Is the Institution of Marriage on the Rocks?

posted at 9:28 am on November 19, 2010 by Jazz Shaw

While this new report from Time starts off highlighting the next royal wedding across the pond, it circles back to a sad, but not terribly surprising trend in America. Marriage, along with support for and belief in the institution, is on the decline.

When an institution so central to human experience suddenly changes shape in the space of a generation or two, it’s worth trying to figure out why. This fall the Pew Research Center, in association with TIME, conducted a nationwide poll exploring the contours of modern marriage and the new American family, posing questions about what people want and expect out of marriage and family life, why they enter into committed relationships and what they gain from them. What we found is that marriage, whatever its social, spiritual or symbolic appeal, is in purely practical terms just not as necessary as it used to be. Neither men nor women need to be married to have sex or companionship or professional success or respect or even children — yet marriage remains revered and desired.

Some of the highlights of their findings:
- In 1960 roughly 70% of adults were married. Today it is barely half.
- The number of children born out of wedlock has increased eight-fold in that period.
- In 1960 roughly 2/3 of twenty-somethings were married. Today? One quarter.
- Household income for married couples is 41% higher than that of those living together.
- The percentage of people who believe marriage is “obsolete” has risen from 28 in 1978 to 39 today.

Assuming you think this is a problem, what is to be done about it and, more to the point, whose responsibility should it be to provide a solution? Chuck Donovan has some interesting thoughts on the subject at The Foundry. He points out some of the absolutely valid statistics which demonstrate the positive effects of marriage, particularly on children, but then goes on to propose some possible remedies.

Rather than indulging “Brave New World” euphoria about evolving family styles, culture shapers and policymakers should be doing more to reverse the incremental declines of the past three decades and restore a culture of married families. For example, no action government could take would be more crucial to successfully addressing child poverty than promoting marriage among poor (and, increasingly, underemployed) middle-income Americans…

Among the immediate steps that need attention are welfare reforms that address not just one but all 70 of the federal government’s anti-poverty programs, restoration of the Healthy Marriage funding (which was submerged into another stale job-training initiative by the Obama Administration), and the extension of the marriage penalty tax relief that, like half of the child tax credit, is set to expire this coming December 31.

Never let it be said that I’m not a big fan of marriage, (having made more than one trip down the aisle myself) but I’m always leery of people who immediately seek a government remedy in this area. Is this truly part of the business of the federal government? What happened to principles of limited government and keeping Washington to its constitutionally mandated place?

There is clearly a case to be made for having the government support and subsidize the raising of children, as they are the next generation of citizens. But as desirable and beneficial as marriage may be in so many ways, on what basis should we allow the government to give, for example, a tax break to a married couple over the benefits extended to a pair of siblings sharing a house to save money?

The best way that elected officials can “lead” in this area is by leading exemplary lives and providing a role model for others to follow. But even more importantly, the subjects of family and marriage are best handled at home by parents, mentors and faith leaders. This is one of those intractable situations where the real solutions are to be found in the family and the church, not in Washington. (And let’s face it… we wind up electing more than a few folks who you wouldn’t want setting an example for anyone.)

Plus, marriage is far from dead. While the negative numbers may be rising, the same poll shows that more than 60% of Americans do not feel marriage is obsolete. And the best hope for the future lies with couples raising children who see the benefits of a solid family life first hand, rather than being lectured about it by some bureaucrat who is later found to be diddling the pizza delivery girl or lining up as Client Number 9 at a brothel.

Not every situation is ripe for a government solution, and marriage is one area where the government is absolutely unsuited to provide one. Focus on a safe, productive national environment for children and let families and faith based communities tend to their own marital concerns.


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Don’t worry. At least the gays want to get married.

keep the change on November 19, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Social issues have absolutely nothing to do with fiscal ones, do they?

Al-Ozarka on November 19, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Marriage isn’t on the rocks.

Selflessness, commitment, sacrifice, monogamy, and forgivessness are in shorty supply in modern culture… but marriage is too big to fail.

VastRightWingConspirator on November 19, 2010 at 9:37 AM

What we found is that marriage, whatever its social, spiritual or symbolic appeal, is in purely practical terms just not as necessary as it used to be.

That is the definition of decadence, the setting aside of social, spiritual symbolism, morality.

Skandia Recluse on November 19, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Institutions only reflect the values of the people within them. Marriage today, is today as it has always been–a covenant between a man and a woman. If the statistics concerning “married people” are abysmal, maybe the focus should be upon the “people” within that institution. We do the same for government. If government (like the 111th Congress) appears to be corrupt/dysfunctional, it is not the “institution of Congress” that is inherently corrupt, it is the same Article I body that it was in 1789, however, it is the people occupying it that are the problem. The solution? We change those people. Please see marriage in the same light, it is not “marriage” as an institution that has the problems, it is Joe, Sally, Mark, etc. that happen to occupy it.

truth

ted c on November 19, 2010 at 9:38 AM

The main reasons marriage is on the decline is no-fault divorces and judicial bias against the husband in divorces. End permanent alimony now.


