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Almost half of todays marriages end in divorces. Second marriages are even more likely...

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alb35518 | eNoter

Posted June 27, 2010 at 6:59 AM via web

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Almost half of todays marriages end in divorces. Second marriages are even more likely to fail than the first.

Do you think that this means about our society? Would you encourage a child growing up in todays society to wed? If so, at what age? Would you encourage them to live with their partner before or in lieu of marriage? What do you think this says about our society as a whole? How important is marriage in todays world?

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 27, 2010 at 8:20 AM (Answer #1)

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You've got a lot of questions to answer there, too many, really for this space, but let me get you started.

Marriage, as a social institution, has been around for a very long time, and in my view, it is not going to end anytime soon.  It is deeply embedded not just in American but in world culture, the vast majority of people do get married at least once in their lifetimes, and if you surveyed high school seniors, for example, the vast majority would say they plan on getting married someday.

As far as what the high divorce rate says about our society, you could draw a number of conclusions:

1) Women are more able to work and support themselves than they were in the 1940s for example, when divorce rates were lower

2)  Society is much more tolerant of divorce than it used to be, so there is less social stigma

3)  Younger generations seem not to take marriage quite as seriously as the older generations, and my sense of it is that there is less religious emphasis on marriage

4) The late 20s is the average age Americans get married these days, and I think that's a good time - after education, after you've been able to save money, etc.

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 27, 2010 at 9:37 AM (Answer #2)

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I would tend to agree with the previous thoughts.  I think that marriage is important, in general, but there is an obvious clarification needed on how to survive it or under what conditions one should enter it.  I think that the divorce rate might reflect some aspects about our society.  Of particular note would be the large role that individual freedom holds in our setting.  People believe that their freedom is important enough to justify entering into divorce when they feel that a marriage is not working out to their specifications.  Regardless of the statistics, which are fairly staggering, I would still tend to believe in marriage as vitally important.  Yet, people can live their lives without being married.  I think that I would advise that those who enter marriage need to be ready to endure some difficult challenges within the institution and be willing to face them together.  Perhaps seeking the counsel of elders in the family or community order or speaking with those who are married could be of vital importance. I think that marriage has to be an endeavor where individuals are prepared to persist through a set of difficulties and challenges as a unit.  Yet, there should also be a firm understanding that there are no guarantees in marriage, and this insecurity and doubt has to be embraced as part of marriage.

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted June 28, 2010 at 1:13 AM (Answer #3)

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I think the high divorce rate shows that our society wants easy outs. In other words, if something does not work out it's easy to start over. I do not agree with this. Marriage can be difficult sometimes and it is necessary to take the time to work things out with your spouse if it is possible. Every situation is also different and sometime divorce is necessary. I do not believe that marriage is as highly regarded as it once was.

I would encourage marriage if two people are truly in love. I do think that it is important that people spend a great deal of time getting to know one another as well. I really can't specify an age that is ideal to get married at because it is different for everyone.

As far as living together before marriage goes, again, it really depends on the individuals. This would work out for some but not for others. Every circumstance is different.

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tn10210 | Elementary School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 5, 2010 at 9:52 PM (Answer #4)

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Often young people marrying today do not consider marriage a permenant situation. They begin married life knowing that divorce is an option, and often a quick and easy way to get out of a difficult situation.  I would encourage my children to wed, but to know that marriage is hard work. Young adults should be encouraged to wait for marriage, they need to experience life before getting married and starting a family. 

In preparation for marriage, couples need to evaluate their expectations of the marriage.  Men need to understand that traditional roles are no longer valid.  Women want to work and often need to work to support the family. A man can no longer expect to come home to dinner on the table and a clean house.  Women should understand that a two salary household is necessary to fund a growing family.

I believe that marriage is the foundation of a strong family.  Morals and values are taught within the family unit, and a strong two parent household will be able to share those morals and values with their children.

We must also remember that just because a divorce happens, doesn't mean morals and values are not being taught. Sometimes divorce is a necessary ending to an intolerable situation. Preserving the marriage should be a top priority, but when safety is an issue divorce may be the best solution for all involved.

Those choosing to get married should begin marriage with an open mind, good communication, and honest expectations. Divorce is not just something you do when you get angry, but a last resort after all other solutions have been tried.

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