source
There are currently no statistics to prove open marriages are any more successful than traditional marriages.
There are currently no statistics to prove open marriages are any more successful than traditional marriages. | Source
Was happily ever after ever realistic?
Was happily ever after ever realistic? | Source

Modern Open Marriage

Many different types of marriage were discussed in my Sociology of Sexuality class at the university six or so years ago. Some of the examples I will give were part of the material presented in the classes I took.

The university I attended, the psychology and sociology departments that presented these classes, and the professors who taught these classes, were not promoting these different types of open marriage or any form of open marriage, but merely informing us through our class studies that these marriages exist and if any class members went forward to be marriage counselors or psychologists, they would need to be aware of these different ways of looking at, and of conducting a marriage.

My writing about these issues is not a sign of my agreement with them, but merely bringing them to the attention of my readers because these different types of marriage are increasing in number all the time. They are a part of our society and will likely become a bigger part as time goes on, so I think it is important to be aware of them.

If one is truly against being a part of an open marriage or open relationship, then one needs to realize that people they might date or become involved with may not share that opinion and may expect to be in an open relationship.

So often people seem to assume that most, if not all, of the people around them agree with them on various issues. In psychology we call that “false consensus.” So it could happen that two people would get together and start planning a married life together without realizing that only one of them has a desire or expectation of an open marriage. A good reason to discuss this issue along with the many other subjects that should be explored before a person becomes too serious in a relationship.

Becoming bonded to a person who has very different ideas about marriage than you have can be very painful, so I think being aware that some people have different ideas about what marriage means nowadays is important.

Better to learn about these different types of marriage and determine if the person you are involved with is in agreement about them BEFORE you make a big emotional investment, and especially before you find yourself married to a spouse who intends to have an open marriage whether you agree or not.

Polyamory (Multiple Loves)

It is estimated that currently only 4-9% of marriages fall into the category of open marriages, but that number is believed to be growing. There are several ways people can conduct an open marriage and I will touch on a few of them here.

Some people believe that fidelity to one person for a lifetime is not realistic. They believe that infidelity is inevitable and that the worst part of being involved with other people when one is married is the deception. They believe that ending the lies and the sneaking around will make for a stronger marriage and lessen the likelihood of divorce.

So far the theory that open marriage is a healthier form of marriage has not been proven. I was unable to find any hard statistics on the divorce rate for open marriages.

Articles written by psychologists and marriage counselors who said that even though the deception in an open marriage did not seem to be there initially, the development of jealousy and insecurity in one of the marital partners often led one or both partners to resort to lies and deception in an effort to curb those issues of jealousy, etc. So clearly open marriage does not always take the deception out of all open marriages.

In my research I found people who had been in open marriages for many years successfully (their expressed opinions) and I found other people for whom it had not worked quite so well. So for now I would have to say it is not the magic bullet for preventing divorce. I do think it is important to shed light on the different ways an open marriage can be conducted because more and more people of all ages are choosing to try it even though it is taking a risk with their marriage.

Without a doubt, open marriage is not for everyone, and I do believe if a person expects to have an open marriage that subject should be discussed BEFORE the marriage, not after. If a person does not intend to be sexually faithful they should be candid about their intentions and opinions in order to be fair to their intended spouse.

Just as a person who wants an open marriage believes they have a right to do so, their intended spouse has a right to not have an open marriage, so rather than trample the rights of the person you love more than anyone else on earth, be truthful and clear about your desires and expectations. Personally, I believe true love means not trampling your intended’s feelings and rights.

While the accepted definition of ‘significant other’ is not usually defined as someone a person has a relationship with outside of marriage, ‘that is the phrase I will use, for lack of a more accurate label, to refer to the people in these ‘extramarital intimate relationships.’

The people involved in these relationships as a result of marital partners agreeing to have an open marriage are not considered by the participants as affairs, but more like extensions of their marriage, and sometimes even permanent parts of their marriage.

Examples of Open Marriage

Open Marriage #1

This couple has been married for 40 years and they each have a ‘significant other’ that they have been intimately involved with on a regular basis for 30 of those years. When they meet their ‘significant others,’ the husband in this marriage drops his wife off with their car in the evening and then proceeds to his appointed destination, which is to meet his own ‘significant other.’ The following morning he picks his wife up from her rendezvous and they go back home together. All parties to this relationship are aware of each other.

Open Marriage #2

In this marriage only the wife has a ‘significant other’ and he is not only known to her husband, but lives with the married couple in their home. The wife’s relationship with this man who lives with them is not a secret from her husband, and in fact he accepts it. Sometimes this type of set up includes two or more women and one man.

Open Marriage #3

This marriage was brought to my attention by my professor who used this marriage as an example to my class of one hundred twenty-five students. The primary people involved in this marriage were friends of my professor so that she had a better knowledge of the marriage due to her friendship with the two married people involved.

In this marriage both the husband and the wife had ‘significant others.’ They agreed not to ‘play around,’ but to have serious relationships with other people of the opposite sex if they chose -- ongoing relationships as opposed to one-night stands.

The husband in this marriage had two ‘significant others.’ One of them was pregnant with his child. The wife in this marriage had one ‘significant other,’ and was pregnant with his child. Both of the marriage partners were expecting babies, but not babies conceived with each other.

Both of the married partners as well as all of their ‘significant others’ were aware of each other and everyone’s relationship with the married couple. There were supposedly no secrets from any of the participants.

Neither of the babies had been born at the end of the semester when the class ended so I do not know the fate of this marriage or the children brought into it.

Open Marriage Offers Many Different Options

All of the marriages described above are different and there are even more different combinations. The first two examples did interviews on videotape for a different class I took in Psychology called Marital Adjustment.

Sometimes both partners in an open marriage have ‘significant others’ living in their home. Sometimes children are involved (not just unborn children). Sometimes one or both of the married partners may have more than one ‘significant other.’ Some may be of the same sex and others may be of the opposite sex. Sometimes several of these ‘significant others’ live in the same home, sometimes not.

Some married couples are members of swingers clubs while others may belong to a BDSM club (Bondage, Domination, Sadism, Masochism). The reason given for involvement in these clubs is in order to avoid sexual boredom. Both swingers clubs and BDSM clubs require participants to attend as a couple. Individuals who arrive alone are not allowed to participate.

None of these types of marriage are new, and most have been around for decades, but they are becoming more prevalent as our population grows. People want to choose how they live their lives and with whom regardless of what society may think.

Since it is not necessary to legalize any of these different types of marriage, people who have open marriages rarely talk about their situation with anyone who is not included in their marriage, or with anyone they think may not approve, so you may know someone who is part or partner in an open marriage and be completely unaware of it.

All of these different marital combinations already exist and are growing in number, yet they are not publicized by the participants or the media, because so far there is no legal element involved. That may change in the future.

Let me repeat, I am just the messenger and not promoting any of these different marriage models, yet I believe people should be aware and educated about them. It is possible one could find oneself involved with someone who does want this type of relationship and who intends to have this kind of relationship, so being aware could possibly prevent a lot of disappointment and hurt if one does not want to be part of an open marriage.

By the same token, someone who wants an open marriage will be less likely to become seriously involved with a person who does not want the same thing, and save being part of a very stressful relationship. Honesty will help prevent everyone from finding themselves in an unwanted situation.

Before getting too invested in a relationship it is always wise to learn about that other person’s values and expectations to avoid unpleasantries down the road. It is also helpful in finding people who agree with you and who want the same things you do.

I hope my readers will leave comments and share their views, opinions, or experiences with this subject so that we can all learn more.

