YourTango experts argue for the relevance of marriage.
The Pew Research Center recently released the results of a study about the developing social trends for American marriages and families. The news from the study that really made headlines was a poll that showed 40 percent of Americans believe marriage is obsolete.
While the Pew Research data had many people ringing the death knell for marriage, those headlines don't tell the whole story. Dr. Corey Allan, family and marriage therapist and Traditional Love blogger noted, "The recent reporting of the Pew Research doesn't share the whole story when it comes to marriage. If you simply report the reverse of what was actually reported you'll read that six in 10 people believe marriage is not obsolete. And you'll read that 70 percent are optimistic about marriage and family life."
But for those 40 percent of Americans who think marriage has gone the way of fanny packs and Walkmen, we asked some of YourTango's bloggers and relationship experts to make their best case for why marriage will always be relevant to our society.
"Watching the news and reading this report, you would think that married couples should run and hide," writes Stu Gray, who blogs for Traditional Love and over at The Marry Blogger. He continues, "That means, 6 out of 10 still think marriage is a great thing. That's more than half... It's so important to continue to educate folks on marriage and the positive aspects of this vital relationship, which provides the foundation of our society... Marriage provides a great place to learn and grow as people and we don't have to do it alone, which is one of the added benefits of marriage."
"Before we start believing that the sky is falling or that marriage is dead, hear this. While it's true that the rate of marriages is dropping, it is estimated that approximately 85-88 percent of Americans will eventually marry," wrote Michelle Weiner-Davis, a relationship coach and marriage educator. "And if people in those marriages start taking advantage of the information we have about what it takes to make relationships work, marriages will last longer and pessimism about lifelong connection will fade. Marriage isn't perfect, but considering the options, it's still the best game in town."
Jay Reding, lawyer and Traditional Love blogger argues, "Marriage is still relevant because marriage remains the foundation of a healthy society. So many of the problem we have in society, from poverty to crime, are tied to the decline of the family. Strong marriages are crucial to strong families, they pass along the values that keep society going and provide a crucial safety net for children. Without that support system, and without those values, society suffers. Ultimately, there can't be a healthy society without healthy marriages."
And if those arguments don't convince you that marriage and all it entails is here to stay. Dr. Adam Sheck, psychologist and Imago Relationship Therapist, puts marriage into perspective this way: "Although marriage originally was more for securing power, estates and finances, over the last few hundred years it became more based upon choice and love. And I still believe that it can be a container to hold a deep commitment between two partners who want to create a lasting and loving partnership. When life becomes challenging (and it always will), knowing that you have made a sacred, loving commitment to work through what needs to be worked through gives some modicum of comfort during those times."
Are you convinced marriage is here to stay?