Marriage Strike

Alimony Nightmares

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

When men don’t have to get married to get laid, and have a 50% chance of being treated like walking a wallet in a divorce, it should come as no surprise that the institution of marriage is on shaky ground.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 9:41 AM

But as desirable and beneficial as marriage may be in so many ways, on what basis should we allow the government to give, for example, a tax break to a married couple over the benefits extended to a pair of siblings sharing a house to save money?

Because our native-born population is declining? See Mark Steyn’s “America Alone”…

Ideally we would revert to a flat tax or fair tax, but under the current system, rewarding married couples who have children benefits society by insuring our population doesn’t decline the way of Europe or Russia. And as the statistics note, marriage is more likely to create economic prosperity for the family unit and less dependence on a welfare state.

Buy Danish on November 19, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Jazz him (or her?)self implies as much. It’s probably not “marriage” per se that is the problem, but the people in it that are problematic so she/he (sorry I have no idea the gender orientation of Jazz) avoids those people. Once those people (persons) get back up to snuff, then Jazz may entertain the thought again. Between now and then, marriage as an institution remains unchanged–it’s just the folks occupying the seats that are changing.

ted c on November 19, 2010 at 9:43 AM

“Bourgeois marriage is in reality a system of wives in common and thus, at the most, what the Communists might possibly be reproached with, is that they desire to introduce, in substitution for a hypocritically concealed, an openly legalised system of free love. For the rest, it is self-evident, that the abolition of the present system of production must bring with it the abolition of community of women springing from that system, i.e., of prostitution both public and private,” Marx & Engels.

For Marx, Marriage is a form of prostitution.

For radical feminists too:

“Since marriage constitutes slavery for women, it is clear that the Women’s Movement must concentrate on attacking this institution. Freedom for women cannot be won without the abolition of marriage.” (Sheila Cronan, in Radical Feminism – “Marriage” (1970), Koedt, Levine, and Rapone, eds., HarperCollins, 1973, p. 219)

“The simple fact is that every woman must be willing to be identified as a lesbian to be fully feminist.” (National Organization for Women Times, Jan.1988)

“It became increasingly clear to us that the institution of marriage `protects’ women in the same way that the institution of slavery was said to `protect’ blacks–that is, that the word `protection’ in this case is simply a euphemism for oppression.” (Sheila Cronan, in Radical Feminism – “Marriage” (1970), Koedt, Levine, and Rapone, eds., HarperCollins, 1973, p. 214)

“Marriage is a form of slavery.” (Sheila Cronan, in Radical Feminism – “Marriage” (1970), Koedt, Levine, and Rapone, eds., HarperCollins, 1973, p. 216)

Akzed on November 19, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Okay, this is a question for guys. This neighbor is moving his girlfriend and her kid into his home. He does not wish to get married again, once burned, twice shy. Anyway, to me this is just trash as it says to the kid, your mom is good enough to tag, but not good enough to marry. What do other people think, am I a throwback to the fifties?

tessa on November 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

There is clearly a case to be made for having the government support and subsidize the raising of children,

I would say that governments are more active in subsidizing single parent households than married ones, that problem should be addressed first (i.e., stop/greatly reduce the federal welfare state).

WashJeff on November 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

You don’t change the marriage situation by government involvement, seeking to push pro-marriage behavior. You change the situation by removing existing government involvement that rewards anti-marriage behavior.

Vashta.Nerada on November 19, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Anyway, to me this is just trash as it says to the kid, your mom is good enough to tag, but not good enough to marry.tessa on November 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

It says to the kid – “I no longer have a burning desire to give away half of my net worth.”

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 9:49 AM

am I a throwback to the fifties?

tessa on November 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Yup

ernesto on November 19, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Personally, like everything in life…I blame BOOOOOOSHHHHH!!!!!!

search4truth on November 19, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Not dead yet but you can bet those godless, amoral liberals and leftists are heading in that direction.

rplat on November 19, 2010 at 9:51 AM

What do other people think, am I a throwback to the fifties?

tessa on November 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

I agree with you. That is exactly what he is saying. He is also teaching the child how to treat women (badly).

Vashta.Nerada on November 19, 2010 at 9:55 AM

The reason why marriage is in the decline is because too many young people belive in the premise, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 9:56 AM

With the left encouraging promiscuity, abortion on demand, and when the government has become the bread winner for single mothers … who needs marriage?

The left is absolutely thrilled.

darwin on November 19, 2010 at 9:58 AM

We need to eliminate the marriage penalty and institute a credit that supports marriage and families. This credit should increase significantly as the marriage goes on and for marriages with children.

Over50 on November 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Short answer, No.

dczombie on November 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Presuming we continue to have a socialist/Keynesian state – and I have only a little hope that the current House will significantly change that – the number one goal of the government has to be to create a tax structure that benefits married couples with children.

Thanks to Bush, we don’t penalize married couples anymore…woohoo?…but the child deductions are still a joke. You have to be rich or poor to have many children in today’s America – which is amazing when you think about it.

So, as a starting proposal – why not a real tax credit for kids? $10K off of your final tax bill per child, with no money sent back if this makes your tax liability negative. So, if you are paying $15K in taxes and have two kids you either would have no taxes withheld, or get a $15k check at the end of the year.

