- Gender and Relationships
Why Wait To Get Married
Marriage has certainly changed over the years...
The average marrying age has increased over the last decade.
Although nearly 95% of Americans will say that marriage is important, for nearly a decade the average age level of those ready to "tie the knot" has increased dramatically.
In the 1980s, when the woman born in the 60's, became of marital age, it was thought that if she pursued a higher education or a successful business career, then she would be less likely to marry. It used to be felt that men were unwilling to marry educated independent women, but that is no longer true. Of late, the trend has been found to be that men are more likely to marry their educational and economic peers. In fact, the graduation rate of women in general has out numbered that of their male peers.
Today it is reported that the national average age for a male to get married for the first time is 28 years old, while the average age for a female is 27 years old.
Princess Bride - The Wedding
Why have many decided to delay this practice of marriage? First is MONEY!
The top reason reported, when factoring in the decision of being married or waiting, is purely one dealing with finance. With today's fluctuating economy the amount of money that is required to even be able to get married can be intimidating. The cost of providing for a home and family can be seen as a staggering amount to those contemplating marriage. With education a priority for both men and women, many put off the decision to be married until they have graduated from college and are ready to enter into the professional field. The couple who is regarded as "struggling students" are seen less and less, as marriage has been put on the back burner.
Second: Effects of DIVORCE
Another reason that some choose to delay marriage is that they may be "gun shy" because of the results of marriages they have seen in their own family situations. Today's youth are the single adults that come from the generation of divorce. Unfortunately many of them have been exposed to the realities of divorce on some level or another, creating low expectations of a different future for them. In many cases, most still desire to be married, but have become pessimistic about successful marriage being a reality.
Third: The acutal DATING process.
Still another factor to be considered in the decision to marry is the change in the dating process itself. Young people have moved away from the process of "formally dating" to simply "hanging out" in groups, creating more of a party atmosphere than a one on one experience. This proof is seen by the multi-million dollar singles industry that is moving across the nation. Dating has become less personal and more capitalized.
Finally: They are not willing to take the RISK!
The delayed marriage age has resulted in a more established individual, who oft times becomes accustomed to life on their own. Their thought process becomes one in which the individual is more comfortable with the known security they have created for themselves than with the unknown factors involved in a relationship. Marriage is a risky adventure that some are simply not willing to take.
Why is marriage an important step to take?
According to USA Today, "marriage typically provides important and substantial benefits, to individuals as well as society. Marriage improves the health and longevity of men and women; gives them access to a more active and satisfying sex life; increases wealth and assets; boosts children's chances for success; and enhances men's performance at work and their earnings."
In a statement called, The Family: A proclamation to the World, which was given by the First Presidency and The Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) it teaches:
"The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed."
What can you do while you are waiting for the right one to come along?
- The most important thing an individual can do is make sure they become "the right person" themselves.
According to Larry Nelson, a professor in the BYU School of Family Life, "We need to get rid of the notion that this time period is about finding the right person. If that is the case, we are setting young people up to fail because every day you wake up single then you feel like a failure. Instead, an emerging adult-a young adult- needs to focus on becoming the right person. Then, every day that a person becomes better prepared for future family relationships is a successful day. If that focus on preparation translates into a successful marriage down the road then it was a good use of this period of time."
Practice integrity in your life now.
National statistics show that young adults who engage in risky behaviors before they are married, such as drug use, binge drinking, and promiscuous sexual behavior have higher rates of divorce when they do get married. The behaviors, choices and patterns that are set in their single activities could and most times do, have an impact on their marital success later.
- Finally the mind set of the individual must be changed from a "worst-case scenario" planning mode to one in which both are willing to grow together.
Jason Carroll a professor in the BYU School of Family Life expressed his thoughts on this subject, "I have a real concern that because of such an emphasis on possible worst-case scenarios, we miss out on the chance for the best-case scenario. Individuals may enter marriage with less faith and confidence in the relationship. They will not rely on each other as much as spouses... We have the real possibility that worst-case scenario planning is becoming a self-fulfilling process. Young people may strive so hard to be independent that the transition to marriage is really hard."
Eternal Marriage is part of my belief system.
Marriage is an institution that binds two individuals into one unit. This is the beginning of the basic unit for society called the family. It is a wonderful expression of love, devotion, and commitment.
Having been married for close to thirty years now, I can think of nothing else that has challenged me more but in turn has given me the most joy and satisfaction I could possibly know.
As a Mormon, I have the belief that marriage is an eternal partnership, one that lives forever and not merely until "death do us part." Because of the belief that I have, I know that being married is worth every effort we can do to work together, consecrating ourselves to one another and to our God. I can say without any reservation that I am a happily married woman, and that is an accomplishment I can feel joy in!
Marriage is an eternal partnership.
- DUIN: Marriage as a Mormon value - Washington Times
Anyone wonder why the Mormons do so well at marrying off their young? I learned why last Sunday when I dropped by the ward in Chevy Chase, a brick building on Western Avenue.