References

WebMD

http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/the-truth-about-open-marriage?page=4


New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/26/us/26marry.html?_r=0


Dailymail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2070914/Stigmatised-single-More-women-choosing-live-alone.html


Today.Com

http://www.today.com/id/44864288/ns/today-relationships/#.UWD9hHBu8UU


Woman's Day

http://www.womansday.com/sex-relationships/why-i-said-yes-to-staying-single-124127


Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jan/17/usa.population


Huffington Post

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eleanore-s-wells/when-married-is-no-longer-norm_b_2864140.html?ir=women&utm_campaign=031913&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-women&utm_content=Title

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Comments 135 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject and for sharing this article! I agree that an open marriage wouldn't work for me, and that's a big reason my first marriage failed. Some people don't tell you what they're intending until afterwards, which is entirely unfair IMHO. If I had known I was entering into a marriage with the whole world -- or at least all the other women in it :) -- I would have passed.

How nice that your friend will have a lovely celebration and how sad that she has cancer. Let's hope it stays in remission permanently.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 7 months ago from North Texas Author

Paul Kuehn, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject and for the shares. Actually marriage is losing popularity and the rate of traditional marriage is close to the same as it was back in the 50s when our population was much smaller. The divorce rate has fallen, but mainly because the marriage rate has fallen. People just aren't getting married as often these days. I'm not sure that's a good thing.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

Soon we will be attending a renewal of vows ceremony celebrating our friend's 20th anniversary. They might have waited until the 25th but she has cancer. Thus bucking the unknown they have decided to celebrate the day with their family and friends. Should be a nice time!

Marriage would always be my preference over an open marriage. That is just how I was brought up and I guess I am too old to change. Ha!

Sharing this once again.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 8 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Au fait, I couldn't help but revisit this well-researched interesting hub. It really is amazing how marriage has changed in the past 70 years. What is next, that people will be able to marry their pets and bestiality will be legalized by the Supreme Court? When that happens, I hope I am not still around! I am sharing this with HP followers and on Facebook.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 15 months ago from North Texas Author

Patricia (pstraubie48), thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue. I don't think I would call all the different things people have done with marriage evolving. That suggests it's getting better and being refined. I think devolving might be more apt. :)

I'm with you. Open marriage, group marriage, communal marriage, and all those other things that include more than 2 people wouldn't work for me. There are things that I'm not good at sharing.

I often write about things because I hope to inform people of what is going on 'out there,' and because I hope to educate people. I think knowledge is power, but knowing about and understanding something (when that's possible) doesn't have to mean agreeing with it, or incorporating it into one's own life.

I think being informed takes away some of the mystery and I'm convinced it's the mystery (basically fear of the unknown) that causes wars large and small. Yes, even family or neighborhood wars, in a manner of speaking. If we know people who are doing some of these things that wouldn't work for us, it's easier to see the things we have in common, even if their ideas on marriage aren't among those things. I do not by any means always agree with the things I write about, but I think people need to be aware of what's happening in their world.

Thank you for sending the angels, and I do hope they are surrounding you and those you love at all times. Take care . . .


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida

Lots to think about here, Aufait...I do not know how I missed this.

I know that marriage has evolved and it will continue to do so, as you say, no doubt.

The whole open marriage thing would not work for me but that is just me, you know. Now that is not to say that I hold those who choose that lifestyle in a negative light...there are just factors that would make it not a choice for me...

To each his or her own....

Hoping all is well with you....sending you blessings and Angels this afternoon.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 18 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W., thank you for commenting and sharing this article again. If she lived in a state that recognizes common law marriage she should get the same benefits as any other widow. However, laws in that area have changed in recent years and if she didn't keep up with them she could end up with nothing. You are correct in that there is less red tape in 10 divorces than in one common law marriage, and there are benefits to being married even if one must pay a dozen lawyers until finding a marriage that works.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 18 months ago from Houston, Texas

A long time girl friend of mine just lost the man she had been living with for a great number of years. I know that they loved one another. Why they never married...only they knew the answer. Unfortunately now she will probably not be eligible to receive any benefits from his being a Korean war veteran. There are some financial benefits to being married as well as emotional ones. Something to consider! Will share this again.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 20 months ago from North Texas Author

Ezzly, thank you for commenting and for voting on this article and Tweeting it! So far the divorce rate is no better for open marriages than traditional marriages. Open marriage doesn't work very well for people who have issues with jealousy.


ezzly profile image

ezzly 20 months ago

Wow this hub really got me thinking! I definitely think there has been a shift in marriages, is not as black and white as it used to be , I have read so many articles about people being in open marriages, I suppose it's what works for some. Different strokes for different folks. Great hub voted up and sharing on twitter.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

DeborahDian, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I doubt traditional marriage will end in our lifetimes, but who knows what the future holds? Personally, I have a hard time thinking of some of these various types of marriage as a real marriage. Do they have any more chance of survival than traditional marriage?

I would recommend to you writing some articles on successful marriage. You shouldn't have too much competition as there are so few marriages that last as long as yours has nowadays. Yes, lots of peopl actually write about how to have a successful marriage, but how many of them actually have the experience to call on? I think a lot of people would like to hear/read your advice/views on this subject since you would be speaking from experience. Seriously, think about it.


DeborahDian profile image

DeborahDian 22 months ago from Orange County, California

With Valentine's Day around the corner, this is an interesting article to read. I hope that marriage never becomes obsolete. I have had a very traditional marriage for 43 years, and it has brought be a lot of love, happiness and emotional support. My life would not have been as good without it.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Joedolphin88 for reading and commenting on this article. Agree that open marriage seems shaky. I know it wouldn't work for me.

On the other hand, not everyone feels the need to have somebody around all the time. If in a person's their very senior years they suddenly decide they don't want to be alone anymore, it's probably too late to find a marriage partner anyway. I know some seniors do get married, but not that many. The men in that age group who are still alive generally want women in their 30s and 40s who aren't that interested in them -- unless they have a hot sexy bank account. Money makes up for a lot . . .


joedolphin88 profile image

joedolphin88 2 years ago from north miami FL

Personally I can't see a marriage working openly because jealousy will always arise and honestly if you aren't happy with one don't stick yourself with one. Eventually you'll need the compassion though and settling down with be the only option left.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you B. Leekley for reading and commenting on this article! Common law marriage is still recognized here in Texas. Here it is officially married if one follows the required procedures.

Shacking up and living together was not the same as common law marriage. Neither of those situations was viewed as permanent the way marriage is. If anyone thought common law marriage was impermanent then perhaps they didn't understand what common law marriage is.

Nowadays all marriages are free by your definition. Divorce is very easy here in Texas and takes only 3 months from the time of filing if one has no children or property to fight over. Even when children or property are involved, fighting over them is a choice. One doesn't have to do it.

Marriage is pretty much what the partners in that marriage make it no matter what they, or outsiders, call it.

Thanks again for coming by!


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

When I was a kid, I had a great aunt who married when young, got divorced, eventually married another man (and her ex eventually married another woman), eventually was widowed (as happened to her ex), and then lived for many years in the 1950s in a common law relationship with her ex. (Common law marriage was the term back then for living together as though married without being officially married. In the 60s it was called shacking up or, simply, living together. I don't know what it's called now.)

A cousin on the other side of my family remarried his first wife many years and a marriage or two later, after they both decided to be more tolerant of little imperfections.

Another option is free marriage. The deal is, only stay in the marriage if and while you do so freely and gladly.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

WriterJanis, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I agree with what you wrote. So glad I found your comment and I appreciate so much your taking the time to share it.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Word55, thank you for reading, and sharing your thoughts, hopes, and dreams on this subject. It seems people are endlessly looking for a quick fix to the divorce rate and hoping to avoid becoming a statistic themselves, but in fact the secret is hard work and so no one wants that to be the answer. If it's worth anything, it requires vigilant tending, effort, and time. Good luck in achieving your dreams!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Sam (Samowhamo). I really don't think you can put love in a laboratory and quantify it and weigh it and dissect it, etc. I do not believe robots can ever take on consciousness the way we know it as humans, nor could they take it on as other creatures know it on this planet. I believe our consciousness is the essence of who we are and that only God can give that.