This would move the tax bill to those who aren’t already “investing” in America’s future, and provide a strong financial incentive to the middle/upper middle class to have children.

18-1 on November 19, 2010 at 10:04 AM

tessa on November 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

No and if he’s too stupid to realize that after a period of time she will be his common law wife anyway after a period of time, then she’s hitched her wagon to a loser anyway.

NoDonkey on November 19, 2010 at 10:05 AM

she will be his common law wife anyway after a period of time
NoDonkey on November 19, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Cohabitation does not automatically become common law marriage after a specified length of time. There are other factors such as representing themselves as married in public.

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 10:10 AM

The ‘institution’ isn’t on the rocks. It’s weathered centuries of use and abuse. Rather it’s the current society that’s “on the rocks”.

As for ‘government intrusion’, that’s going to happen anyway. It’s called welfare, when “daddy” splits for the new hot chick down the street. It’s called ‘juvenile hall’ when the kids get older.

Ya pay now, or you pay later, with interest.

GarandFan on November 19, 2010 at 10:14 AM

You cannot eliminate marriage – you can try – but you will fail and, here’s why … :D

The ONLY reason that a woman can raise a child alone is because, today, we live in a world full of luxuries – and support programs for single mothers. In spite of unemployment – employment opportunies are still generally better than they were a century ago. We have a lot of technology – some of it can even replace some functions that only a dad could do a hundred years ago. For instance, we now have cars – which allows women to engage in infinitely more mobility than a hundred years ago, in the era of horse and buggies – when you really needed a two parent household to take care of things. Not to mention the internet – which also makes things easier for a single mother to accomplish.

It’s still hard though but …

And here’s the key – all that … “tech” … uhm, yeah – it was developed by the more productive members of society – the people who came from two parent households. It’s also mostly maintained and improved by them. Sooooo … if marriage goes away – so do those productive people. Additionally, as marriage disappears – CRIME increases. Most of the people in the penal system are from single parent households – it’s true. So the level of barbarism in society increases.

Which throws everything back into the age of our grandmother – a time when two-parent households were a necessity. When there is no “tech” – then two people are required to perform family obligations in rearing the children. When the level of societal barbarism increases – eventually a MALE in the household is the best defense for the children and the female.

I’m sorry – you cannot get away from marriage. I think it’s funny that people think we can … hell, marriage is a human institution that is what? Ten thousand years old?

Yeah – I’m sure we’ll destroy something like that.

HondaV65 on November 19, 2010 at 10:17 AM

tessa on November 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Speaking of throwbacks, I myself am one from the ’50s (the 1850s, that is) and have been happily married for many long years now (got hitched right after the boys came back from Gettysburg, I think it was).

Yet, I’m afraid, I must concur with Dark Star (9:41 AM):

When men don’t have to get married to get laid, and have a 50% chance of being treated like a wallet in a divorce, it should come as no surprise that the institution of marriage is on shaky ground.

Tessa, your neighbor is shacking up because public policy — shaped by leftist academia, media, and the gamut of cultural institutions they now control — encourages guys to shack up rather than tie the knot. For them, it makes perfect sense. It’s wrong, of course, because marriage is the better deal for a whole host of reasons you already know about. But it’s entirely understandable why many a man would opt for cohabitation rather than matrimony.

FlameWarrior on November 19, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Okay, this is a question for guys. This neighbor is moving his girlfriend and her kid into his home. He does not wish to get married again, once burned, twice shy. Anyway, to me this is just trash as it says to the kid, your mom is good enough to tag, but not good enough to marry. What do other people think, am I a throwback to the fifties?

tessa on November 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Yes and no. The reason I say that is my daughter and I lived with my boyfriend for 7 years before we finally married. He’s been a part of my daughter’s life for the past 15 1/2 years and never treated her or me as anything less than his wife and daughter. I have to say that I lucked out because a lot of guys would treat a woman as good enough to tag but not good enough to marry.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 10:22 AM

When men don’t have to get married to get laid, and have a 50% chance of being treated like walking a wallet in a divorce

So lack of respect is the problem on both ends.

I found it interesting that burried deep in this article was the fact that apparantly the government has been milking this trend to make poverty numbers more shocking. Instead of counting a cohabittating couple with a child as a family unit, they’ve been counting them as a single individual and a single parent. Since they are judged on their individual incomes, rather than combined household incomes, they qualify for all sorts of poverty programs.

Hmm…

Vera on November 19, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Considering I am only 35 and pay $2,000/month alimony because my ex wife met some guy on facebook, I would say marriage is a joke and should be abolished. You can have it, I’m done.

hanzblinx on November 19, 2010 at 10:23 AM

18-1 on November 19, 2010 at 10:04 AM

You’re on to something here – Social Security and Medicare are breaking down because there are too many people subsisting on them – and too few actually working and paying taxes to support them.

We need more babies. Or, more precisely – we need more PRODUCTIVE TAX PAYERS – but you can only produce them through procreation. ;)

Now – having babies who grow up to be productive citizens is a BOON to the welfare of the nation – while babies who grow to be non-productive are a drag on the nation.

