Are Divorce Rates Going Down?
I am a stay at home mom which does provide me with a little bit of luxury when it comes to reading the news. Most days I am busy chasing down two children under three and running my freelance writing business from home, but sometimes, it slows down and I can catch a breather.
During one of these breathers, I came across an interesting find about divorce. The subject of divorce had always been of interest to me. You hear about it all the time in media about how some famous couple or another broke up (think Kim Kardashian after just 72 days!) or maybe your friends parents got a divorce at a young age.
Before I get too far into this story, I think a bit of background information is in order. I am a stay at home mother of two with an almost four year old and a two year old. I run my own freelance writing business as well as like to be involved in my church and other mom's groups. I was married at 21 to my own and only partner, never having dated before meeting him and we have been married for more than five years. I am strong in my faith and my church, which probably does influence how my reaction in this article will go!
I always thought divorce was sad and complicated. You have to now pay for everything you enjoyed as one separately, take care of complicated kids' schedules and so much more. If kids are in the mix, you will most likely still have some kind of relationship with that other person for the sake of the kids. And wouldn't it be lonely to go home and have no one by your side, especially when the kids are with the other parent?
The article I was reading talked about how the divorce rates have gone now. The time period of fifty percent divorce rates is just an anomaly and not something we should be worried about at all. It failed to say where divorce rates are at now, perhaps they're at forty-five percent, which is still troubling.
My worry is more about why the divorce rates are going down. Is it really because we have found happiness and are staying together for longer. Knowing how our current culture is all about self-gratification and taking care of ourselves and no one else, I highly doubt this.
Waiting Until They are Older
Many couples are waiting until they are older to get married. This means they are living with the partner for a long time, having multiple partners, and perhaps never getting married in the first place. This leads to fewer people in the married pool and fewer divorces overall.
There is nothing wrong about waiting until you are older to get married, but there is also nothing wrong with getting married at a younger age. If you find the right person and get married because you love each other and want to be together, then age doesn't matter. Some people find it young and others are older. But if you get married for the attention or you choose to wait for selfish reasons, you are missing out on something wonderful and still won't find the right one for you, whether you are 20 or 40.
Not Willing to Stick it Out
Our new culture is all about doing what is right for you. We don't care about other people and have no want to stick things out and see it through. Past ancestors, even just our grandparents, would never dream of just running because times got tough or it looked better on the other side of the fence. You were married and you should stick it out together, coming out stronger than ever before.
Today's culture is all about me. If you aren't happy, you leave. If you want something else, you get it. And while it's nice to have choices and freedom, this is not the way to look at loving relationships. Many people see marriage as a way to tie them down, to prevent them from getting something they want, even if that something may not show up until down the line.
In reality, marriage is a beautiful thing that joins a man and woman together to create a family, regardless of if they every have children or not. It should be celebrated. And it should be noted that every marriage, no matter how good and solid, has its tough times. But weathering the storm can bring you a better relationship than ever before and can lead to amazing things. But when you don't want to stick it out and choose to just stay single, you miss out on all of it.
Living Together, Not Married
I'm not trying to be a prude with this one (although I don't think it's a good idea to live together without being married), but many couples are choosing to live together without being married. They don't sign the paper and may live together for many years without being married. If they do break up five years down the road, there is technically no divorce, though the issues at hand would be similar.
When many couples choose to just live together without the commitment, it is easy to see the numbers go down. But is this really the best way? Both parties are living a life without true commitment, believing they can leave any time that things get tough. This can be hard on both parties and makes true relationships hard, even if a divorce never happens.
Live Off Government
Now, I think that some of the government programs are great. Single mothers who are abandoned by their baby daddy's and families who are having some issues in life should be able to get the help that they need. But many young couples have decided to just stay single, while having kids, to get the benefits.
Even if they are getting support from their partners, if they stay single, the mother can get everything taken care of. This makes things easier on both parents financially, but doesn't encourage the idea of getting married.
Marriage is a beautiful thing and one that the couple should be excited for. But with divorces happening every time you turn on the news and all the "benefits" that you can get from staying together but unmarried, it seems to make more sense to just wait. This can bring the numbers of divorce down, but does that really mean that things are getting better?