Yes, open marriage and the other types of marriages are experiments for many in an effort to avoid the divorce courts. They believe they can avoid the things that cause most divorces be removing the concept of infidelity and disloyalty from the equation, but unfortunately, jealousy isn't so easy to manage even if one doesn't feel betrayed.

Sometimes there is no easy fix and no shortcuts, and you just have to knuckle down and do the work to make things come out right.

Hope you're having a good week, Sam . . .


word55 profile image

word55 2 years ago from Chicago

Hi Au fait, As I look forward to marriage for the first time, I'm looking to enjoy it to the fullest. I have two wonderful children out of wedlock and I am simply determined to right what I did wrong by the intent to get married and sharing life with that someone after all. My closeness to God and Christ has helped me tremendously to change from my wicked ways of the past. I now, remain abstinent until she is found. Thank God for Jesus. Thank you for exposing such realistic but distasteful behavior in this hub. I feel that I deserve all the pleasures of one woman and vice versa. I'm very open minded and feels that my wife wouldn't need the comfort and joy of anyone else.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 2 years ago

This is just my opinion so I could be wrong but I sometimes suspect that men and women who choose to stay single don't necessarily choose to because they want to but because they kind of feel that they have to because of the divorce rate and because of the economy. Same thing with people choosing not to have children or have relationships without marriage because of the divorce rate and because of the economy.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 2 years ago

I have read that some futurists believe that if robots ever became advanced enough they would gain consciousness and if that were to happen they would be given the same rights as humans. What this has to do with this particular article is that if that happens than robots could very possibly replace humans as romantic and sexual partners for many men and women. Other futurists however believe that once we fully understand how love works we can find ways to improve it so that marriages and relationships will last longer and be happier and healthier.


WriterJanis profile image

WriterJanis 2 years ago from California

Call me old fashioned, but I wouldn't want to be in an open marriage. I also don't think it's a good idea if you have kids.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Ebonny, for reading and commenting on this article, and for the votes too. Yes, I think more of our social issues should be brought out into the open and examined/discussed. Different strokes for different folks, and we all have to find a way to get along. Realizing everyone may not think like ourselves is the first step in finding a relationship, whether sexual or simply friendship, that is satisfying for all parties.

Some things do not come to light right away unless someone raises that particular issue. There are a lot of reasons for that, but it's important to understand that it makes sense to examine certain ideas, beliefs, values, etc., BEFORE signing the papers. Generally right after the ice is broken and people are feeling more confident being themselves is a good time to start.


Ebonny profile image

Ebonny 2 years ago from UK

It was interesting to note that even in open marriages where there is no deception there can still be the issue of jealousy. Also it's good that you are raising awareness that not everybody shares the same view of what marriage is and to make sure you absolutely know what the person you are getting involved with thinks BEFORE you tie the knot. Thanks for this enlightment. Voted up and more.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane for reading and sharing your thoughts on this article, and for the share. I try to make my articles informative and educational so that people will have the information to see both sides before making up their minds. Personally, open marriage would never work for me, but it seems to be the way of the future, so knowing something about it can be helpful if one has friends, relatives, (or children) who decide to give it a try . . .


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

To be honest, I had avoided reading this article because I did not think I would like the topic. However, as always, your detailed research makes this a very thought-provoking article about trends in our society that could affect us all. It was very illuminating and I think that even people who are opposed to open marriage will be interested in reading this article. Voted up and shared.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you GoForTheJuggler for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue. A lot of people prefer to believe fidelity is unreasonable and impossible to achieve. That is laziness in a manner of speaking and wanting everything their own way, their cake and eat it too, is narcissism perhaps.

A lot of people are just trying to avoid divorce. They're trying everything to avoid that, but as you say, sometimes there are no shortcuts. Sometimes you just have to do the work. Then we're back to monogamy and sacrifice, and maybe real love. Does anyone know what that is anymore?


GoForTheJuggler profile image

GoForTheJuggler 2 years ago from Texas

For me, this idea of an open marriage is lazy, selfish and immature. Essentially, people are saying, "I want all the benefits of marriage, but I don't want to be monogamous or make sacrifices." I call that narcissism.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you moonlake for voting on, pinning, and sharing this article!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Came back to share this on my new board Marriage. Voted up and shared.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Sam (samowhamo). People are trying all kinds of different things these days where marriage is concerned. Since the divorce rate is so high a lot of people are discouraged and want to try things they hope will work better than traditional marriage.

I think the first thing both people in a marriage must do is start thinking as much about the needs and happiness of their partners as they do about their own, or nothing is going to work.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Jean Bakula for reading and sharing your thoughts on this issue!

It's true that people who lived together before marriage used to have a higher divorce rate, but that has changed in recent times so that their divorce rate is now about the same as people who do not live together before marriage.

I think it's possible to have romantic times with spouses one has been married to for a long time, but I guess everyone has their definition of romantic, as with so many things.

One of my wise teachers a long time ago pointed out that there are at least 50,000 people of the opposite sex (and presumably this would be true for people of the same sex too) who are compatible with each other and who could conceivably be good choices for husband or wife. I have also read that there is no such thing as a soul mate, or just one person in all the world who would make a good spouse. Again, everyone has their own definition of what is the perfect spouse. What is ideal for one person probably isn't for someone else.

In one of my PSYC classes I learned that the time of the month (whether or not a woman is ovulating) can make a huge difference in who she is attracted to -- with whom she is likely to experience "chemistry." We don't like to think our hormones are really in charge of our feelings, but often they do play a big part.

Men whom women were not in the least attracted to prior to ovulating seemed extremely desirable to them when they were ovulating. Metrosexuals are generally desirable to many women when they are not ovulating, but during ovulation the more physical men with the square jaws (stereotypical Canadian Mounty) are most attractive to women.

So guys, if she turns you down, don't give up. Try again every week or so, and when ovulation begins you may be her dream come true. ;) Yes this has been researched many times. It isn't true in 100% of cases, but it is true most of the time (51% or more).

We are most often attracted to the people we see or have contact with frequently (also researched ad nauseum). The person you see at the water fountain several times everyday has a much better chance of landing a date no matter what they look like, than someone you only see perhaps once a week or even once a day.

People usually find other people with similar interests who are in close proximity most attractive. Not only similar interests, but also similar backgrounds and even who physically resemble themselves. Research proves that no matter what people want to believe, in fact, opposites do not attract very often except with magnets. Not saying never, but it is rare for opposites to attract.

Any time one makes even slight changes in their decisions it changes their life. Yes, your life would have been different if you had remained single for a while before getting married. The real question is, would it have been better? You'll never know the answer to that question.

I agree regarding 3 and 4 marriages. I know lots of people on their 4th marriages and some have gone beyond even that. I have myself been married 3 times and I decided it was time to stop and leave some (men) for the other women. ;) Even though my last husband and I never divorced, we did separate. I think if something hasn't worked that many times it's time to rethink and do something different. I love my freedom and living alone.

Census statistics, as stated in this article, support the demise of marriage -- that is, it's getting less and less popular with people of all ages. I think it's sad because a good marriage can add so much to a person's life.

If you have been married for 34 years and you are both happy with your marriage, I think you are an extremely fortunate couple, and I applaud you. If what you have is working for you both, then what might have been under different circumstances can't possibly be worth thinking about.