So maybe we should have tax incentives for people who rear good, productive citizens. Maybe you should get some of your taxes back if you raised good, civicly productive kids? And maybe – the more of those you raise – the more of those taxes you get back?

I like it.

HondaV65 on November 19, 2010 at 10:23 AM

We need to eliminate the marriage penalty and institute a credit that supports marriage and families. This credit should increase significantly as the marriage goes on and for marriages with children.

Over50 on November 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM

How about we get the government out of the marriage business?

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Considering I am only 35 and pay $2,000/month alimony because my ex wife met some guy on facebook, I would say marriage is a joke and should be abolished. You can have it, I’m done.

hanzblinx on November 19, 2010 at 10:23 AM

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that line!

Trust me – you WILL get back into the pool!

HondaV65 on November 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM

How about we get the government out of the marriage business?

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 10:25 AM

There’s an argument to be made that marriage, as an institution, produces more civicly responsible and productive people. And there is an argument to be made that government – should look to the best interests of future generations of society and promote the good aspects of our society today – in order to have a more secure future.

HondaV65 on November 19, 2010 at 10:28 AM

Considering I am only 35 and pay $2,000/month alimony because my ex wife met some guy on facebook, I would say marriage is a joke and should be abolished. You can have it, I’m done.

hanzblinx on November 19, 2010 at 10:23 AM

I was sentenced to 20 years of paying alimony. After 2.5 years of legal wrangling and incredible stress, I finally got the alimony stopped. I’m done as well.

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 10:31 AM

I’m pretty much against social engineering. It’s too slippery a slope.

That said, I think it would be smart at this point to do marriage just like we do any other partnership contract.

It seems unreasonable to me that this is the only financial partnership which offers ZERO protection from fraud and theft. No Fault Divorce has changed the marital landscape. Your partner can be screwing somebody else on your dining room table.. and you can’t even put them out of the house. Your entire financial structure is consistently unstable as is the future of your children… all dependent on the emotional whims of your partner. And that instability is encouraged rather than thwarted through No Fault Divorce.

I say, let anybody marry whoever they want. But make them file a contract with the marriage license which would be legal and binding in the event of divorce. And let the government get out of the social engineering business altogether and apply law and taxation equally to everyone.

Murf76 on November 19, 2010 at 10:35 AM

There’s an argument to be made that marriage, as an institution, produces more civicly responsible and productive people. And there is an argument to be made that government – should look to the best interests of future generations of society and promote the good aspects of our society today – in order to have a more secure future.

HondaV65 on November 19, 2010 at 10:28 AM

There are only 2 purposes for marriage licenses:
1) for the state to make money
2) to put prohibitions on people to wed.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 10:37 AM

The ONLY reason that a woman can raise a child alone is because, today, we live in a world full of luxuries – and support programs for single mothers.

I am a single mother, I let go of the business that was bought with my retirements when the bookkeeper I hired and my ex thought it was a good plan for them to hook up and live happily ever after with this business. Well, they ended up bankrupt, and I went on with the 3 kids alone. I worked my ass off and never once took a dime from the govenment. My kids had some fallings but are good and decent people. The more I worked the less my ex had to pay so that now with the youngest only left, and my income in the 3 figures my ex pays 30 dollars a week. For all you men looking for the one that looks like a golddigger, chances are she is a golddigger. There are many good women out there they are just working to keep their kids bellies full.

tessa on November 19, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Little responsibility, zero obligation.

A thousand years ago Celtic weddings might last days because their obligations took that long to enumerate.

Speakup on November 19, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Considering I am only 35 and pay $2,000/month alimony because my ex wife met some guy on facebook, I would say marriage is a joke and should be abolished. You can have it, I’m done.

hanzblinx on November 19, 2010 at 10:23 AM

.
.
.

I was sentenced to 20 years of paying alimony. After 2.5 years of legal wrangling and incredible stress, I finally got the alimony stopped. I’m done as well.

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Oh Puleeze! I threatened to go lesbian after my divorce and my current husband swore off of black women after his. Obviously we didn’t follow through with our threats. Don’t give up finding a good woman to settle down with.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Okay, this is a question for guys. This neighbor is moving his girlfriend and her kid into his home. He does not wish to get married again, once burned, twice shy.

He should stick to hiring prostitutes when he wants to satisfy his urge.

Anyway, to me this is just trash as it says to the kid, your mom is good enough to tag, but not good enough to marry.

Yep. More than likely, the kid will grow up to be the same.

What do other people think, am I a throwback to the fifties?
tessa on November 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

No. It’s called making and keeping a commitment to someone other than oneself.

Too often, people treat marriage like it’s the latest video game to be discarded when interest fades.

rukiddingme on November 19, 2010 at 10:45 AM

With the left encouraging promiscuity, abortion on demand, and when the government has become the bread winner for single mothers … who needs marriage?

The left is absolutely thrilled.

darwin on November 19, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Hey hey now, lets not lump something like promiscuity in with some policy mistake (current state of welfare) or something tragic like abortion!

ernesto on November 19, 2010 at 10:47 AM

More than a few pretty bitter guys posting on this subject. Bottom line about marriage – Choose Wisely.

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Not to mention the intentianal undermining of the institution by liberal activists of various natures (not just gay activists).

