Pew Research Center data shows that more than 75% of married people in 1950s were married, compared to just 50% of today’s population. These are stark statistics. But what’s the cause of this decline in marriage? It turns out that there are many factors that can cause this decline in marriage. One driving factor? One driving factor? We asked experts to help us understand why people are marrying later in life.
Women are now more independent and driven by their careers than ever.
It is difficult for us to understand the limitations our grandparents and some of our parents faced as children that could have hindered them from reaching their full potential. Marissa Nelson, a licensed marriage- and family therapist, says that more women are following their passions, and even becoming the breadwinners in the household. She adds that many of the positions and career goals require extensive travel and long hours. So I’ve seen women allow themselves to be focused on their current job and put off marriage and starting a family.
Titles are less important.
Nelson says that while some people believe marriage is the ultimate goal, we are seeing more and more women and men admitting and accepting that they do not want to be married. Many of my clients can live with their partner and share a life, including buying a house, starting a company, or moving to another country for a job.
Pre-marriage is a popular choice for couples who want to live together.
Couples are moving in together more often than they get married. Susan Edelman M.D., a psychiatrist, says that this was a rare occurrence just a few decades ago. Edelman says that research has shown that couples who have lived together for a while are more likely to use negative approaches to solving problems or being supportive when they marry. Researchers found that cohabiting partners may view their relationship as temporary, and they are less likely to be committed to learning the skills that will lead to long-lasting relationships and healthy marriages.
The divorce rates are shocking.
This generation is getting married, but it’s also the one that has seen more divorce than previous generations. Rachel Needle, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist. She says that people are less likely to make a commitment after seeing so many divorces. They may take longer to commit, especially if it is for the long-term.