It seems to me that people are becoming more and more isolated as we are able to do more and more with the new technology without having any contact with each other. Studies show that people are even losing the ability to be good conversationalists. Texting is the new way of getting together.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

I read an article once about how some men and women want to be in a relationship but do not want to get married so what they do is they live separately but still have perfectly healthy relationships with each other (both in a romantic and sexual sense) and some even say that living separately actually makes it more romantic because when they are separated it makes it more exciting when they get together again for whatever reason. I could be wrong but that actually sounds like a good alternative for people who don't want to get married but don't want to be single either are worried about the problems and complications that may come with marriage such as drama or one spouse doing all of the cooking and cleaning.


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 3 years ago from New Jersey

Hi Au fait,

This was a very interesting piece. Although I have been married in a traditional marriage for 34 years, I am aware all kinds of other arrangements are common. I notice that many couples don't want to make a commitment to marriage, but have babies. Now, you can walk away from marriage, but it takes years to raise a child.

Many of my friends and relatives lived together for a few years before they got married, and they were all the ones who ended up divorced! My cousin was shocked her honeymoon wasn't romantic. Well, she already was sleeping with her husband and had already taken trips with him. I married in 1979 to give this some context, and it was not as common for people to live together before marriage. Or they lied about it to their parents.

Yet I wonder, is there really only one person right for us? I married somebody who lived in the same town as I did, and graduated from the same HS, although I did not know him then (it was a school with 4,000 students).

Women travel and have careers now, so they have many more men to choose from, they aren't just exposed--for lack of a better word-- to the guys in the neighborhoods where they grew up. I wonder sometimes if my life would have been different if I didn't go straight from living with my parents to getting married. I never had any time for "me." I also see many senior couples getting married for the first time, and it seems so cute and different. Then there are the "serial marryers", the ones who get married 3 or 4 times. Why bother to take vows?

I'm not sure if marriage is obsolete, but it seems to be going in that direction. We have a son in his mid 20's, and he and his friends don't even date, they have so many interests and activities that they won't give that up to satisfy some insecure woman, or any woman who would take them away from doing things they like to do. So if people are marrying, it's when they are older and had some time to get to know their adult selves better.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you DDE for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Here again and so understand this hub now and know exactly what you mean about marriage becoming an Obsolete great thought for this kind of a hub.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping back JayeWisdom. Yes, I think taxes is not at issue at all really. It's all about SS.

Glad you got a smile. I've actually only got one teapot and unlike my husbands it has been sufficient. Always know where it is and it's always been loyal and faithful. :) There's been no need for more. Besides, I thought it best to leave a few [men] for the other women . . .


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

I got a chuckle from your comment about collecting teapots! As for me, I got a dog and can count on her.

You're right about the SS benefits of older women who collect on their former husbands' work records rather than their own. That's likely a bigger hit on finances than taxes when remarried.

Jaye


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you JayeWisdom, for reading, voting on this hub, and especially for sharing your experience and thoughts on this subject. As you must know the Census taker asks a lot of nosy questions and I understand there is a written questionnaire that some people receive in the mail (I never have). The Census goes by what people tell them. They don't ask for a marriage certificate as proof.

I tend to agree with you on much of what you wrote. I'm not a team player either in as much as including a lot of other people into my marriage, and so I tried 3 times, but I struck out. Husbands were, as you say, intending to have an open marriage but not forthright about it. They were counting on me to look the other way as so many wives do, even when I warned them in advance that I wouldn't.

Have no idea why they wanted to get married in the first place, but I understand the possibility of getting caught is exciting for some men. I don't just mean being found out, which is why some men actually take women to their homes when their wives aren't at home.

Marriage hasn't worked for me and so now I collect teapots. Other people can have whatever kind of marriage they want and so long as everyone is happy and healthy (including children), I'm happy. When my tax dollars have to go to referee that's another story . . .

but I'm certain that these new types of marriages wouldn't work for me anymore than the old fashioned kind did, probably because the only difference is that the new ones are more open with less sneaking around and lying, but the same things are happening. I see no reason to get married if a person is going to behave as though they are not.

I love my freedom and not having to consult with or clean up after anyone else. I guess I wouldn't appreciate it as much if I hadn't been married a few times to see the other side.

Doesn't a woman give up the ability to draw SS off her previous husband if she remarries? I think that is the problem, not the tax laws. Sometimes the SS from the previous husband is more, plus you have to be married for 10 years before you can draw off a spouse. So for an older woman drawing SS off her former spouse to get married again she would likely take a big hit in her retirement benefits. SS with be a lot less until she was married for 10 years to her new husband, and if they're older, that might never happen at all.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

This is an intriguing and well-researched hub, Au fait...Since I'm an old woman who's been around for many decades, I've known people who lived in open marriages, which usually weren't kept secret. They were only acquaintenances, not friends, for I've never believed that two people should ridicule the vows of marriage in that manner. I found their lifestyles distasteful and harmful, especially when there were children in the home. What terrible role models for developing young minds!

This is not to say I'm an expert on marriage--quite the contrary! My own marriage (and divorce) record is abysmal. I found that being single is preferable to being married to a womanizer who swears he loves you all the while he's cheating. I'd rather be alone than wish I were.

Sadly, some people who intend to live their lives as though in an open marriage will not reveal these intentions to a future spouse. Instead, they pretend to hold sacred those moral values they don't really have, but which are important to the other. (My ex frequently stated he hated lies and liars, while continuously telling lies to protect his extramarital affairs...a case of "he protesteth too much" that it took me a long time to recognize.) If every person who does not consider fidelity in marriage necessary were to confess this belief before the "I do's" were said, there would be many fewer marriages and, thus, much less infidelity. Don't ask me why people who should never marry at all choose to marry--I've never figured that out.

One thing my age makes me wonder about the census stats is the number of senior citizens who are single, quite a few of them living together without benefit of marriage because of the effect a legal union--and resultant taxes--would have on their financial status. Lifespans have increased, and, with the aging of the Baby Boomers, the U.S. has a larger population of over-60s than ever before. The IRS tax rules are not marriage-friendly.

Voted Up++

Jaye


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by DDE. Some marriages are succeeding, but it would seem very few. Simply applying whatever the people in these successful marriages are doing differently would be interesting to know, but whether those methods would work for everyone or even most people is questionable.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

AveryGarthOneill, thank you for stopping by. The stats on the divorce rate are not new. They have been pretty much as they are for at least 30 years allowing plenty of time for any necessary corrections. No one that I know ever said that these stats only apply to marriages that took place in the same year as their divorce.

In fact your source is not credible. Surly you know you can't believe everything you find on the Internet and that anyone, and I do mean anyone, can write anything they want to on the Internet.

I recommend that you Google "How is the divorce rate calculated," and read more than just the one article that tries to make things look rosy. I found several articles when I did that just now, and most of them made clear that the author of your new stats and the way he configures them is at best inaccurate, and is, shall we say a bit overly optimistic?

Appreciate that you very much want the divorce rate to be much lower. I think most of us would like that, but simply adjusting the way the stats are configured won't accomplish that, and it is to say the least, misleading.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

psbhatt, thank you for reading and commenting on this article! These concepts aren't really new here in the states, but they are getting more and more prevalent.


AveryGarthONeill profile image

AveryGarthONeill 3 years ago from Somewhere in South Dakota

Hi there!

Just happened across your hub and I thought I'd share with you that, actually, half of all marriages in the U.S. DON'T end in divorce. The first proponents of the 50% statistic made a horrible mathematical error: They tried to compare two statistics that aren't at all related.

It is true that the number of divorces performed in the U.S. in a year is about half the number of marriages performed in the same year, but these divorce cases aren't coming from the population that just got married that same year! Otherwise we'd have to believe that half of all marriages end in divorce in the same year that they're performed!