Midas on November 19, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Hey hey now, lets not lump something like promiscuity in with some policy mistake (current state of welfare) or something tragic like abortion!

ernesto on November 19, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Hey, they’re all already lumped together under ‘things liberalism loves’. *shrug*

Midas on November 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM

More than a few pretty bitter guys posting on this subject.
Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Alimony will do that to you.

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM

More than a few pretty bitter guys posting on this subject. Bottom line about marriage – Choose Wisely.

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Well said.

But, I would add that no fault divorce has some culpability.

rukiddingme on November 19, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Well, marriage works for my wife and I.

We’ve been married over 23 years. Thick and thin, good and bad.

I love my wife.

My wife loves me.

Like it. Don’t like it. It works for us.

‘Nuff said as far as I’m concerned.

catmman on November 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM

I prefer to look at anecdotal evidence, since I believe that I come from the part of society that is functional (and this includes my intellectually and morally functional liberal friends and relatives), as compared to the dysfunctional three-children-out-of-wedlock-from-three-different-guys-and-she-can’t-name-any-of-them chart-busters. We mostly work, pay taxes, vote, raise families, and go to church (mostly, I said).

Seven college roommates, with all sorts of different worldviews and backgrounds: all married for over 25 years and none divorced.

Five siblings, all married over 26 years, and one divorced and remarried.

Five in-laws who were married young and ended up divorced: all remarried now for over 25 years.

Eight close friends from grade school/high school, 6 married for over 20 years, one married for five years (first), only one of the eight divorced.

Sure, divorce happens. We have had close friends from church divorce. But the notion of marriage diminishing as a social institution is just silly. Over 90% of the people I have known in my life got married and have never divorced.

And, no, I’m not Mormon.

Jaibones on November 19, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Hey, they’re all already lumped together under ‘things liberalism loves’. *shrug*

Midas on November 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM

There are plenty of promiscuous conservatives! You just shame them into hiding their activities.

ernesto on November 19, 2010 at 11:04 AM

But, I would add that no fault divorce has some culpability.

rukiddingme on November 19, 2010 at 10:59 AM

I don’t disagree with that.

Alimony will do that to you.

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 10:58 AM

I’ve met far more people who divorced because the husband strayed and the wife said enough. As is often the case the wife tends to put in more support and sacrifice for a family. Most end up living much more poorly than they were while married, even with the alimony.
Alimony is not an evil concept.

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Don’t give up finding a good woman to settle down with.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Good luck being able to afford one in the first place.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Good luck being able to afford one in the first place.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Costco is supposed to be having some really good sales on wives after Thanksgiving… ;)

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 11:12 AM

- In 1960 roughly 70% of adults were married. Today it is barely half.
- The number of children born out of wedlock has increased eight-fold in that period.
- In 1960 roughly 2/3 of twenty-somethings were married. Today? One quarter.

There is no shame in co-habitation or having children out of wedlock anymore. There was a time we either didnt do these things or we tried to hide them if we did. Now we take it all on the Maury show and explode it all over America.
“Hey, look at me, I’ve got four kids and have no idea who the daddy is” and “Hey, I’ve got 8 kids with five different mothers.”
We glorify this lifestyle now days.

abcurtis on November 19, 2010 at 11:12 AM

“Hey, look at me, I’ve got four kids and have no idea who the daddy is” and “Hey, I’ve got 8 kids with five different mothers.”
We glorify this lifestyle now days.

abcurtis on November 19, 2010 at 11:12 AM

Really, there is no way that the other 1/2 of the country that isn’t married is entirely made up of the old 80′s welfare queen. This is ridiculous. There are plenty of stable relationships that involve two adults that aren’t married. Every unmarried woman or couple with children is not in the “4 kids with no idea who the daddy is”. No one glorifies this lifestyle, you are exaggerating to such a degree that I wonder what’s made you so spiteful.

ernesto on November 19, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Alimony is not an evil concept.

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Read the Alimony Nightmares I posted previously and then tell me its not an evil concept. It forces two ex-spouses to remain connected forever, even thought the marriage is over.

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM

tessa on November 19, 2010 at 9:46 AM

I think you’re absolutely right.

abcurtis on November 19, 2010 at 11:24 AM

thought = though

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Costco is supposed to be having some really good sales on wives after Thanksgiving… ;)

Bulk women, eh? Isnt that part of the supposed problem?

Jeddite on November 19, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Wow, ernesto, looks like i touched a nerve there. is it spiteful to tell the truth? You know what I said is true, you just dont like it.

abcurtis on November 19, 2010 at 11:26 AM

Btw, ernesto,, who brought up welfare queens? I didnt. I’m talking about no shame. What is your point anyway? Do you have one?

abcurtis on November 19, 2010 at 11:27 AM

abcurtis on November 19, 2010 at 11:27 AM

My point is that there is no “glorification” of having 4 kids with 4 different guys and not even knowing who they are. That’s a gross exaggeration when what we’re talking about here is simply unmarried couples. Your whole comment is fallacious where you try and make a point, and offensive when you don’t. You lie, and you do it in a particularly nasty way.

ernesto on November 19, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Good luck being able to afford one in the first place.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 11:10 AM

If you’re worried about affording a woman, you’re looking for the wrong woman.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Read the Alimony Nightmares I posted previously and then tell me its not an evil concept. It forces two ex-spouses to remain connected forever, even thought the marriage is over.