The first people to make the "50% divorce rate" claim failed in their survey to account for the fact that the vast majority of couple filing for divorce DIDN'T get married that same year. Also, they totally forgot to account for all the couples who were married in years past and are still married (which at the time was around 54 million people!).

In actuality, the divorce rate is far less. A closer estimate would be somewhere around 25%. It's also been on the decline for the past several years.

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/d/divorce.htm...

Anyway, just thought I'd share that. I'd made me feel really good to know that successful marriages stand are far better chance than a simple 50-50 coin toss!


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Marriages have changed in many ways and so many divorces, Marriage – Is It Becoming Obsolete? Is Open Marriage Replacing Traditional Marriage? I am not sure any more on what kind of marriage really works in this modern day.


psbhatt profile image

psbhatt 3 years ago from HYDERABAD

Revolutionary concepts discussed in a very balanced manner.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for pinning & tweeting this hub and for sharing more information on this subject!

Actually, the downward trend has been tracked by the U.S. Census since the 1950s which is where I got the stats I wrote about in this hub. I really think people are just tired of all the hassle of divorce and it's so prevalent and so expensive even before you consider the emotional toll involved. I really don't think marriage is going to become more popular until it also becomes more beneficial to both men and women.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

I thought that you might be interested that they had this same discussion on the Today Show this morning and gave statistics. There has been a downward trend ever since the 1980s of people getting married. I believe that they said that about 30% of people avoid marriage altogether although they have children together and seem to have committed relationships.

Angelina Jolie said that she might consider getting married someday to Brad Pitt for the "children's sake." Wonder if it will ever happen? If so...since people seem to emulate actors and actresses...perhaps this would help start the trend going back in the other direction.

Giving this a tweet and pinning it.


marion langley profile image

marion langley 3 years ago from The Study

tips for a successful marriage....restraint and responcibility...and when something is broken fix it instead of throughing it away. If something isn't worth suffering for it has little value. So hold fast, dive in, and don't ever wait on their 50%...put in 100% and wait them out. I'm in my 9th year and my husband thinks he's found a treasure beyond price. It's not a fairytale...it's work and well earned change....so get some muscle!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by Shyron, and for making a good point. People really do seem to put more thought into their wedding day than all of the days after that when marriage becomes work.

Yes, bad enough to wake up in the morning and see who you dragged home the night before, but at least you don't have a contract with them! ;)

Thanks for the share and the vote!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you samowhamo for reading and commenting on this article. No one's life is perfect and we all have issues growing up and even after we've grown up. Some people are better at navigating those issues and managing/handling the issues they must confront than other people.

There is no perfect marriage and no perfect family. We must all do the best we can with the hand we are dealt and try not to let the negatives in our lives become crutches or reasons to fail.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

This is such an interesting hub and can make one think. So many people marry for the wrong reasons and then wake up to find they made a mistake.

Voted-up and sharing


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

angryelf, thank you for commenting on this article! Agree that marriage should be far from your mind right now. Personally, the way things are today, I would not recommend any woman get serious about marriage until she's at least 28-30.

Most people don't even know for sure who they are until then and finding a lifetime partner before you know who you are and what matters most to you seems irrational to me.

I thought getting married because of pregnancy had gone by the way. It's not the best way to establish a strong healthy marriage and often doesn't work. Either the marriage ends or 2 people are stuck in a very unhappy situation taking it out on the kids. Intended or not, the kids suffer in these situations.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

izettle, thank you for taking time to share your thoughts.

I differ on your viewpoint regarding women who choose to bear and rear children without marriage or a husband. I do not think they are being selfish. As you yourself pointed out, half of first marriages end in divorce, so the likelihood that a child born of any particular relationship would grow up with both of his/her biological parents in the home until they go off to college is unlikely, and often that child has someone else's father (or mother) there instead (Mom or Dad's 2nd or 3rd spouse).

Marriage is often not what people expect it to be and no matter how much one person may want to make it work and do their best to work hard to accomplish that end, one person cannot make a successful marriage. It takes all of the effort of 2 people. Since both people are unlikely to put the same effort into the marriage, it is sometimes easier to go it alone.

What exactly is "it all?" I've often wondered about that. Wouldn't "It all" be defined by each individual? After all, we don't all want the same things. So maybe some people can have it all -- it just depends on what that encompasses.

Thanks again for stopping by! :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by peachpurple and for sharing your experience about one of the ways family affects relationships.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

Sometimes the idea of more people becoming single worries me because I do want to get into a relationship preferably with someone who also has asperger's syndrome. And how would that effect children in the long run because it's a statistical fact that the majority of male crimials are fatherless and girls who grow up without two parents sometimes have problems to.


angryelf profile image

angryelf 3 years ago from Tennessee

Here, people tend to abuse marriage in a way... Going into it too quickly with people they just aren't compatible with.... Then they wonder why they're 10 times as miserable later. It seems cheating is a preferred solution over divorce as well. Many seem to get married due to pregnancy. I'm just happy I'm only 22 and can use the excuse "I'm WAY too young for that!" hahaha, I have a long education to pursue anyway!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

TimeTraveler2, thank you for reading this article and sharing your thoughts. I tend to agree with you. I expect there are other reasons why people chose open marriage or no marriage, but I think the reasons you mentioned are major among them.


izettl profile image

izettl 3 years ago from The Great Northwest

Au, interesting that gays are fighting for marriage rights since it's losing popularity. I think the decline in religion, and maybe increase in spirituality instead, is causing some to forego the institution of marriage and other institutions. It has a lot to do with women making careers for themselves and further proof that women can't have it all- there's a tradeoff somewhere.

On the more extreme side, I think we've become a selfish perhaps narcissistic society- we do what we feel like or do what we please. The successful business woman who has a baby out of marriage is not considering the benefits a child has throughout their life of having both parents. She is selfish- she can, so she will.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

samowhamo, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. I recommend to you my hub, "Evolutionary Psychology: Your Nose Chooses Your Mate -- Chemistry Is More Important Than You Thought!"

Since noses play such a big part in choosing 'mates,' I think arranged marriages would be a detriment to the heath of the offspring. If you read the above mentioned hub you will understand why.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

interesting article. My bro is in his late 30's. Heading to 40 next year. He has a GF whom he had relationship for more than 13 years. His GF doesn't want to marry because she is the only child and my parents are staying with him. Problem is , in-laws don't stay together. So, the problem is how to settle both parents problem. That's why they chose not to marry.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Cantuhearmescream, thank you Cat for your high praise. I'm glad you enjoy my hubs. I enjoy yours as well.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

@ TIMETRAVELER2

Well not all people in relationships get married some people never get married but have been in a relationship for years for some people that is becoming a popular option relationships without marriage.


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

My gut feeling about all of this is that people no longer want the legal liabilities that go along with traditional marriage. By staying single people can maintain their own financial status without fear of having to hand it over when a relationship disappears. This is a sad commentary, but it is not likely to change anytime soon.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

What are your views on arranged marriages. I consider them oppressive. I read on yahoo answers once (Canada) there was this girl who's mother was getting her an arranged marriage and she said she didn't want one and the last person to answer her said (so you would rather do some stripper visitng American you should be thankfull I am glad I don't have all the freedoms women today have). OK first of all not all Americans go out and drink and visit strippers to meet people and even if they do that does not mean they fall in love with them. And what's there to be thankfull about an arranged marriage when she doesn't even want it. I think this woman is kind of out of line and besides she is a only in her early 20s and she keeps telling different stories of her life and where she's from first she says she's Canadian then she says she's Itallian then she says she is happily married to a great Muslim man then she says men are A-holes. Either this woman is the biggest drama queen I have ever come across or she is a major liar.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

moonlake, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this hub, and for sharing your thoughts. Agree totally with what you say on this subject.


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Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Nicole S, thank you for commenting on this hub!


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Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Au fait,

Awesome... and I'm certainly not offend by it's use as I am the one who 'named' myself... and for a reason :D Well I'm glad my presence is appreciated, but I read your hubs mostly because you so many wonderful ones and I value your intelligence and approach... which I am terribly past due for a new Au fait hub and I will be there after I am here :D

Please, don't apologize to me as you haven't offended me, what happens between hubbers on my pages is in on them. I just attempt to stay neutral as to not offend visitors of my pages, you know?


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Cantuhearmescream, I have no problem typing your 'name' out. I rather like it because it says so much in itself. The reason I like to use it, as previously mentioned, is so people who see your name will become familiar with it and possibly decide to check you out. When you are so kind as to read and comment on my hubs, I like to do all I can to promote yours too.

Thank you for your high praise and continued interest in this hub. I like your hubs a lot too. Always well written.

Sorry I've upset one of your readers. It wasn't my intention. I'm still not clear on why he cares? ;)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

jlpark, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub, and especially for sharing your thoughts and experience.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Chris Jawalka for reading and commenting on this hub! Appreciate your sharing your thoughts. :)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by JC, and for sharing your thoughts on this very complicated, controversial subject.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Paul Kuehn for reading, voting on, sharing and tweeting this hub! Very much appreciate your sharing your thoughts, and information about this subject as it is viewed in Thailand also.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

suzettenaples, thank you for reading, and for sharing your thoughts on this very controversial article/subject.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Brett.Tesol for reading/commenting, voting on, and sharing/pinning/tweeting this article. What you say is so true and communication is perhaps the main downfall of many relationships and marriages.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

I have to read all the comments later. If they're going to have an open marriage why bother to get married. I think it comes from men/women jumping from one bed to another before they're married. Many don't seem to love one person enough not to just stay with that person and I think it's sad because I don't think they really know what love is. Interesting hub voted up and shared.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you DDE for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Kathryn Stratford, for reading and commenting on this hub. Glad to see you again! Thank you also for sharing your thoughts on this very controversial subject. You make some good points!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Rfordin, thank you for taking time to read and comment on this hub and to share your thoughts on this subject.

One of the problems with open marriage is jealousy of one or more of the participants. In an open marriage everyone is supposed to be upfront about what they are doing and so you shouldn't have to wonder who your partner is with because s/he would tell you -- no sneaking around is one of the advantages of open marriage. Thanks for your input!


Nicole S profile image

Nicole S 3 years ago from Minnesota

Very interesting hub. I guess I never thought of it this way, or at all really. Nice writing!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

tillsontitan, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub. Also for sharing your thoughts -- I agree with all you wrote on this subject.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

rajan jolly, thank you for reading, commenting, voting on, and sharing this hub! Agree that fidelity is so important. When trust is lost, so much more goes with it.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

girishpuri, thank you for stopping by!


jlpark profile image

jlpark 3 years ago from New Zealand

Au Fait - interesting hub, and well written. Thank you for sharing.

I have a somewhat odd take on this, but I'd like to share it.

As someone in a "non-traditional" marriage myself with a same-sex marriage, I'm somewhat traditional in the way I view my marriage - I took my vows seriously when I made them, and there will be no other person other than my wife. She, and our family, is the biggest, best and only thing in my world.

But, at the same time, the examples you gave of open marriages contain one element in particular - CONSENT. Everyone is aware and consenting in these examples. Everyone is happy, and harming no other. Unlike cheating - which hurts one, if not two, parties. I'm confused about the children conceived, but step families aren't uncommon now either.

Can I see myself doing the same? No. Can I condemn consenting adults for doing something that makes them ALL happy? No not really.

The ideals I hold myself and my marriage to may not be for everyone. I should not judge others on the way they wish to live their life, particularly when I wish that others would not judge me on the way in which I live my life (and yet, they do).


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane for reading and sharing your thoughts on this subject. I think traditional marriage is best also, but I wonder if your daughters will have the good fortune to find men who share their values regarding traditional marriage. I hope they they will.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you DeborahNeyens for reading and sharing your personal experience and your thoughts on this subject. Jealousy is often a problem in open marriages according to the studies I read on the subject.

I think your marriage would still be considered traditional since in is made of up just 2 people, one each of the opposite sex. It is all the different combinations and inclusion of multiple sex partners that generally labels a marriage non-tradtitional.


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Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Au fait,

I know you certainly struck a chord with this hub, I receive notifications about comments on this hub all the time and I pop in and read a lot of them, they certainly vary.

No, don't apologize... I only added Cat to my profile and the bottom of my comments after enough people told me my name was a mouthful and a pain to write... I guess I hadn't contemplated that when I created it... oops :-) I actually appreciate it exactly how you do it.

You have excellent hubs... if I didn't get distracted with notifications all the time, I'd have been through more of them already. I'll have to put a note on my desk "Read an Au Fait Hub, every couple days" :D

Thank you, really!

Cat - (it is okay if I still use it, right? :D)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Cantuhearmescream, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. I think you make a good point. I do think that publicizing things the way some media outlets do encourages some behaviors.

Forgive me if I don't call you Cat at the top of the comment, but I want people to see your 'handle' so you will get more name recognition. A lot of people don't think of that, but in fact for those people who may not know you yet, it's helpful to know the name you write under.

I appreciate your taking time to read and comment on my hubs and I want to help drive traffic to your hubs by putting your author's name prominently at the top of my response. Thanks again!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment careermommy! According to the U.S. 2010 Census, traditional marriages are only 1/5 of total marriages now reported in this country. Married couples make up only 48% of all persons living together these days (traditional marriages 1/5 of that percentage), down from 78% in 1950. If one can believe the Census which is usually pretty objective, marriage is slowly but surly going the way of the dodo bird. ;)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

MG Singh, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. Interesting observations that you make. I doubt the U.S. will end anytime soon, especially due to marriage practices. If marriage practices could destroy the U.S. they surly would have done so long ago when the divorce rate sky rocketed, mostly due to infidelity.

When you read this sentence: "The U.S. 2010 Census shows that married couples make up only 48% of all households in this country . . .," that should have been a hint that this article is primarily about marriage practices in the U.S. I agree that the U.S. is not the entire world, but I thought I made it clear this article isn't about the entire world either.

I would remind you that beheading and stoning are still practiced in many of the countries you mentioned, but has lost favor here in the U.S. In Africa they kill people after accusing them of being homosexual whether or not the accusation is true. I find that unconscionable.

I'm not sure 3rd world countries have much influence on marriage or anything else here in the states. Should that change and beheading becomes popular here, I would be a little concerned for you since some feminists take issue with many of the things you write in your articles about women. ;)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Vespawoolf, thank you for reading this hub and sharing your thoughts on this subject!


ChrisJawalka profile image

ChrisJawalka 3 years ago from Louisville, OH

I honestly believe (and say what you will), that marriage does not mean as much as it once did. Not in the sense that people no longer take it seriously, but that it no longer has the same binding effect it used to. If we look at the history of marriage, it wasn't ever about 'love'. It was always arranged and for the purpose of status or wealth. Until the medieval era, when the Catholic church came in and redefined what marriage should be, it was unheard of to marry for love. Or to pick your own spouse for that matter.

Now, flash forward to present day... marriage has once again become a matter of financial stability. The tax benefits alone, for a married couple outweigh 'common-law'.

As for 'open marriage' and polyamory, that is honestly a different discussion all together. It would actually be a discussion of "love". And not the "I love steak" kind. The actual chemical reactions in the brain, that happen when one experiences "love". Or at least what we call love.