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM

The site has been up for a couple of months and has 30 or so “stories”. Doesn’t seem like a very authoritative source to draw conclusions from.

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 11:55 AM

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 11:55 AM

I draw my conclusions from my own experience with alimony. But here are a few more nightmares, in case you think 30 cases is not indicative of the evil of liberal judges.

Alimony Slaves in America

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 12:02 PM

This is what I don’t get:

“Marriage is a broken institution.”

“Marriage has lost its purpose.”

“It’s absurd to consider marriage holy.”

“Marriage is obsolete.”

“But gays demand marriage and you damn well better stand aside and let them have it.”

Edouard on November 19, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Let’s see how bad the institute of marriage becomes if Congress only protects the existing tax rates of “those who make under $200,000 or families that make under $250,000″.
If you are married and you make $100K and your spoouse makes $175K, it would be in your best interests to divorce. You would both be able to keep your tax rates the same and you can even finagle the deductions that will be serve the tow of you. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you will live apart. It just means that you’s be able to “game the system” to keep your tax rates from increasing.

djaymick on November 19, 2010 at 12:17 PM

The way things are in the USofA, it makes no sense for a man to get married. There are too many downsides, and not nearly enough upsides to justify taking the plunge.

I R A Darth Aggie on November 19, 2010 at 12:35 PM

No and if he’s too stupid to realize that after a period of time she will be his common law wife

Bzzt! No, if he never refers to her as his “wife”. Thanks for playing.

To be defined as a common-law marriage within the states that allow it, the two people must: agree that they are married, live together, and present themselves as husband and wife. Common-law marriage is generally a non-ceremonial relationship that requires “a positive mutual agreement, permanent and exclusive of all others, to enter into a marriage relationship, cohabitation sufficient to warrant a fulfillment of necessary relationship of man and wife, and an assumption of marital duties and obligations.” Black’s Law Dictionary 277 (6th ed. 1990).

Further:

Currently, only nine states (Alabama, Colorado, Kansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Iowa, Montana, Oklahoma and Texas) and the District of Columbia recognize common-law marriages. In addition, five states have “grandfathered” common-law marriage (Georgia, Idaho, Ohio, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania) allowing those established before a certain date to be recognized. New Hampshire recognizes common-law marriage for purposes of probate only, and Utah recognizes common-law marriages only if they have been validated by a court or administrative order.

Source: http://www.ncsl.org/default.aspx?tabid=4265

I R A Darth Aggie on November 19, 2010 at 12:48 PM

The way things are in the USofA, it makes no sense for a man to get married. There are too many downsides, and not nearly enough upsides to justify taking the plunge.

I R A Darth Aggie on November 19, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Depends on the woman. If she’s not worth it, then you probably aren’t either.

Esthier on November 19, 2010 at 1:03 PM

The way things are in the USofA, it makes no sense for a man to get married. There are too many downsides, and not nearly enough upsides to justify taking the plunge.

I R A Darth Aggie on November 19, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Drunken hookups and nameless escorts are not the way to go through life son. Life doesn’t offer guarantees and marriage is no exception. Believe that the right one is out there and you will find her. Cynicism going into marriage is a self-defeating prophecy.

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 1:22 PM

If you’re worried about affording a woman, you’re looking for the wrong woman.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Lady, I would only just now be able to take someone out to a place more expensive than Burger King because I got ‘paid’ in restaurant gift certificates for a freelance job instead of cash.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Drunken hookups and nameless escorts are not the way to go through life son.

Newsflash: not wanting to be married doesn’t mean you’re bed-hopping. So sorry to make you take a detour on your guilt trip.

Life doesn’t offer guarantees and marriage is no exception.

If someone in a business suit asked you to make an investment with a ~50% chance of suddenly stripping you of house or car (or both), plus incurring penalty payments for a decade or more, you would tell them to take a hike.

But switch the suit for a wedding gown and suddenly It’s All Worth It?

Believe that the right one is out there and you will find her.

Yeah. And maybe the unemployed can believe jobs are out there and they’ll suddenly find themselves employed again.

Cynicism going into about marriage is a self-defeating prophecywise in the modern age.

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 1:22 PM

FTFY.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Lady, I would only just now be able to take someone out to a place more expensive than Burger King because I got ‘paid’ in restaurant gift certificates for a freelance job instead of cash.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 1:39 PM

the sad part is some guys assumes they have to wine and dine women. My husband is the romantic type that does the candlelight dinners at home. Just sayin…

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Lady, I would only just now be able to take someone out to a place more expensive than Burger King because I got ‘paid’ in restaurant gift certificates for a freelance job instead of cash.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 1:39 PM

So? Romance isn’t about going somewhere better than fast food. It can be spaghetti and pasta sauce at your place for less than $5.

While we were dating, my husband once took me on a picnic with Wendy’s and a cheap bottle of wine. It was very romantic.

Miz is right. If you’re worried about money, you’re looking for the wrong girl. The right one might go dutch or even offer to pay for a meal if it’s a problem for you.

Esthier on November 19, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Miz is right. If you’re worried about money, you’re looking for the wrong girl. The right one might go dutch or even offer to pay for a meal if it’s a problem for you.

Esthier on November 19, 2010 at 1:57 PM

or cook you dinner.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 2:01 PM

As soon as social security and other welfare collapses, you’ll see a marked rise in those who appreciate marriage.

Iblis on November 19, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 1:46 PM

The cynicism runs deep with this young Jedi. Perhaps a role as a Eunuch?

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 2:57 PM

So? Romance isn’t about going somewhere better than fast food. It can be spaghetti and pasta sauce at your place for less than $5. If you’re worried about money, you’re looking for the wrong girl.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Way to miss the point by a mile.

Here it is again: “No money, no girl.” Is that simple enough or do I have to use words from the right-winglish dialect?

The cynicism runs deep with this young Jedi. Perhaps a role as a Eunuch?

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Do they make you jealous?

Snark aside, yeah I’m a bit of a cynic, so what? That happens when you’ve had to class romance the same way you’ve classed home ownership – your parents could do it but you can’t because you’re broke and the economic ‘ladder’ is missing too many steps at the bottom.

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Here it is again: “No money, no girl.” Is that simple enough or do I have to use words from the right-winglish dialect?

You know, I’m fairly certain it’s not your money that’s a problem. Being an @ss really is the bigger concern here.

I understand your point, but clearly you don’t get anyone else’s. It’s entirely possible to date and woo a girl without a dime, but not when you have the personality of bathtub boy.

Do they make you jealous?

Dark-Star on November 19, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Pretty sure Bradky isn’t the one who’s jealous. Most of the people in here understand that it’s not your money that’s the problem. That you can’t, is likely just an excuse.

Esthier on November 19, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Esthier on November 19, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Thanks Esthier. I remember some 23 years ago when we had only been married for three years and were living on $474 every two weeks with 2 toddlers and one on the way. It was not unusual for us to break out the coin jar a couple of days before payday to pay for that last gallon of milk we needed. Wasn’t fun at the time but we did it together and didn’t blame the other for being a little short. Now we look back and laugh about it and pat ourselves on the back for sticking it out together as those little ones have finished college and are making their own way in the world.
I really believe that a couple that strives to survive the salad days with a sense of humor and joint commitment can weather just about anything. If they do the payoff is enormous in a wonderful lifetime relationship.

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Esthier on November 19, 2010 at 3:19 PM

+1

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 3:59 PM

I do a lot of family law, and that involves pre-nuptial agreements and general financial advice that goes along with marriage and re-marriage. Even though I support marriage as an institution, I have to give my best advice regarding the fiscal impact. As a rule, it’s financially disadvantageous for persons of vastly disparate income and assets to marry, and re-marriage can be a disaster — even with a prenuptial agreement. People of modest means are targets to such things as the “marital debt doctrine” that places one at jeopardy of being liable for the debts of the spouse, subjecting one’s property to medicaid claims and creditor claims. Re-marriage can cause the loss of government benefits, and can kick spouses into higher income tax brackets for which there is no adequate offset.

Then there are the estate planning complications that arise even with a pre-nuptial agreement.

The money I have made pulling these arrangements apart…

Of late, I have been drafting companionship declarations for older folks who want to ensure that they are NOT married for any legal purpose.

So goes the world.

ObjectionSustained on November 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Dang. We’ve had our own “salad days” (interesting term), but luckily not with children. We started out with a savings built on money given to us at the wedding and our own college graduations and had to deplete that thing at least twice before getting real, steady income.

I’ve always considered those days well worth the hardship, because it forced us to view money as fleeting. We’re very good at saving money these days.

We haven’t been married as long as you have, so I always love hearing stories about those who’ve managed to work things out all these years. I love my husband and our marriage and have no problem seeing us old together, but sometimes it can get hard. The reminder that I sometimes exaggerate the hardship with my lack of perspective is welcome.

Esthier on November 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Thanks Esthier. I remember some 23 years ago when we had only been married for three years and were living on $474 every two weeks with 2 toddlers and one on the way. It was not unusual for us to break out the coin jar a couple of days before payday to pay for that last gallon of milk we needed. Wasn’t fun at the time but we did it together and didn’t blame the other for being a little short. Now we look back and laugh about it and pat ourselves on the back for sticking it out together as those little ones have finished college and are making their own way in the world.
I really believe that a couple that strives to survive the salad days with a sense of humor and joint commitment can weather just about anything. If they do the payoff is enormous in a wonderful lifetime relationship.

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 3:31 PM

My parents calls those days miss meal, no meal, or oatmeal days. I only pray to be as successful as my parents. They’ve been married for 59 years next month and raised 7 children. And they still adore each other.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 4:02 PM

“Marital debt” should read “family debt” — sorry bout that.

ObjectionSustained on November 19, 2010 at 4:07 PM

Of late, I have been drafting companionship declarations for older folks who want to ensure that they are NOT married for any legal purpose.