As for is it right or wrong? I don't honestly think that is an answer anyone can provide. The whole what's good for the goose is not for the gander type of argument. If you think it's wrong, don't do it. Find, fall in "love" with someone with like beliefs. But, don't judge someone who thinks is 'right', or even OK. You'd be surprised at how many relationships are 'open'... just not publicly. Because of fear of ridicule and judgement. There is probably at least one couple you know in your everyday life that is either in an open marriage, or experimented with it at some time or another... but, you would never know. Because it is just too taboo in the public eye.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you sgbrown for reading, commenting, and voting on this article. My own concern is that it will be difficult to impossible for people who want to have a traditional marriage to find a partner who will agree.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Jo_Goldsmith11, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this article.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thanks for stopping in and sharing your thoughts Glenda Jacks.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you byshea for reading and commenting on this hub and for sharing your thoughts. You make a lot of good points.


JC 3 years ago

With most people living until their 60's and beyond traditional marriage is becoming less realistic. Few people can stay together for 40+ years. Before modern medicine, many people didn't really live long enough to have a long marriage. Before equal rights for women, many people stayed in unhappy marriages, often taking pills to deal with their misery.

The way things are now is better. People actually have choices that work for them. They're not forced to do what society expects of them. This may be upsetting to very religious people who were raised with a black and white world view and see harm where it doesn't exist.

When there are children involved, it's more complicated. But if an open marriage keeps a couple together because they're happier, then the kids benefit. Being raised by a single parent can be better than being raised by parents who hate each other and fight all the time (I know this from experience). So, things are better now. The ultra-religious will whine about morals and this is all because people don't care about God anymore blah blah blah. But forcing people to live in ways that made them and their children miserable wasn't exactly ideal either. Ultimately, everyone needs to decide what lifestyle works best for them personally.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Au Fait,

Thank you for writing such a well-researched and interesting hub on a controversial subject. In Thailand there are also open marriages, but they usually involve older wealthy men who have one or more than one younger mistresses. There are also a lot of traditional marriages in the countryside which are not sanctioned by law. I can see the pros and cons of both open marriages and non-traditional marriages. Voted up and sharing with followers. Also Tweeting.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Mhatter99, thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear yours is one of the marriages that made it. Sounds like you should be writing about how to make a marriage last along with your poetry. Lots of people would like to know and few people have the answer.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for reading and leaving comments Shyron. While you and I may be old fashioned a lot of people today aren't, which is why the recent U.S. Census shows that only 1/5 of today's marriages are traditional marriages and marriage makes up only 48% of relationships to begin with!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

Very interesting and informative article. How sad for all involved that traditional marriage is not even considered. I consider the intimacy between a man and a woman so wonderful and precious, I would not want anything but that. It is sad, but a sign of the times, that in your coursework all these different types of 'marriages' need to be known and studied. Good luck with your counseling career.


MG Singh profile image

MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

The USA is not the world. Outside USA in the East and Africa marriage is very much in vogue. It won't go away. I am a globetrotter and I see that marriage will never die away. Even on my visits to the USA I have observed a yearning even among live in couples to have traditional marriage. We should not generalize what a small minority does as applicable to the entire world even the USA.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 3 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

What can a say other than 'life is complicated!' lol. Relationships are probably the most tricky element, as you rightly say, many do not talk openly. Hence, this leads to a lot of guesswork and often mistakes being made.

Shared, pinned, tweeted, up and interesting.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Nell Rose for reading and commenting on this hub. I think society used to place more responsibility on men than it does now. It didn't stop the boys from being boys, but they did step up and contribute financially more than they do nowadays. Marriages made with shotguns never have gone very well, so I'm not sure they are any loss.

Lots of people no longer want to be married, and that includes women. Women do not want to be saddled with a husband who will be on his way in a couple, or a few years anyway, and they don't want him in the way. Often the only thing they have in common is sex and the child that results.

Nowadays everything is about the individual. Not saying that's a good thing, in fact, I think it is not, but it seems to be the way things are going for now.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W for reading, commenting, voting on and sharing this hub! Mainly the census shows that more and more people are choosing not to have traditional marriages or never to marry at all. Agree that it would likely be confusing to children and you make other good points too, which I would enumerate, but I have to be at work in just a few minutes. Thanks again, and have a good day!


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I agree with Kathryn Stratford about the traditional marriages most couples do whatever satisfies them. You however have written a thought provoking hub on this topic.


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

That was an interesting read. I don't think traditional marriage is becoming obsolete, although I agree less people marry, and other options are gaining popularity. Life is different now than it used to, so it makes sense that marriage and relationships would change.

It is a very good point that when you're in a relationship you should make sure you're on the same page, because otherwise their could be a lot of disappointment and heartbreak involved.

Thank you for sharing this well-researched piece with us, and enjoy the rest of your weekend.


Rfordin profile image

Rfordin 3 years ago from Florida

I've done the traditional route back when. Now I'm doing the same-sex route. However, open marriage would NEVER be for me. It's almost like dating a whole bunch of people but just taking the benefits of being partnered with someone. No thank you. I'd rather be "single" then worry about who he/she is also involved with.

Interesting read and very thought provoking. As time marches on it will be more and more prevalent.

~Becky


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

As always your research is impeccable and written in true scientific format, not supporting, just reporting. Like so many who have commented here I believe in marriage. Is it easy? Certainly not, at least not in the beginning when you are both trying to adjust and really get to know each other, but is it worth it? Certainly. I have been married for 46 years, my in-laws just celebrated their 71st Anniversary...we believe in marriage, commitment, love and respect for each other. I just can't see those things in an open marriage.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Very interesting and well researched. I still believe the traditional marriage is the best though the generation of today seems to be more innovative with the different forms of open marriage. How these work out in the future is anyone's guess.

Fidelity,I believe, is the most important factor in the success of the traditional type of marriage.

Voted up, interesting and sharing.


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 3 years ago from NCR , INDIA

Very much insightful and thought provoking hub.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Angela Blair, thank you for reading and commenting on this article, and especially for sharing your experience and thoughts. Truly, if anything makes my hubs special it is the contributions my commenters make that add so much.

Me and marriage don't seem to get along either. I, too, have had 3 marriages, and I know a lot of people who have had 4! I figured after the 3rd one it was time to leave some husbands for the rest and collect tea pots or something else instead of husbands. ;)

I've been single for about 8 years now and I like it. No significant other in the picture, and I'm fine with that. It bothers the heck our of some of the people I know, but it's my life, yes?

While I think people need to be aware of the many different marital options so many people are practicing nowadays, me and team marriages just don't work -- that's why I'm not married right now. I'm not good at sharing and I'm not a good team member when it comes to more than 2 in a marriage. My philosophy is why be married if a person is going to continue to behave as if they aren't??

So glad for you that you have a great relationship now, and I wish you all the happiness in the world that it will last forever. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and for your kind compliments!


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

Fascinating article. I have been in a traditional marriage for 43 years, and cannot imagine having an open marriage. Although a long-term marriage is not always perfect, now that I am older I am happy to have the comfort and stability that has come from this relationship.

I know that you are right about "to each his own." However, I know I would never want to have anything other than a traditional marriage. I am happy that this is the way I raised my daughters, too.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Billybuc, for reading and commenting on this hub and especially for sharing your thoughts. I have to agree with you. While open marriage may appeal to some people, is would never work for me.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 3 years ago from Iowa

Interesting article. My husband and I are celebrating our 15th anniversary later this month but we are childless by choice, so I'm sure some would say we have a nontraditional marriage. I have many friends who have never married, many who have never had children, and some in same sex marriages (with or without children). I don't know anyone with an open marriage but have friends who have been hurt deeply by marital infidelity. I imagine it would be hard to sustain an open marriage because of the chances of someone (spouse or other partner) getting hurt.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

I have to agree with Cat. People seem to encourage things out of the norm (norm to me). I still believe in traditional. But at the same time, I don't feel that I have the right to say what is right for someone else.