ObjectionSustained on November 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I found one of these recorded in the official public records lately. I have never seen one before and didn’t even know they were necessary. Apparently, they are more common than I thought.

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 4:15 PM

Esthier , sounds like you and your husband are well on your way to together forever — good on both of you. IMO as long as the couple still enjoys and looks forward to talking with one another it all works out.

Mizflame98,
59 years is awesome – my parents just hit 52 a couple of months ago.

Bradky on November 19, 2010 at 4:21 PM

It’s nice to see some evidence of strong marriages here. My parents’ generation? All aunts and uncles on both sides still together (and my parents too). My generation? I’d say half the cousins have divorced, many remarried to make it work a second time. (What is it about that first marriage?)

“There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. That is why, in spite of a hundred disadvantages, the world will always return to monogamy.”
– G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

Rosmerta on November 19, 2010 at 6:02 PM

The main reasons marriage is on the decline is no-fault divorces and judicial bias against the husband in divorces. End permanent alimony now.

Marriage Strike

Alimony Nightmares

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Amen. Amen.

When the system is set up so heavily against the male and the women seem to want a life long commitment from the male, but wish to reserve the right to change their mind at any time and back out of the deal, then why would any worldly man ever want to marry?

Now, for a Christian man like myself, there is every reason to marry (if we cannot eschew women altogether as Paul said – and I cannot).

The problem with marriage today is that it is heavily disincentivized by the government (the marriage tax penalty and the no fault divorce) while there is no reinforcement given. In order to fix the problem, the government should treat married and un-married people the same for tax purposes and should remove itself from the sphere of marriage licensing altogether. This is yet another problem created by the government. No fault divorce is a very large part of the problem.

I had an argument the other day with a friend of mine who is a liberal (he was paraphrasing the first line of the Communist Manifesto to me during our discussion). He had recently gone through a divorce and he is really sore on that subject. Naturally, the topic of the conversation eventually rolled around to divorce and he claimed that no fault divorce was a conservative thing (because his ex-wife claimed to be a conservative, and, yet, she divorced him) while I claimed that it was a liberal thing and that divorcing one’s spouse through the no fault divorce was not a conservative action (no matter what she claimed to be). If I remember correctly, it has always been the liberals who have introduced and pushed no fault divorces onto the people through most state’s congresses. And, if I remember correctly, it started in the most liberal states first (California, for example).

Anyways, he left forlornly and I haven’t seen him since. :/

No fault divorce has hurt so many people in this country. It has hurt the fabric of society itself. I went through one. Marriage is supposed to be a life-long commitment, not until one wants to break-up. :/

Theophile on November 19, 2010 at 9:20 PM

My parents calls those days miss meal, no meal, or oatmeal days. I only pray to be as successful as my parents. They’ve been married for 59 years next month and raised 7 children. And they still adore each other.

mizflame98 on November 19, 2010 at 4:02 PM

My grandparents have been married for 68 years (they are in their late 80′s) and they still love each other. It’s awesome. :) :) :)

Theophile on November 19, 2010 at 9:25 PM

No fault divorce has hurt so many people in this country. It has hurt the fabric of society itself. I went through one. Marriage is supposed to be a life-long commitment, not until one wants to break-up. :/

Theophile on November 19, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Can’t we all agree that no fault divorce is the major problem? We need to be able to offer people an alternative like the covenant marriage.

Bill C on November 20, 2010 at 1:45 AM

I am a single mother, I let go of the business that was bought with my retirements when the bookkeeper I hired and my ex thought it was a good plan for them to hook up and live happily ever after with this business.

tessa on November 19, 2010 at 10:37 AM

So you were done wrong by your ex. But you got the kids. What would have happened if you feel in love with the mailman and filed for divorce? You get the kids.

This might be hard for some of the women on this board who have been through bitter divorces they did not want but there are a lot of men who would gladly trade money for the opportunity to see their kids in the morning. Men who are heartbroken because they only see them once a week and every other weekend.

Stop projecting your situation on the world. Women get the kids 85% of the time in divorce whether the caused it or not. Just because your ex treated you badly doesn’t mean all men should be punished.

Bill C on November 20, 2010 at 1:53 AM

Stop projecting your situation on the world. Women get the kids 85% of the time in divorce whether the caused it or not. Just because your ex treated you badly doesn’t mean all men should be punished.

Bill C on November 20, 2010 at 1:53 AM

sounds like you’re the one projecting.

mizflame98 on November 20, 2010 at 9:59 AM

sounds like you’re the one projecting.

mizflame98 on November 20, 2010 at 9:59 AM

You know how frustrating it is to argue with someone using statistics and have them say, “…but that’s not what happened to me!”

Marriage has been weakened by no fault divorce, tell me your solution?

Bill C on November 20, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Of late, I have been drafting companionship declarations for older folks who want to ensure that they are NOT married for any legal purpose.

ObjectionSustained on November 19, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I found one of these recorded in the official public records lately. I have never seen one before and didn’t even know they were necessary. Apparently, they are more common than I thought.

txsurveyor on November 19, 2010 at 4:15 PM

I’ve never even heard of such a thing, interesting.

Dark-Star on November 20, 2010 at 2:44 PM