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Au fait,

I was just having a discussion kind of related to this today. Have you noticed a huge shift in how relationships are defined over the last few years? Things used to seem primarily "black and white", with some shades of gray. Now, there are so many "versions", if you will, for lack of a better word, of relationships. "Swinging", open-marriages, homosexuality, bisexuality... etc. I know these have all existed in the past, but now it seems as though society is not only accepting much much more, but I wonder if it isn't somehow encouraging it as well? It's a sticky area, that's all I do know for sure! :-)

Cat


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Cantuhearmescream, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub! Personally, I see no reason to get married if one is going to live as if one isn't married afterward. As you say, to each their own, but I don't mind saying this wouldn't work for me. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject, too! :)


Careermommy profile image

Careermommy 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Au fait, this is a very interesting subject and you have provided excellent insight into a topic that is not spoken of openly too often. I am all for traditional marriage and thankfully so is my husband! We love and respect one another by our commitment and devotion to each other. I don't think marriage is becoming obsolete at all. Great hub!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by vandynegl! And for sharing your thoughts.

In fact the professionals who keep track of the different ways marriage is changing, and who counsel people involved in open marriages, say that open marriages DO NOT have more trust and truth in them and that jealousy and deception are just as bad in open marriages as in many traditional marriages as a result.


MG Singh profile image

MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

Any destruction of a civilization takes place when the populace goes astray and start heathen practices. I am afraid America is heading in that direction. I hope sanity prevails and all this mumbo jumbo of not having traditional marriages and supporting gay marriages ends, otherwise America may itself end. its a sobering thought


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

I do hear more about open marriages than before. I agree that both parties should enter any relationship with their eyes wide open. It would be unfair to communicate one's intentions only to leave the other party suffering or unhappy. Very informative--thanks!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

The traditional marriage is slowly disappearing in our country. It is fading away right along with respect, manners, loyalty and morals. I have to say that I blame the lack of religion in our children's lives. In the US, we have taken God out of schools, public places, and holidays. I hate to see what our world in going to be like in a hundred years from now. This is a very interesting, yet scary article. Voting up and interesting.


Glenda Jacks 3 years ago

I don't believe in open marriage, I believe in traditional marriage only. but this is an interesting article.


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 3 years ago

My parents were considered "common law" married. My mother never cheated on my dad. I don't know if my dad ever cheated on my mom. I have had a total of three long term relationships. The first one could be considered "common law", and then I had two legal marriages. My first one lasted seven years of hell on earth.

I am in my second marriage for the past four years and we have been together for eight now. I think marriage is one that should not be taken lightly and should not be contorted or the sanctity of the union be subjected to hearts that have not been conditioned to enter into an emotional contract that runs deep. The world is lost and so many families are torn and have lost their way. It starts with one bad relationship or betrayal and tends to lead to hardness of the heart of those who mourn over the betrayal. We have taken God out of our homes, communities and schools. We have turned to the many forms of "religion" instead of the fundemental right and wrong of what God teaches. This is my last union. I want to spend eternity with the man I believe is my soul mate and the blessing from God. I still am in love with my current husband as much today as I was the day I promised to love, honor and try to obey. :) When a couple puts God as the first and last in the union of a marriage. God then blesses and builds that union. This is a great hub. With lots of information and you have done a very excellent job describing and explaining the differences. Wishing you a happy and blessed life and union with your significant other. :) Voted up!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Au fait you can call me old fashioned, but of course as long as we have been friends you would know that. I can't speak for anyone else.

This is such a well written and well researched hub.


byshea profile image

byshea 3 years ago

Great hub! In this new world of instant gratification, I think one of the contributing factors is that an actual marriage takes work. It's so easy for the younger generation to just click "delete" and move on to something else that is entertaining. This whole concept is prevalent in social media. I think some internet sites like Stumble Upon, Tumbler, Pinterest, and others are an example of that and one of the reasons why they are successful.

Relationships seem to be cultivated and ended in social media as well. If you become unhappy with someone, you just "unfriend" them from your Facebook page and move on. The concept of working out problems in a relationship is lost because these relationships are just replaced with a new one that entertains us. When combined with the other factors as stated from the article, I think it's no wonder that marriage is slowly becoming obsolete.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Good work. I cannot speak for other couples, a formal marriage saw Arlene and I through some ruff times.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi, the one thing that I have noticed more these days is the 'man gets with woman, has child then walks away' syndrome. I only live in a small town, but the majority of young people seem to have kids and never have the father around. Boys these days seem to take longer to grow up, and even the boys when they hit 30 still seem so young. It seems to me that their attitude is, well you wanted equality now you have got it, in other words they can do what they want. I do believe we have lost something in marriage or relationships over the years, which is really sadly the way things are, nell


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Personally I would never consider anything but a traditional marriage. Call me old fashioned, but that is the way I was reared. There are ups and downs in all relationships but it just seems to me that people are complicating their lives even more with multiple partners. Were religious backgrounds factored into these studies? I would think that most traditional religions would frown upon such arrangements. Must be very confusing for the children coming from such unions also. The main thing that you stressed was getting to know someone well before making any kind of commitment. That is certainly key to future happiness. Up and interesting votes and will share.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 3 years ago from Central Texas

After 3 failed "traditional" marriages I decided I'm just not good marriage material. However, have had the same significant other for over 20 years now and the relationship still seems to grow and thrive and we're very devoted -- although maintain our own homes. Having been raised with more traditional values it's been quite a step for me to just realize my shortcomings and accept my blessings. We don't always choose the path we travel -- it just works out that way. Excellent Hub with wonderful research. Best/Sis


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Well researched and interesting. I'm just a bit too old-fashioned and can't see anything but the traditional type of marriage. I have nothing against those who choose an open marriage, but it could never be for me. :)


vandynegl profile image

vandynegl 3 years ago from Ohio Valley

Very interesting hub! I am always fascinated by these different topics! I have nothing against open marriages, since there is communication and trust among the couples. Often, traditional marriages do not have this, which is why divorce goes up. If a couple wants to go outside the marriage, and both have the same beliefs, then so be it. Honestly, some people will say that as humans, we are not biologically programmed for only one lifetime mate. I think women seek one mate for the purpose of childrearing, but I think it is normal to have attractions from others as well. The problems arise when the spouse goes behind the other's back.

Other factors to consider with open marriages is the effect on children involved. To me, having the "significant other" becoming pregnant would really complicate things. If there are other children already involved, how does that change the family dynamics? Would it have any negative emotional effects? I'm just wondering these things.

I am in a traditional marriage and have no desire to have an open one; however, I keep an open mind with others that I know who do.


Cantuhearmescream profile image

Cantuhearmescream 3 years ago from New York

Au Fait,

I'm somewhat bothered by the idea that marriage doesn't seem to mean what it used to anymore. Less people are finding it necessary and many others are all to eager to walk away from one. There is probably no wonder why relationships are all over the place today.

As far as the open marriage thing goes; well, to each their own, and I try not to judge people, especially when it doesn't affect me. However, I don't think you can truly love more than one mate at a time and you have to neglect one to satisfy the other. It seems like these are people that fear being alone but don't want to be faithful. They have a spouse to come home to but have freedom of at least one other relationship. I don't get it, but I suppose if both/all parties are okay with it and it works for them, what does my opinion matter.

I'm glad you're talking about it!

Voted up and awesome!

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